What is anxiety?

All of us feel anxiety at various times in our lives. Some of the reasons we may feel anxious are when we feel out of control of a situation, have to make a very important decision, change our lives in major ways, have to present ourselves in new ways, or have experienced a trauma.

What are some of the symptoms of anxiety?

  • Excessive worrying
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling edgy
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Having an unrealistic view of your problems
  • Loss of appetite

It’s time to seek help for anxiety when you feel out of control of and can’t get a handle on the above symptoms.

Panic Attacks

Some people may experience panic attacks. A panic attack is when you have sudden and intense fear that seems to come out of nowhere. They are, indeed, very scary. Some people feel like they may be having a heart attack, dying, unable to breathe, going “crazy”, out of control and as if the fear will never go away. The thing to remember is that a panic attack will not harm you, will not cause you to do anything you don’t want to do, and will always go away.

Some symptoms of a panic attack are:

  • Feeling as if your heart is beating out of your chest
  • Breathing very shallowly and quickly
  • Chest pain
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of being out of control
  • Chills or feeling sweaty
  • Trembling
  • Trouble swallowing

Treating Panic Attacks – Experience Matters

Experiencing any or all the symptoms above a few times in a lifetime is perfectly normal. If, however, you have these episodes with some regularity, it’s time to seek help. Panic attacks are actually very easy to work with and you should feel relief after only a handful of therapy sessions. It’s very important that the therapist you see has experience in treating panic attacks and you must ask about his/her training in this area as it is a specialty in which not all therapists have been trained. I was trained at one of the best psychiatric hospitals in the country in working with panic attacks and anxiety.

I am one of Psychology Today’s Expert bloggers. For some do-it-yourself help on managing panic attacks, read my article, “R.I.D.E. the Wave of Panic” on the Psychology Today website.