What is anxiety?

We all experience anxiety; some of us more than others. The thing that determines the level of anxiety you feel is how real you think the danger is. Humans and animals evolved with an amygdala, a part of the brain that dictates the anxiety response, to keep us safe. When the danger has passed, animals return to their baseline anxiety level. Humans on the other had have the gift of language, which can keep the danger in our minds or hours or days after the danger has passed.

Did you know?

Anxiety disorders affect approximately one in five adults in the U.S. Although the condition is treatable, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that only one out of three people with anxiety disorders seek professional help. Depression is also a common mental illness, affecting about 17 million people in the U.S. More people suffering from depression seek professional treatment than people with anxiety do, although the percentage of people affected is still only barely over half.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get professional treatment for my anxiety or depression?

Yes. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder or depression, you should see a professional therapist. These conditions can strike anyone of any age, and may present with physical symptoms like chest tightening, heart palpitations, insomnia and loss of appetite, or with internal feelings of overwhelming fear, helplessness, hopelessness, and even thoughts of suicide. Left untreated, these symptoms can worsen and become increasingly dangerous over time.

What should I expect during therapy for depression or anxiety?

Your therapy will be customized to fit your personal needs. You’ll be encouraged to avoid isolation and communicate your feelings in a safe and trusting environment. The goal of therapy is to help you learn to regain and maintain control of your life in a constructive and fulfilling way. You’ll learn to identify the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as ways of managing them before they have an opportunity to progress and worsen.

What should I expect during therapy for depression or anxiety?

Once you have finished therapy, you’ll need to keep in mind that anxiety and depressive disorders can recur in the future. Use the tools you learn in therapy to keep identifying the symptoms of these disorders and get help as soon as they start. You may find it helpful to find a support group to help you overcome anxiety or depression on a day-to-day basis.

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