Anxiety, Panic and Stress

Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples  of different types of anxiety disorder include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, the first person you should see is your family doctor. A physician can determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to an anxiety disorder, another medical condition, or both. If an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, the next step is usually seeing a mental health professional.

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring panic attacks, causing a series of intense episodes of extreme anxiety during panic attacks. It may also include significant behavioral changes lasting at least a month and of ongoing worry about the implications or concern about having other attacks. A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms: Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate. Sweating. Trembling or shaking. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Talking with a trusted friend or member of the clergy can also provide support, but it is not a substitute for care from a mental health professional. Psychotherapy can be very useful in relieving the pressures brought about by stresses from work, home or interpersonal relationships. Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may also have a calming effect.

Please feel free to contact me with any
specific questions  or concerns you
may have or to discuss ways I can help.

Sallie Norquist, PhD

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