Anxiety is one of the most common mental health challenges in the US. Over 20% of adults are impacted by some form of anxiety. Anxiety can show up as fear, worry, or even panic. Physical symptoms such as racing heart, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of anxiety. Left untreated anxiety disorders can significantly diminish one’s quality of life.
Sources of Anxiety
The sources of anxiety are rooted in genetics, one’s view of the world, and your history of social nurturing. A history of trauma can have a major impact on the presentation of anxiety. Another important area of inquiry for anxiety is called ‘locus of control.’ How much control do you perceive that you have in regards to you life events? Life is fragile and uncertain. When your locus of control relies too much on external events you will be more susceptible to anxiety.
CBT is the most common treatment for anxiety. Yet there are other approaches including psychodynamic, biofeedback, neurofeedback, Gestalt, and existential therapy. Referrals for medication may also be necessary. A comprehensive intake is the first step towards treating anxiety. Some key intake questions include:
- What stressors are in your life?
- What is your history of anxiety and panic attacks?
- What is your history of medication and other drug use?
- What are your greatest fears?
- What is the duration and severity of your symptoms?
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James
We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell
Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions. – Pema Chodron