I hear people using the word “anxiety” loosely, and I wonder if they truly have a clinical diagnosis of a type of Anxiety There are several types of anxiety such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Acute Stress Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Specific Phobias and Agoraphobia. How about we just focus on Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD for now. Let’s define what is the specified criteria for this mental health disorder.

Anxiety is typically the common name for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a collection of symptoms occurring simultaneously, over a period of at least 6 months (persistent and excessive worry). People with GAD find it difficult to control the worry, and the person’s worry is associated with 3 or more of the following six symptoms:

a. Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge

b. Being easily fatigued

c. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

d. Irritability

e. Muscle tension

f. Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)

The anxiety, worry or physical symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (drug abuse, medications, etc.) or a general medical condition (hyperthyroidism), and does not occur during another mental illness, such as depression, psychosis or as a result of having autism or developmental delays.

Do you worry excessively? Do you have trouble falling asleep, feel keyed up most of the time, or have muscle tension due to your worries? Perhaps you have GAD. Do you have panic attacks, or specific phobias? No matter what type of Anxiety you may have, I can help you.

I have many types of interventions and therapies that have been shown to be helpful to hundreds of people. For example, I can use cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which we challenge your automatic negative thoughts by training the brain to question the logic of those worries. I can use relaxation techniques, which incorporate the use of guided visualization, to help your brain to picture the outcome you desire. I can use exposure and response prevention, which helps people to reduce their reactions to their experiences of anxiety, by increasing the healthy and appropriate coping skills to use during an anxiety-producing situation. I can teach good sleep hygiene, which helps people fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you would like some help with anxiety, please give me a call today to schedule an appointment. I would love to serve you in this way.

Faith Gallup, LCSW

anxiety resources

helpful websites

  • TroubledWith: Stress
    Excellent collection of resources on dealing with anxiety disorders, as well as when and how to seek treatment.
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
    National, non-profit membership organization dedicated to informing the public, healthcare professionals and legislators about anxiety disorders, promote the early diagnosis, treatment and cure of anxiety disorders, and improve the lives of the people who suffer from them.
  • Freedom From Fear
    National not-for-profit mental health advocacy association developed to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support.