Dealing with Anxiety
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has a genius, power and magic in it.”
Carol was a lovely woman, with friends and many interests. She was working on establishing herself in a new career and was making progress. But Carol had trouble getting through the day. Most of her friends told her she worried too much and got too stressed over little things or nothing at all. She would try to relax, but she just couldn’t. She had trouble concentrating. Reading a book could be difficult. It was as if the anxiety had a life all its own. She worried a lot about her health, thinking that she had some illness. Sometimes she worried about money, other times she worried about family issues. There were times she couldn’t get her mind off of work troubles. If she wasn’t worried about one thing, another worry would pop up that she couldn’t shake. Sometimes, she would feel physically off, having symptoms of fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, irritability, nausea or having to go to the bathroom frequently (National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad/index.html).
Carol had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Often people with GAD also have depression or a substance abuse problem (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Info). In addition, many physical symptoms exacerbated by anxiety, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, may be present.
If you find yourself relating to Carol, you are not alone. According to NIMH, about 6.8 million American adults have GAD. There are five different types of anxiety disorder, other than GAD. These are:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia
- Other Specific Phobias
What all anxiety disorders have in common is an “excessive, irrational fear and dread” (www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/introduction.html).
Since stress and worry are a part of life, anxiety disorders are often more likely to be ignored, misdiagnosed, or inappropriately treated. Life doesn’t have to be so hard. GAD is effectively treated with psychotherapy, and, as needed, medication. There are effective tools and strategies people can learn to help alleviate GAD. Often just having a safe place to talk provides some comfort and relief.
I have years of experience dealing with just these kinds of issues. Contact me for more information.
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If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at [email protected], or use the form below.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers
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Beth Levine, LCSW-C
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