“When you are feeling anxious, it is not a sign that you are weak and inadequate. It is a sign that you are challenging yourself to grow and become the person you were meant to be.”
I specialize in therapy for anxiety and anxiety-based disorders. See descriptions below for some common forms of anxiety-based disorders. If any of these sound familiar to you or if you are wondering whether you may have an anxiety-related problem, give me a call, and I will be happy to discuss this with you.
Although my main specialty is therapy for anxiety, I also have training and experience working with a wide array of concerns, including depression and other mood disorders, substance abuse, loss/grief, and geriatric psychology. I am also happy to provide support and guidance for people who are simply seeking to enhance personal growth and self-care or who just want to talk through their daily life stress each week.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
GAD is characterized by chronic and overwhelming worry about everyday life events and stressors, such as work/school performance, minor matters (e.g., being on time, getting things done), and the future/uncertainty. The chronic worry leads to physical symptoms, such as chronic muscle tension, restlessness, and fatigue.
Social Anxiety Disorder:
People with social anxiety disorder struggle with high anxiety about potential rejection and/or negative evaluation from others. People with social anxiety disorder may also experience feelings of shame, embarrassment, and humiliation in social situations that lead to physical symptoms (e.g., blushing, trembling) and avoidance of important or meaningful social activities (e.g., attending work meetings, classes, parties). The social anxiety may occur across a wide variety of social situations or be limited to a few specific situations (e.g., public speaking, talking to people in authority).
Panic disorder is characterized by frequent and intense panic attacks. Panic attacks are brief, isolated episodes of intense fear accompanied by a sudden rush of physical symptoms (e.g., racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pain/tightness). The panic attacks are experienced as being so intense that they are often misperceived as heart attacks. Although the panic attacks may be connected to specific triggers (e.g., crowds, stressful events), people with panic disorder also experience “out of the blue” panic attacks that seem to have no trigger. Some people with panic attacks may begin to avoid a variety of life settings and situations (e.g., stores, movie theaters, exercising) out of concern that they will experience a panic attack and have great difficulty escaping, a condition we call Agoraphobia.
Specific phobia is characterized by intense, irrational fear and avoidance of specific objects or situations, such as insects, flying, driving, enclosed spaces, or needles/blood.
Illness Anxiety Disorder (Health Anxiety or Hypochondriasis)
People with illness anxiety disorder experience frequent and high anxiety about having a serious health condition. The amount of anxiety is often out of proportion to the actual likelihood that one has a medical problem. For example, someone with illness anxiety disorder might be persistently concerned about having heart disease or cancer, even after receiving a clean bill of health from multiple doctors or despite having a healthy family history. People with illness anxiety disorder often misperceive or over-interpret benign physical symptoms as harmful or life threatening. They also may make frequent and unnecessary visits to the doctor other health professionals.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety-based disorder characterized by unwanted, distressing thoughts (i.e., obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors or thoughts aimed at reducing the distress caused by obsessions (i.e., compulsions). Examples of obsessions include thoughts of contamination/germs, thoughts of harming others, doubting that a task was performed “just right,” and thoughts against one’s morals/values/religion (e.g., sexual thoughts, blasphemous thoughts). Examples of compulsions include washing hands/body, cleaning, ordering, checking, praying, making things symmetrical, and repeating numbers, letters, songs, or phrases.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is an anxiety-based disorder characterized by 4 types of struggles (see below) related to one or more traumatic experiences (e.g., domestic violence, war, sexual assault, vehicle accident) and lasting more than at least one month.
Re-Experiencing the Trauma. This may occur via unwanted thoughts or memories of the trauma, flashbacks, nightmares/disturbing dreams about the trauma, and/or re-experiencing emotional and physical feelings related to the trauma.
Avoidance of Trauma Reminders. This includes avoiding external reminders of the trauma (e.g., people, places, and things) and/or internal reminders of the trauma (e.g., one’s own thoughts and feelings about the trauma).
Anxious Arousal. This includes high anxiety and/or panic attacks, hyper-vigilance (e.g., constantly being on guard or alert to potential danger), strong startle responses, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and/or difficulty sleeping.
Negative Alterations in Thinking Patterns and Mood. This includes a tendency to experience strong emotions, such as anxiety, anger, shame, guilt, depression. This also includes adopting more negative or pessimistic thinking patterns or beliefs about one’s self (e.g., self-worth, self-esteem), other people (e.g., “people can’t be trusted”), and/or the world (e.g., “the world is an unsafe place”).
The Anxiety Counseling Clinic, P.L.L.C.
1902 Common St., Ste. 300B, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
Copyright © 2019, Tannah Chase, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.