Generalized Anxiety

Paralyzed by fear? Generalized anxiety is a pervasive and persistent state of fear, worry and apprehension. It can be experienced as thoughts, emotions, or physical symptoms like stomachaches, headaches, perspiration or clamminess. Anxiety can be due to stress, life events, real or imagined threats to our well being, or can be an all-encompassing dread with no obvious causes. Anxiety can lead to avoidance of life and withdrawal, or facing the world, but with difficulty.

Pathological Doubting

Is your mind constantly worrying? Pathological doubting is usually classified with generalized anxiety, but it requires a different treatment. Pathological doubting also consists of worry and doubt, but unlike regular anxiety, the person's response to fear is not to avoid, but rather to think. The person is confronted with questions or doubts based on fear. And the person sets out to find answers to the doubts by thinking through decision trees in his/her mind. But the more they try to find answers, the more questions arrive. Their minds spend faster and faster until they end up in a state of exasperation. In the chronic state, pathological doubting can result in mental fatigue or depression.

Panic Attacks

Frequent Panic attacks? Panic attacks are acute physiological expressions of fear and anxiety. Panic is often not immediately recognized as such by the person experiencing them. Many people with panic may initially believe that they are experiencing a heart attack or stroke. It is only after a medical examination that they are refered for psychological help. Others experience panic as a fear of losing one's mind or losing control and being unable to escape. Each form of panic requires specific treatment interventions to interrupt. However, although panic attacks have more severe and acute symptoms than regular anxiety, they can typically be resolved relatively quickly.

Agoraphobia

Can't go out? Agoraphobia is Greek for fear of the marketplace. It is characterized by overwhelming fear that results in withdrawal from open spaces or specific locations. Agoraphobia can begin as panic attacks that occur with no obvious triggering events. The person attempts to prevent panic by avoiding anything that might trigger one. But since the original panic was not linked to an identifiable cue, the person ends up with generalized avoidance, sometimes even becoming homebound.

Specific Phobias

Afraid of creepy crawly things? Specific phobias are intense fears to specific things. People with specific phobias generally function well in their lives with the exception of their feared object/situation. The most common phobias include fear of snakes or spiders, fear of heights or fear of water. The fear of germs or contamination is also very common, and if untreated can become something more severe like OCD.

Separation Anxiety

Are you or your child too clingy? Separation anxiety is common in young children, but can also persist into adolescence or adulthood in severe cases. It is characterized by fear of being left alone or away from a primary cargiver. It can result in clinginess or even school refusal. In very young children, most separation anxiety resolves on its own, but if it persists or interferes with functioning, then treatment is warranted.

Fear of Judgment

Worry what others think? Fear of judgment has many forms. In some cases, fear of judgment can be readily detected as a fearful state. The person can become red faced, perspiring, and avoidant of situations where he or she is the focus of attention, especially criticism. It can also be expressed as excessive people pleasing. With this type, the person avoids criticism by never giving others anything to crticize. These people may not appear fearful, but rather pleasant and happy. In another variant, the person appears angry or hostile. But this is the end of a cycle, where the person starts out too nice, but ends up exploding after being pushed too far.