If you feel overwhelmed with anxiety, you’re not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in America, with studies estimating 30% of adolescents and 20% of adults affected. The team of therapists at Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice work closely with clients in the Greater Philadelphia area, customizing their therapy based on each client’s type of anxiety and mental health needs. When anxiety changes the way you live and affects your ability to thrive, email or call the office in Center City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Anxiety is a natural part of everyday life, serving to draw your attention to — and mobilize you to face — people and situations you might otherwise avoid. When you have a normal level of anxiety, the feeling dissipates after you deal with the things that caused your fear.
Like depression, anxiety can be a mood, but for some people, it’s an ongoing and debilitating condition. You feel anxious even though there isn’t a pending event to dread, or your level of anxiety doesn’t seem to match the situation. Chronic anxiety affects your emotional health and your physical well-being, as constantly high levels of stress hormones can weaken your immune system and cause problems from significant weight loss or gain to cardiovascular disease.
When you often feel anxious or like you’re in a constant state of alert, or you limit or change your daily activities due to anxiety, it’s time to consider professional help.
If you’ve ever felt anxious, you’re familiar with its primary symptoms of dread and/or fear. Anxiety may also make you feel irritable and tense, or like you’re preoccupied with events that might make you anxious. It’s also common to develop symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, and sweating.
In addition to general anxiety symptoms, there are many variations of anxiety disorders, each bringing additional or modified symptoms. For example, panic disorder can feel like you’re having a heart attack, with shortness of breath and chest pain or social phobias can leave you feeling timid or paranoid.
If the thought of seeing a therapist is another source of anxiety, it may help to know that at your first meeting, you’ll simply talk with director Karen L. Smith, MSS, LCSW. After she gets to know you, her first goal is to ensure you’re matched with a therapist whom you can trust and work with, whether it’s her or another therapist on the team.
If your anxiety is associated with sexual orientation or gender identity, you can have confidence knowing that every therapist at Full Living supports diversity, and they’re transgender, non-binary, kink, and polyamorous affirming.
Anxiety treatment typically starts with psychotherapy. There are also lots of concrete tools the therapists at Full Living can offer clients to manage symptoms of anxiety, like mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, cognitive-behavioral techniques and the like.
Sometimes medication is called for, temporarily or ongoing. If you need medication for panic disorder or severe anxiety, your therapist will help you connect with a psychiatrist for additional support.
To get the help you need for anxiety, email or call Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice.
If you would like to read more about issues related to this topic, please check out some of these blog posts.