Everybody, at some point or time, experiences anxiety. Public speaking makes many of us anxious, but that motivates us to be ready and prepare to do better. Heavy traffic can do the same, but that keeps us aware, alert and wary in order to avoid accidents. When feelings of distress and fear are overwhelming and prevent us from doing daily routines, however, an Anxiety Disorder may be to blame.Anxiety is one of the most commonplace health concerns in the U.S., and children, teenagers, young adults, and even the elderly can be negatively impacted by it at school, work, or even at home. Most individuals develop symptoms before 21 years of age, and women are even more likely to be diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder than their male counterparts.
Childhood and Teen anxiety
Fear and normal levels of anxiety are part of childhood, and each child goes through phases, which are temporary and mostly harmless. Children who suffer from Anxiety Disorders, however, experience fear, nervousness, and begin avoiding activities and places. Research has shown us that children who have went untreated for their Anxiety Disorders are a higher risk of poor performance in school, missing out on important social experiences, and may even engage in substance abuse. With treatment, children can learn to manage the symptoms of Anxiety, and experience a normal childhood.
Every session is going to be unique, catering to each individual’s specific needs. It’s standard for discussion on primary issues and concerns in your life to take place during these therapy sessions. It’s important to schedule weekly sessions, for around fifty minutes each. If you or a loved one are experiencing severe anxiety, multiple sessions each week may be best. Therapy can be short-term or longer-term, addressing more complicated issues.It’s important to process and digest what’s been discussed, integrating it in your everyday life between sessions. In some instances, a combination of medicine and therapy is the best method of treating Anxiety. Working with a physician, you can determine what’s best for you. It’s well established that a long-term solution to the difficulties and pain Anxiety disorders can cause, cannot be solved solely by medication. You can best achieve growth and improvement, and a greater sense of well-being, with an approach aimed at integrating everything you’ve learned, finding ways to address concerns in your sessions, and considering medication in addition to these other steps.
How can I help a loved one who is anxious?
If you know someone who is anxious, it affects you too. The most important thing you can do is help your loved to seek help and treatment. You may need to make an appointment and go with him or her, seeking help may be anxiety provoking. Be prepared to offer emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement. Talk to him or her, listen carefully, and never dismiss feelings; instead, point out realities and offer hope. Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities. Insist, even if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.
How can I help myself if I am anxious?
It may be difficult to take any action to help yourself. But as you begin treatment, and start to feel some relief, you will feel that taking action was the right choice for you.
You may still have questions about the therapeutic process:
- My loved one doesn’t want to go to therapy; won’t it make things worse if I force them to go?
Once initial resistance and fears about therapy are worked through, therapy is an ideal place to work on reducing anxiety. If therapy isn’t the answer for your loved one, I would be happy to discuss other possible options for each individualized situation.
- Our schedule is very impacted, how will we add one more thing?
I do try my best to work out a schedule that will work. With a little flexibility on both our parts, the schedule tends to work out. With that said, once an agreed upon time is arranged, consistency and commitment to therapy is important for a good outcome. I work Tuesday – Friday and afternoon appointments tend to fill up quickly. If my schedule cannot accommodate you, I will do my best to place you with a trusted therapist.
- Can I afford therapy?
This answer is different for each person; however with your consent I am happy to bill your mental health insurance as an out-of-network provider for you as long as it is a PPO plan. This typically works well, only being responsible for the coinsurance or copay amount. I’m happy to check into your insurance benefits for you, and with that information you can make an informed decision about seeing me, or possible going with an in-network-provider on your plan.
- This is informative, but I’d like to speak to a real person about my concerns.
It’s best to call me to discuss your specific concerns. I typically return non-urgent calls within the same day you leave a message, unless it is on a weekend or holiday. I recommend leaving a message with some good times to call you back. I’m often unable to pick up calls immediately when in session.