Treatment for Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural, normal reaction that occurs in response to a situation that feels frightening or threatening. When the situation is truly dangerous (e.g., a tornado has touched down near us), then our anxiety response can help motivate us to take appropriate action (e.g., seek immediate shelter from the storm). This process is the Fight or Flight response.

However, the anxiety response can also send out a “false alarm” and over-react when we experience situations in modern life that feel threatening or frightening but don’t represent actual danger (e.g., giving a presentation at work).

You may be experiencing an anxiety disorder if this pattern exists over time.

What are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

  • Excessive worry
  • Feeling keyed up
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fear of events, places, people or objects
  • Shakiness
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Thoughts about losing control or going crazy
  • Diziness
  • Sweating

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Generalized Anxiety (GAD)

Unrealistic and/or excessive worry about most things in life

Panic Disorder

Sudden and intense onset of multiple physical symptoms with thoughts and worries about fears of dying, having a heart attack or stroke, going crazy, or losing control


Fear and avoidance of going to public places because you are afraid something bad will happen and you will not be able to leave or get help

Social Phobia

Fear of doing or saying something embarrassing and avoidance of social activities such as parties or meetings

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors such as hand-washing or checking locks to reduce fears or alleviate frightening thoughts

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety triggered by reminders of a personal trauma. Symptoms may include nightmares, “flashbacks,” relationship problems, edginess/jumpiness and avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma

Specific Phobia

Excessive anxiety about objects or situations such as animals, blood, flying or heights

Are there Effective Treatments for Anxiety?

Yes, effective treatments are available. For most, anxiety disorders are greatly reduced or alleviated with appropriate treatment.

Treatment gives the person control of their emotions as well as their physical symptoms that usually occur and helps them return to normal living. Therapy typically includes changing unhelpful thinking, relaxation training, and gradual exercises for gently confronting fears.

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