Feeling Anxious? Who Isn’t?

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Do you ever wake up in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep? Or maybe it’s a bit more realistic to ask, What time do you usually wake up in the middle of the night?

A woman sleeping uneasily

One source of that sleeplessness might be anxiety. And the effect of anxiety may be more than a need for a second cup of coffee after a night of tossing and turning. Writing for Healthline.com, Kristeen Cherney says “Living with chronic anxiety can cause physical stress on your body, especially to your nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and respiratory systems.”

Anxiety can and often does appear in the teen years, but there are many other correlating factors. Women are more likely than men to express a problem with anxiety, although this may also be attributable to women being more willing to discuss the issue. Also, people with another medical condition, especially a serious one, are more prone to anxiety. In general, says Cherney, anxiety disorders include:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, there does not seem to be a specific cause of GAD. People just seem to be worried about things, and GAD applies to people who maintain this state for six months or longer. On the plus side, if you want to look at this way. People with GAD can maintain a daily routine without many negative consequences. You’re just doing so feeling a bit stressed out.

Social anxiety disorder. This is undoubtedly a step up from GAD. According to Cherney, it “involves a paralyzing fear of social situations and of being judged or humiliated by others. This severe social phobia can leave one feeling ashamed and alone.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Generally, PTSD has a specific cause. A person has witnessed or undergone a traumatic event. There’s no easy way to overcome PTSD. If you believe you’re suffering from PTSD, please call us for a consultation.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). “People with OCD may feel overwhelmed with the desire to perform particular rituals over and over again,” says Cherney, “or experience intrusive or unwanted thoughts that can be distressing.” This is another issue that requires professional guidance to resolve. If you believe you have OCD symptoms, please call us for a consultation.

Phobias. These are regrettably common. They include, for example, a fear of heights or tight spaces. On the positive side, therapists have a proven record of helping people deal with and overcome phobias.

Our experience with people who suffer from phobias are only one example of how there is much hope for people who deal with anxiety. The key is to try and reflect on your own situation as objectively as possible. If an issue is disrupting your daily life, it’s time to reach out for help.

Read more about Cherney’s exploration of anxiety here.