ANXIETY AND RELATED DISORDERS

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress. However, anxiety disorders differ from normal anxiety. Anxiety disorders typically consist of excessive fear and nervousness, often resulting in avoidance and other behavioral disturbances. Different aspects of life such as performance at work or school and social relationships can be negatively impacted. A number of specific problems fall within the umbrella of anxiety and related disorders including:

  • Agoraphobia (fear of places where you may panic or feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (persistent worry about a range of issues)
  • Panic Disorder (out of the blue panic attacks characterized by overwhelming physical and psychological distress and fear of having panic attacks)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (fear or being scrutinized or judged by others)
  • Specific Phobia (fear of specific object, situation, or activity such as closed-in spaces, driving, flying or air travel, heights)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (repeated obsessions, compulsions, or both)

If you are having problems with anxiety, we will begin to determine the nature of the problem in the initial evaluation. Depending on the problem, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have been studied and shown to be effective. Treatments will be explained to you in detail to help you take an active role in making an informed choice.

Sometimes anxiety is secondary or related to other problems including depression, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. Cognitive and behavioral therapies have been shown to be effective in treating one or more of these problem areas and can be discussed and treated as well.