We all worry from time to time. Sometimes we worry A LOT. Worry usually responds to common sense solutions like trying to think of something else, getting busy, binge watching TV, calling a friend for reassurance, getting a good night’s sleep, or eating chocolate.
Anxiety disorders are different because that anxious feeling won’t respond in normal ways. For example, someone might be anxious that a mole is really melanoma.
Some people are more highly attuned to the environment or other people, or their bodies. For them, anxiety can take many forms. The example above may be Health or Illness Anxiety.
Panic Attacks are when people experience a cascade of physical symptoms (rapid breathing, heart palpitations, tingling in extremities, etc.), terrified thoughts (OMG I am having a heart attack or This is so embarrassing, everyone is looking at me, or I can’t go out because this might happen again, etc.), and catastrophic feelings. Surprisingly, panic attacks happen to 1 in 4 people.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is another common complaint where the person seems to have a never ending laundry list of things to fret and ruminate about. Social Anxiety takes many forms, from fear of public speaking to crippling shyness.
Phobias are about being so fearful of one thing that it is avoided at all costs, like fear of flying of driving over a bridge.
However it manifests itself, anxiety is best treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT teaches you the skills you need to manage the disorder.
What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a scientifically tested form of psychotherapy that has proven to be effective for a variety of conditions including anxiety and depression. In CBT, the therapist and the patient work collaboratively to identify and address the presenting issues. Therapists support the patients and help them face their obstacles and successfully get past their challenges by changing any faulty thinking, emotional reactivity, and maladaptive behaviors.
CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors and seeks to alleviate psychological stresses by correcting faulty conceptions and erroneous beliefs.
Words, numbers, images, and sounds, can all be thoughts. Thoughts are involuntary. They can be distorted, intrusive and distracting. We do not control our thoughts. They come and go without rhyme or reason. Thoughts are automatic and can impact the perspective we take and the way we feel about a formative situation.
Emotions follow the thoughts we generate in our minds. Think about a sunset. What emotions do you feel? Emotions can be positive or negative and tend to motivate the types of actions and outcomes we choose to engage in.
Actions are the physical manifestation of the choices we make in life. Our behaviors are the only thing we can control. So, if positive thoughts leads to positive emotions, and that leads to positive behaviors what does the cycle look like if we have a negative thought? If we think something does it come true OR does the thought only come true after we act on it?