Anxiety
"I'm worried. I just know something bad is going to happen."
Prevalence
Symptoms
Disorders Treated
Treatment Outcomes
Treatment Description
Prevalence

Everyone is anxious at some time or another.  For some individuals, anxiety becomes a constant companion that robs them of joy and productivity.  In a recent national study of the general population, researchers found that 48 % of the population has had a psychiatric disorder during their lifetime. Anxiety disorders are quite common, affecting about a quarter of the population.  Of all people reporting any psychiatric disorder, 79 % had more than one disorder. For example, many people who have anxiety disorders may also experience depression, substance abuse, or some other difficulty. The most common anxiety disorders are social phobia, simple phobia, generalized anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety disorders tend to be long-standing, with some people claiming that they have been anxious and worried all their lives.

» Over 3 million Americans have, or one day will have, panic disorder and panic attacks.
» About 4 million Americans have, or one day will have, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
» Around 4 million people struggle with significant social anxiety.
» Another 4 million experience excessive worry and cannot enjoy relationships, perform at work, or be happy.
» Three million people have such intense fears and phobias that they will not fly in airplanes, ascend heights, use public transportation, or go into closed spaces.
» Millions more find themselves crippled by procrastination and/or perfectionism.
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Symptoms

Anxiety disorder symptoms can include the following; palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal distress, dizziness, fear of going crazy, fear of dying, fatigue, irritability, loss of concentration, muscle tension, tingling sensations, excessive fears, unwanted thoughts, repetitive behaviors, trouble sleeping, nightmares, and excessive worry.

Anxiety disorders are often on-going in duration and cause considerable distress and impairment in social and occupational functioning.  Anxiety about things or situations leads to an avoidance of those things or situation.  This avoidance decreases anxiety in the short-term, but increases anxiety and the fear of certain situations or things.

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Disorders Treated

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to provide effective treatment for depression, anxiety and many other disorders and has been scientifically tested in over 300 clinical trials.  CBT is the treatment of choice for these Anxiety Disorders:

» Generalized Anxiety Disorder
» Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
» Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
» Social Anxiety Disorder
» Phobias
» Panic Disorder
» Excessive Perfectionism or Procrastination
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Treatment Outcomes

Between 70% and 80% of patients with an anxiety disorder will experience improvement with cognitive-behavior therapy and/or medication.

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Treatment Description

Cognitive-behavior therapy and/or medication are especially useful in treating these anxiety disorders. Both during therapy sessions and as part of your exercises between sessions, you will develop a number of skills that can decrease anxiety.  CBT will help you;

» Decrease the physical symptoms of anxiety.
» Address your worries and fears constructively.
» Identify and change your negative thinking.
» Refer you for medication, if necessary.

See Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for additional information on treatment.

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