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When to Seek Therapy for Anxiety

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Originally Posted On: When to Seek Therapy for Anxiety – Best Advice Zone


Mental illness affects more than one in five or approximately 51.5 million people in the US. Of these individuals, close to 20% or 48 million have anxiety disorders (ADs). That makes ADs the most prevalent mental illness in the nation.

If you believe you have AD yourself, it would be in your best interest to seek professional help. One reason is that untreated mental health conditions can be debilitating. More than that, studies have shown that they can cut life expectancy by an average of seven to 10 years.

To that end, we compiled this guide discussing some of the top indications that it’s time for therapy. Read on to discover when anxiety is still normal and when you already need a therapist’s help to control it.

Excessive Worrying

The feeling of anxiety is a normal human reaction to stressful events. It can even be beneficial as it helps you prepare to act appropriately in a dangerous situation. In such instances, anxiety triggers the autonomic nervous system.

For example, let’s say you were preparing dinner and you think you forgot to turn the oven off. You may then get an anxious feeling that may prompt you to rush to the kitchen to check on the oven. In this case, the worry you felt could’ve prevented a serious house fire.

That still falls within the normal range of anxiety. Anxiety is normal if it occurs at an intermittent rate and as a reaction to certain events.

For the same reason, excessive worrying can already be a sign of problem anxiety. That’s because the feelings of apprehension have become chronic or even irrational. Ultimately, these can interfere with life functions and even daily activities of life.

An example of incessant worry is if you spend most of your time worrying about the safety of your loved ones. This can be a sign of problem anxiety if you keep worrying even if you know your loved ones are out of harm’s way.

If your constant feelings of uneasiness already affect your daily life, you may have AD.

In that case, it’s best to consider seeing an anxiety therapist as soon as possible. Your therapist may recommend treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Either way, the most important thing is not to delay seeking counseling.

Panic Attacks

Panic disorder is a type of AD that affects about 2% to 3% of the US population in any given year. Some of its most common symptoms are recurring panic attacks.

A panic attack can make a person experience intense feelings of fear. The sensations can be so overwhelming they can cause debilitation.

Such extreme fear can induce a rapid heart rate, shaking, chest tightness, and sweating. People who get a panic attack may also feel like they’re losing control or even dying.

If you experience such events frequently, you may have panic disorder. It’s vital to seek therapy as soon as possible, as an untreated panic disorder can put you in a chronic state of fear. This can then increase your risk of developing other phobias, depression, or isolation.

Problems With Concentration

Many people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can experience problems concentrating. In fact, one study found this to be true for 90% of participants with GAD. Moreover, those with concentration issues said they couldn’t concentrate because they kept worrying.

Those findings suggest that GAD can be a causative factor behind concentration problems. What’s more, worrying about not being able to concentrate can exacerbate AD symptoms. From there, it can become a never-ending cycle of highly unpleasant sensations.

All those highlight how excessive worrying can harm the quality of your life. As such, if you find yourself unable to concentrate most of the time, it may be best to seek the help of a therapist.

Difficulty Sleeping

Excessive worrying can cause your nervous system to be active all the time. This can then make it harder to fall and stay asleep, resulting in poor sleep quality. Poor sleep quality, in turn, can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorder.

If you experience any of these signs, please don’t delay visiting a therapist. Aside from the health effects of incessant worry, you also need to address your sleep woes.

Keep in mind that sleep disorders can put you at a greater risk of developing chronic illnesses. For example, chronic lack of sleep can lead to an increased likelihood of heart disease. It can also heighten your risks of developing type 2 diabetes or depression.

Anxiousness or Fear of Being in a Social Setting

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) can cause a person to feel worried or fearful of being in a social situation. An estimated 7% of Americans, or 15 million people, have SAD.

For some people with SAD, the thought alone of being in a crowd can make them nauseous. Some may also feel anxious because of perceived or actual scrutiny from other people. Moreover, they may feel apprehensive about potential embarrassment in front of other people.

All those can then make a person with SAD avoid social situations. At the very least, this can affect their personal and professional life.

Over time, though, untreated SAD can increase a person’s risk of social isolation. Social isolation, in turn, can lead to a higher likelihood of other mental illnesses.

Now, please note that feeling uneasy in social settings is normal. This is especially true if you’re meeting people for the first time. However, if it occurs all the time, even when you’re meeting people you know, then it may be a sign of SAD.

Anxiety therapy can help you manage and better control your SAD symptoms.

Don’t Let AD Control Your Life: Seek the Help of a Therapist Today

Please remember that anxiety disorders are actual medical disorders. They aren’t only “in the head,” so sleeping on them won’t make them go away. Instead, coping with and managing them require professional treatment.

So, don’t let other people tell you otherwise. Rather, seek the help of a licensed therapist so that you can control your AD before it takes over your life.

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