Anxiety Treatment

Online therapy for anxiety produces similar and sometimes better results with the added convenience of counseling from home or the office in Illinois, Colorado, and Michigan.

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Anxiety Overview

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear about something that might happen in the future. Anxiety is feeling worried about what can happen when you're facing a stressful situation, like a negotiation or a job interview. It's a normal response to stress or uncertainty, but if it becomes too intense or frequent, it can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. Anxiety can become overwhelming and disrupt everyday living.

People with anxiety may experience physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, or feeling shaky, as well as mental symptoms like racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, or feeling like you're in danger. It can lead to excessive worry, difficulty concentrating, and avoidance of certain situations or activities. It can be treated by therapy for anxiety, medication, or a combination of both, and there are also self-help strategies that can help manage and reduce symptoms.

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What does anxiety feel like?

Anxiety can feel like a lot of worry or fear about something that hasn't happened yet or might not happen at all. It can make you feel like you're constantly on edge, restless or tense. You might feel like your heart is racing or pounding, and you could be breathing heavily or sweating. It's like there's a knot in your stomach, and you might find it hard to focus or concentrate on anything else. You might also have negative thoughts that won't go away, and you might feel like you can't control them. It's not a pleasant feeling, and it can make it hard to enjoy life.

Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue. It can make you feel irritable, and you might have trouble sleeping or experience sleep disturbances. Anxiety can affect your appetite, causing you to either overeat or not eat enough, and it can make you feel nauseous or dizzy. It can make you feel like you want to avoid certain situations or people, which can interfere with your daily activities and relationships.

Sometimes anxiety can be triggered by a specific event or situation, such as public speaking, flying, or meeting new people. Some experience severe anxiety after giving birth. Other times, it can be more generalized, and you might not even know what's causing it. It's important to note that anxiety is a normal and common human emotion, and it can be managed with different strategies such as exercise, meditation, therapy, and medication. It's essential to seek professional help if anxiety is interfering with your daily life and functioning. Here at Virtual Therapy Clinic we provide convenient access to our experts who utilize specialized approaches like EMDR.

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This is when you feel anxious and worried most of the time about different aspects of your life, like your work, health, or relationships. You might feel restless or irritable, have trouble sleeping or concentrating, and experience physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches, or stomach problems.

This type of anxiety is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a variety of things, including work, health, finances, and relationships. People with GAD may find it difficult to control their worry and may experience physical symptoms such as muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a type of anxiety that arises when a person is in a situation where they are being evaluated or judged by others. This can occur in various settings, including work, school, sports, and public speaking. People who experience performance anxiety may feel excessively worried about their ability to perform well, and may feel physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, nausea, and rapid heartbeat.

Performance anxiety can be particularly challenging for individuals who work in high-pressure environments, such as executives, athletes, musicians, or performers. The fear of failure or negative evaluation can lead to a negative feedback loop, where the anxiety itself interferes with performance and reinforces the belief that one is inadequate or not capable.

Social Anxiety Disorder

This is when you feel extremely anxious and self-conscious in social situations, such as parties or public speaking. You might worry about being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated, and may avoid these situations altogether.

This type of anxiety is characterized by intense fear or anxiety in social situations, which can lead to avoidance of those situations. People with social anxiety disorder may worry about being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated, and may experience physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling, and rapid heartbeat.

Panic Disorder

This is when you have sudden and intense panic attacks that can happen out of nowhere or in response to a specific trigger, like being in a crowded place or driving. Panic attacks can feel like a sudden surge of fear or impending doom, accompanied by physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, or trembling.

This type of anxiety is characterized by sudden and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense periods of fear or discomfort accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, sweating, trembling, and a feeling of choking or suffocating. Panic attacks can be unpredictable and can cause significant distress and impairment.

Specific Phobias

This is when you have an intense fear and avoidance of a specific object, situation, or activity, such as heights, spiders, or flying. This fear can interfere with your daily life and cause significant distress.

This type of anxiety is characterized by intense and irrational fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. Common phobias include fear of heights, spiders, snakes, flying, and enclosed spaces. People with specific phobias may avoid the feared object or situation, or endure it with intense fear or anxiety.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This is when you have persistent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety, and engage in repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety. OCD can center around themes like contamination, symmetry, or harm.

This type of anxiety is characterized by persistent and intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses (obsessions), which are followed by repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) aimed at reducing the anxiety caused by the obsessions. Common obsessions include contamination, symmetry, harm, and doubts. Common compulsions include washing, checking, counting, and arranging. OCD can be time-consuming and interfere with daily activities.

Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs after childbirth. It is estimated that up to 10% of new mothers may experience postpartum anxiety. Symptoms of postpartum anxiety can include excessive worry or fear, difficulty sleeping or eating, racing thoughts, physical symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath, and avoidance of certain situations or activities. Postpartum anxiety can interfere with a mother's ability to care for herself and her baby, and can have negative effects on her relationships and overall well-being.

There are several risk factors that can contribute to the development of postpartum anxiety, including a history of anxiety or depression, stressful life events, lack of social support, and a difficult childbirth experience. Treatment for postpartum anxiety can include therapy, medication, and self-care strategies such as exercise, mindfulness, and stress reduction techniques. It is important for new mothers to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms of postpartum anxiety, as early intervention can improve outcomes and prevent more serious mental health issues from developing.

Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety can be treated through various methods, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the individual's needs. Some common treatment options for anxiety include:

  • Therapy: Therapy can be an effective way to manage anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety. Other types of therapy, such as exposure therapy, can help individuals face their fears and learn coping skills
  • Medication: Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants can be prescribed by a healthcare professional to manage anxiety symptoms. However, medication should always be used under the guidance of a medical professional and can have side effects

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  • Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage anxiety by reducing physical tension and promoting relaxation
  • Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep, can help reduce anxiety
  • Self-care: Practicing self-care can help reduce anxiety, such as taking time for yourself, engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy, and spending time with loved ones

It's important to seek professional help if anxiety is affecting your daily life or functioning. A healthcare professional can work with you to develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs.

EMDR Treatment for Anxiety

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that can be used to treat anxiety disorders, specifically those that are related to traumatic experiences. It was originally developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but has since been used to treat other anxiety disorders.

During an EMDR session, the individual is asked to recall a traumatic event while focusing on a specific external stimulus, such as eye movements, sounds, or taps. The external stimulus is believed to help the individual process the traumatic memory and reduce its emotional impact.

The therapist guides the individual through a series of eye movements or other external stimuli, while the individual recalls the traumatic event. The eye movements may be horizontal or vertical and last for several seconds at a time. After each set of eye movements, the individual is asked to report on any thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations that arise.

Over time, EMDR therapy can help the individual process the traumatic memory and reduce the distress associated with it. This can lead to a reduction in anxiety symptoms and an overall improvement in mental health.

It's important to note that EMDR therapy should only be performed by a licensed mental health professional who has been specifically trained in this technique. EMDR is not appropriate for everyone and may not be effective for all individuals. A healthcare professional can help determine if EMDR therapy is a good fit for your individual needs.

Final Thoughts on Therapy for Anxiety

If you're struggling with anxiety and would like to explore virtual treatment options, we encourage you to take the first step and reach out to our mental health professionals today. Don't wait - book an appointment now and take control of your mental health journey. Not sure which options are best for you, book a free consultation with our New Client Coordinator Specialist.

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We provide online therapy services throughout the state of Illinois. This includes the cities of Chicago, Springfield, Rockford, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet, Elgin, Peoria, Champaign, Waukegan, and beyond. Please reach out if you have any questions about location and our ability to serve you via remote, telehealth and online counseling services