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Therapy And Counseling For NYC

What is Anxiety?

It is normal to feel anxious from time to time. Stressful situations, such as deadlines, tests, social obligations, fearful experiences can make us feel nervous and scared. However, there is a level of anxiety that is needed for survival because it helps us to be more alert and attentive to possible challenging or threatening situations.


Some of us experience extreme fear and worry that does not subside which becomes increasingly constant or even chronic. The frequency and intensity of anxiety we feel can become overwhelming and may interfere with our daily functioning. This usually is a sign of anxiety disorder.


There are many forms of anxiety which can include Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobias and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The symptoms for each of these anxiety disorders vary but can include overwhelming fears and debilitating dread. Typically, anxiety disorders will affect all aspects of a person's life and that is why some seek the help of a licensed anxiety therapist in NYC.


What Are The Major Kinds Of Anxiety Disorders?


There are several major kinds of Anxiety Disorders. The most common is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is characterized by incessant worry about different things like health, money, kids and a sense of impending doom. Untreated, Generalized Anxiety may evolve into a Panic Disorder which involves sudden, intense and unprovoked feelings of terror and dread.


Panic attacks are common with Generalized Anxiety and are often mistaken for a heart attack or some serious medical issue which can lead to Emergency Room visits for an evaluation. More often than not, an ER visit will result in being sent home with a prescription for anti-anxiety medications and referral for treatment. Those suffering from Panic disorder, are chronically scared by possibility of the next attack, which tends to cause future attacks. This turns into a vicious cycle of constant fear.


The exact causes of anxiety disorders are still unknown. In some cases, there may be genetic predispositions to anxiety, however, often times anxiety seems to be directly related to events in a person's life.


Treatment For Anxiety


It is critically important to seek treatment for anxiety. If left untreated, anxiety can become a chronic condition which can impair day to day functioning and ability to perform normal activities. For example, if a panic disorder is untreated, those suffering from recurring panic attacks will be likely to avoid any situation which they may think will be likely to trigger the attacks. Such avoidance can interfere with job and family responsibilities as well as general quality of life.


The effective treatments for anxiety disorders are Cognitive/Behavioral Therapies, EMDR, dynamic therapies as well as medication management. In many cases, the symptoms of anxiety will subside relatively quickly after a few months of treatment.


In sessions with clients who suffer from anxiety, we start with understanding biological, interpersonal and situational causes and roots of presenting symptoms as well as explore coping strategies for managing particular symptoms that are being experienced. When appropriate a referral for medication will be made.


When To Seek Treatment And Counseling For Anxiety:


Knowing when to seek treatment is important for those suffering from any type of anxiety disorder. If you find you are having any of the following, it is time to seek treatment or therapy for anxiety:

  • Persistent fears
  • Negative thinking involving catastrophic situations
  • Panic attacks
  • Increasing avoidance of more and more situations for the fear of triggering panic or other anxiety symptoms
  • Visits to Emergency Room with heart palpitations / fear of heart attack

Contact A Licensed Therapist Today!


If you feel anxious or having panic episodes, contact Irina Firstein, LCSW, a licensed anxiety therapist in New York City. She has over 25 years of experience providing individual therapy for anxiety, depression, trauma, substance addiction as well as other issues concerning relationships and personal life.


Call (212) 953-1388 or email irinafirstein@aol.com to set up an appointment today!

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