Anxiety

Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry that is difficult to control. It is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, and possible insomnia.

Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry that is difficult to control. It is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, and possible insomnia. Examples of situational anxiety include:

Health anxiety/hypochondriasis is the worry of having a serious but undiagnosed medical condition. CBT/DBT Associates offers short-term interventions focused on teaching and strengthening skills for coping with stress, anxiety, or pain associated with medical conditions and procedures as well as identifying and overcoming barriers to adherence with health care regimens. Presenting concerns frequently include: medication adherence, pill-swallowing, receiving injections and blood draws, bowel and bladder management, restricted diet, pain management, and adherence with exercise programs.

Performance anxiety or “stage fright” is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be brought about in a child by the requirement to perform in front of an audience. Such anxiety may precede or accompany participation in any activity involving public performance. In some people, the anxiety may be more pervasive and occur in many social environments. If this is the case, the anxiety may be better diagnosed as social anxiety disorder, or social phobia.

Social anxiety involves fear induced by social interactions and oftentimes involves the worry of being negatively judged. This extends beyond shyness or simple discomfort as those with social phobias tend to excessively worry about embarrassment and potentially offending others. Self-consciousness also plays a significant role in those who suffer from social anxiety.

Sports performance and competition anxiety often go hand-in-hand. The ability to cope with pressure and anxiety is an integral part of sports, whether among children, collegians, amateur adults, or elite athletes. A certain level of physical arousal is helpful in preparing us to perform. But being unable to regulate your anxiety prior to or during an athletic event can negatively impact your performance as well as your quality of life. Similarly, a certain amount of worry about how you will perform can be helpful in competition, but severe cognitive symptoms of anxiety such as negative thought patterns and expectations of failure can bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy: they can adversely effect your performance, causing you to perform worse in the end.

Test anxiety involves a combination of physiological hyperarousal, worry or dread about test-taking, and an avoidance of effective preparation which often interferes with normal learning and lowers test performance. It can result in extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort during and/or before taking a test. CBT/DBT Associates offers an individualized program for students on how to conquer test anxiety and perform to the best of your abilities. (NOTE: This is not a test prep course. We do not teach you how to pick the best answer on a multiple choice test, or what kind of material you should study. Instead, this program focuses on conquering the emotional component of test-taking anxiety which often interferes with effective performance.)

The primary goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety is to decrease excessive worry. In treatment, clients will learn to identify and modify beliefs about worry using cognitive restructuring strategies like questioning evidence and validity of worry, challenging appraisals about the uncontrollability of worry, and normalizing. Furthermore, clients will work to change their tendency to overestimate threat and learn coping skills (Wells, 1997). Because worry thoughts are future focused, people with chronic worry experience decreased contact with the present moment. For this reason, mindfulness, the skill of bringing one’s awareness to the present moment, is an important part of GAD treatment (Borkovec & Sharpless, 2004).

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Breaking Through Test Anxiety

With the school year now fully under way, teachers and professors are hitting their stride with course assignments and scheduling exams.  Whether an exam encompasses a few chapters of material in chemistry or is a mid-term based on half of your semester’s work in statistics, test anxiety can strike anyone!  Test anxiety involves a combination of physiological hyperarousal (racing heart, shortness of breath, feeling “antsy”), worry or dread about test-taking, and an avoidance of effective preparation, which often interferes with normal learning and lowers test performance…

Overcoming Adolescent Anxiety

The most comprehensive national survey data suggest that 32% of adolescents (ages 13-18) have an anxiety disorder1. Social anxiety, symptoms of which can be visible as early as age 5, accounts for nearly half of these diagnoses, with 12.1% of adolescents meeting criteria2. Why then, do we hear so little about adolescent anxiety and why can it be so difficult to find resources and treatment options, especially groups?…

Managing Health Anxiety in the midst of Coronavirus

With all of the news about flu season and coronavirus, it is easy to get swept up by fears of illness. Many people are cancelling travel, scheduling extra medical appointments, and wearing face masks to avoid catching the flu or coronavirus. While these behaviors can be helpful for some of us, they can also lead to becoming too fixated on health. Often, our health anxiety can convince us that we have a deadly disease or that we are more likely to catch an illness than statistics show. As a result, we may reduce our engagement in daily activities such as going to the gym or attending social events in fear of catching an illness. But, reducing the frequency of exercise and avoiding social gatherings and can negatively impact our quality of life.

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