What Is Anxiety Therapy? A Quick Introduction
Are you thinking about checking out anxiety therapy in the Bay Area? Here's what you need to know about these services.
Approximately 19% of people in the United States (18 and over) struggle with some form of anxiety disorder. That's almost a fifth of all American adults!
That said, if you have an anxiety disorder or think are dealing with anxiety, you’re in good company. In this article, we’ll talk about anxiety disorders, the different symptoms there are, what kind of therapy can help, and where you can get anxiety therapy in Bay Area.
If you’re ready to stop letting your thoughts have so much power over you, read our guide on how to manage anxiety, below.
What is Anxiety Exactly?
In mental health and psychiatry, we base definitions of any mental illness on the DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most diagnosed anxiety-related mental illness. The DSM-5 defines GAD as “Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).”
There are different levels of intensity for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, though not everyone with stress and anxiety meets the threshold for diagnosis. Even if you don’t think the definition above applies to you, you could still benefit from anxiety therapy in Bay Area.
GAD is not the only anxiety disorder listed in the DSM-5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) are all anxiety-related illnesses.
It’s worth noting that anxiety can and does peak during stressful times in life, or when someone experiences large changes. Getting diagnosed with an anxiety disorder once does not mean you’ll struggle the same way forever.
Signs of an Anxiety Disorder
One of the most common things my patients ask me is, “how do I know if it’s just stress or if it’s actually anxiety?” There isn’t one concrete answer for everyone, but if your anxiety symptoms are diminishing your quality of life (in any way), it’s worth seeing a therapist.
Each patient presents with different symptoms, but here are some of the most common signs of generalized anxiety disorder:
Worrying is out of control and causing extra stress
Worrying affects your day-to-day activities, including job, school, or social performance
Nothing you’ve tried is working to reduce your worrying
You’re feeling restless or on edge, making you irritable
You’re always tired
You have difficulty focusing
Many people who have anxiety disorders find that they worry about otherwise small things. Excessive guilt is not a listed symptom of GAD, according to the National Health Service, but it’s common nonetheless.
What Is Anxiety Therapy in the Bay Area Like?
In this section, we’ll discuss common anxiety treatment options, and then what I use personally to help my clients.
There are three main avenues mental health professionals use to treat anxiety symptoms:
A combination of both.
Since not everyone can or wants to take medication, therapy is the most universal solution for working through anxiety-based issues. Different therapists use different techniques to help their patients reduce symptoms, including
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)