Panic attacks are the body's response to perceived stress and are marked by rapid heartbeat, rapid/shallow breathing, shakiness, nausea, and thoughts/fears of dying, going crazy or losing control. Panic disorder can emerge when there is excessive worry about having another panic attack or avoiding places for fear of having a panic attack. Therapy for panic attacks or disorder is highly effective.
About two-thirds of adults in the U.S. have experienced a traumatic event. A person is at risk for developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder when the natural recovery process is blocked. Symptoms of PTSD include unwanted thoughts, images, or memories of the traumatic event, nightmares, trouble sleeping, anger, negative beliefs about self/others/world, and attempts to avoid the reminders or memories of the trauma. Fortunately, there are therapy approaches which return the person on their natural path of recovery.
Generalized anxiety is a term used to describe chronic and excessive worry. The worry is difficult to control and the person may start avoiding important activities in order to control or prevent something bad from happening. The worry is about several topics: money, relationships, world affairs. Physical symptoms of stress are often present including sleep problems and muscle tension. CBT can provide valuable tools for managing worry and anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is marked by intrusive and unwanted thoughts or images which are linked with significant distress. Themes can include contamination, responsibility for harming others, perfectionism, or sexual thoughts. Compulsions are repetitive thoughts or actions that are attempts to neutralize the obsessive thoughts and decrease the emotional distress. Compulsions can cause serious interference due to time spent performing them. OCD is different than being a perfectionist or tidy. Exposure therapy is the gold-standard treatment for OCD.
Phobias are an overwhelming fear or aversion to a particular object, situation, animal, or insect. The fear is out of pr0portion to the actual danger posed by the object of fear. Phobias can cause significant impairment when attempts to avoid the feared object interferes with a person's ability to function at work or in relationships. Exposure therapy can work quickly and help people learn to overcome their fears.
Insomnia can occur when a person has difficulty falling or staying asleep for 3 or more nights per week for at least 3 months. If you find yourself awake for longer than an hour in the middle of the night or take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, you may benefit from further assessment. It is important to rule-out any medical issues such as sleep apnea. In an attempt to get more sleep, we can start engaging in behaviors that end up making the insomnia worse. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Insomnia can help to change these unhelpful sleep behaviors.
Major Depression is more than just feeling blue. Depressive episodes are marked by a persistently low mood, loss of interest or inability to feel pleasure in usual activities. Physical symptoms include low energy, poor appetite or overeating, & difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much. Negative thoughts and associated feelings of worthlessness are prominent. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy can help challenge these thoughts and change unhelpful behavior.
The pace of modern life can feel overwhelming at times. Stress can be experienced mentally (feelings of anxiety or helplessness) as well as physically (poor sleep, muscle tension, digestion issues). While we all experience stress, it may be time to seek therapy if you find that you're having difficulty fulfilling your obligations at work or home or can't seem to enjoy your life as you once had. Major life events, whether positive or negative (becoming a parent, job transitions, divorce) are times of increased stress. Therapy can be a valuable form of self-care during stressful times.