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Anxiety Explained: Overview on Important Facts to Know About Symptoms & Treatment

On the first day of school, my 6 year old son decided that he just wasn’t going this year. Sure, he came up with a plethora of reasons: he felt sick, he was tired, he would go another day, school bores him, and so forth. Now, in a past decade, before his mother became a therapist, I might have bribed him, pleaded with him, and finally threatened his very existence. However, having a mother that is a counselor is wonderful if, for nothing more, I understood. I was looking at anxiety straight in the face behind the biggest watery blue eyes I had ever seen. My heart ached for him, and, well, I got it.

Anxiety can mean many things: Stress, fear, tension, worry, panic, or phobia. There are numerous symptoms that fall under the many descriptions of anxiety and more often than not, no two anxiety cases are alike. Anxiety can affect individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds, with onset of symptoms occurring at any time from early childhood, older adulthood, or any time in between.

At Pathways Counseling Services, a Scottsdale counseling office, we treat adults and children of all ages struggling with various anxiety disorders. Our anxiety counseling services are the most advanced. We tailor your anxiety treatment to your specific concerns, needs, and level of comfort. Our counselors understand that coping with anxiety can be a scary and stressful experience and we will be here to serve as your guide and support throughout your journey towards recovery and renewed health. Below we will provide you with some information about how you can identify anxiety and the accompanying symptoms and some of the treatment options available because, yes, there are treatments that can help you cope with anxiety or alleviate your symptoms altogether. We want you to get back to being you and we look forward to helping you through this process.

What does anxiety look and feel like?

Anxiety symptoms include thoughts, emotions, feelings, and even physical sensations that you can feel all over your body. The “mental” or “thought-related” symptoms of anxiety include worrying (about one thing or many things), fears (that make you avoid people, places, things, or situations), or scary thoughts (feeling as if bad things will happen to you).

The “physical” symptoms of anxiety include rapid heartbeat, sweating, stomachaches, getting startled easily, headaches, tingling of the fingers or hands, numbness, dizziness, feeling choked up or having difficulty speaking, trembling/shaking, nausea, and weakness in the arms or legs. The list is long because everyone experiences the physical sensations caused by anxiety in different ways, but anxiety is very much an experience that can affect the physical body. Think of it as a way that your body let’s you know that something’s not right and you need to ask for help, take a break, and take care of yourself. Anxiety symptoms can last all day or for days at a time, or they can occur intensely for short periods of time, such as when a person has a panic attack.

Whether symptoms are mental, physical, or both, anxiety can be debilitating and affect a person’s ability to work, socialize, take care of themselves and their home, go to school, and overall prevent a person from enjoying their life. It can also take a toll on one’s relationships, marriage, and family life.

Treatment for Anxiety: One Size Does Not Fit All

There are several treatments available to treat anxiety and our highly trained counselors will walk you through the most effective treatments for anxiety. Our therapists in our Scottsdale counseling office will spend time talking to you about your options so that you can both agree on the treatment that’s right for you. Whether it be Exposure Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or another type of treatment we will walk through it with you hand in hand.

There are many approaches that we have to offer at our Scottsdale counseling office to help you cope with anxiety. There is a solution for your anxiety and you don’t have to confront it alone. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our top rated counselors specializing in anxiety disorders, or even if you have questions about anxiety, EMDR, or our various treatment approaches, contact us and we will be glad to guide you through the stages of overcoming your anxiety.