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People commonly seek therapy due to feeling anxious. While some anxiety is normal, when excessive, it can seriously impact a person’s ability to function optimally in relationships, work, school; it might also interfere with sleeping patterns or eating habits. Common anxiety symptoms include: Racing thoughts, worries, excessive guilt, excessively fearful thoughts, confusion, frustration, shame, despair social avoidance, nervousness, neediness, blaming, and an inability to maintain relations or employment. Common physical symptoms include: sweaty palms, racing heart, difficulty breathing, nausea, trembling, and insomnia.

Some people experience anxiety as a general inability to relax or achieve a sense of well being (a sense of vitality). Others feel as if “the other shoe is about to drop’” (apprehensive expectations) regardless of how well things might be going for them. In some cases anxiety can manifest as phobias, behavioral compulsions that might become obsessive, and even panic attacks.

Anxiety often remains residually in cases where there has been exposure to traumatic stress -whether a onetime traumatic event, or prolonged exposure to chronic low level stressors. It is quite common for anxiety and depression to present simultaneously. Often individuals might confuse anxiety symptoms with depressive symptoms.

Therapy can alleviate the symptoms and deal effectively with the sources of anxiety. Therapy can help individuals understand the source of their anxiety, present and practice tools to deal with anxiety such as mindfulness, cognitive relaxation, cognitive and behavioral strategies, to name a few.

In some cases medical practitioners might prescribe psychotropic medication specifically for the treatment of anxiety. These medications in combination with therapy are a very effective way of dealing with anxiety. I often work in coordination with psychiatrists and other medical providers in the provision of therapeutic services.