While fear is a realistic danger encountered in the world, anxiety is a conscious signal that you are about to face a situation that involves risk. If you live with anxiety that disrupts your life and regular activities, contact Jane Algus, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist in New York City practicing in Midtown West, Manhattan. Her extensive training and experience allow her to combine treatment modalities in a customized approach to help you learn to manage your anxious thoughts and behaviors. Call her office or schedule a consultation online today.
Whereas it’s normal to experience some anxiety, excessive anxiety, worry, or fear that interferes with your life is characterized as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety usually develops in relation to your internal psychological concerns. For example, everyday worries include health, loss, death, injury, shame and humiliation, aggressive or angry feelings, and conflicts over guilt.
Some common symptoms of anxiety include:
Anxiety can cause intense, unpleasant psychological states of apprehension such as feelings of terror, doom, or utter helplessness.
Common causes of anxiety include ongoing general stresses such as the pressures of work or family life, as well as stress from specific situations like job loss or moving. A personal history of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, neglect, or witnessing or being involved in a traumatizing event can also trigger anxiety.
Yes, anxiety manifests in several different ways, causing a variety of symptoms, thoughts, and behaviors.
Panic disorders are frequent, sudden anxiety attacks accompanied by the fear that one is dying or going crazy that can last from minutes to hours. Panic attacks are accompanied by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and more. As a result of repeated attacks, you may start to avoid situations that bring on the attacks.
Some people are occasionally shy, while others may fear public speaking. However, when casual everyday encounters with people result in fear of being consistently humiliated or negatively evaluated, it can lead to a pattern of avoidance and getting less out of life.
Concern for the future is reasonable. However, when your worries become intense and frequent, you can feel out of control and unable to engage in positive and meaningful activities. You may become restless, irritable, or have a hard time concentrating. Alternatively, rather than being relaxed and able to participate fully in the world, you become fatigued and irritable or engage in catastrophic thinking.
Phobias are the overwhelming unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Examples of phobias are fear of snakes, elevators, and heights or flying.
If you experience a traumatic event, such as an assault, witnessing or being a victim in an accident, suffering a life-threatening illness, or hearing of a loved one’s unexpected death, your risk of post-traumatic stress disorder increases. PTSD is characterized by avoidance, numbing, and hyperarousal symptoms.
PTSD symptoms include:
If you think that you have an anxiety disorder and may need of therapy, but you aren’t sure where to begin, call Jane Algus, M.D. or use online booking to schedule your initial consultation.