There are many real theories as to why we are increasingly anxious, from a loss of free play for kids, nuclear families moving far away from each other diminishing our sense of community, technology replacing real communication, an overload of information- usually bad news and an aversion to dealing with negative emotions.
Dr. Oren Meyers of A+ Solutions agrees, “A major cause of anxiety (for children and adults alike) has to do with technology that is supposed to make our lives easier but does not necessarily do that. Even so, people increasingly expect more of themselves and more out of life, but with the future so uncertain, this creates a lot of stress.”
According to the ADAA, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, many do not seek treatment although anxiety disorders are highly treatable.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders. A+ Solutions, therapist, Brochie Weinberg, MS. LPCC defines them:
1. Separation Anxiety Disorder: Recurrent excessive stress when anticipating or experiencing separation from major attachment figures or home. It is also the persistent and excessive worry about losing major attachment figures or harm to them.
2. Selective Mutism: Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations in which there is an expectation for speaking (e.g. in classroom), despite speaking in other situations (e.g. with mom in classroom).
3. Specific Phobia: A person who has a specific phobia disorder experiences significant and persistent fear when in the presence of, or anticipating the presence of, the object of fear, which may be an object, place or situation.
4. Social Anxiety Disorder: Fear or anxiety specific to social settings, in which a person feels noticed, observed, or scrutinized. Typically the individual will fear that they will display their anxiety and experience social rejection. Social interaction will consistently provoke distress. Social interactions are either avoided, or painfully and reluctantly endured.
5. Panic Disorder: Recurrent unexpected panic attacks.
Common features of panic attacks include:
a. accelerated heart rate
b. chest pain
e. shortness of breath
f. choking sensation
g. nausea, dizziness or light-headedness
6. Agoraphobia: A person who has agoraphobia disorder experiences significant and persistent fear when in the presence of, or anticipating the presence of, at least two situations. These situations may include crowds, public places, public transportation, being outside of the home, open spaces, standing in line, being isolated and over-dependence.
7. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: This disorder is characterized by unwanted and obsessive thoughts that constantly plague individuals compelling them to perform repeated rituals or routines. These rituals can compromise the activities of daily living.
8. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The individual finds it difficult to control the worry. Symptoms include:
• Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge
• Being easily fatigued
• Difficulty concentrating
• Muscle tension
• Sleep disturbance
Over the next few weeks we will discuss more about Anxiety, its causes and treatment options.
Brochie Weinberg, MS, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Brochie Weinberg received her M.S. at NorthEastern University in School Counseling and her LPCC, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at John Caroll University . Brochie is a clinical counselor at A+ Solutions and provides individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults. She is also a school – based therapist at Yavne Junior High School where she provides individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, teacher training and faculty consultations. She runs social skills programs and creative workshops for preschool age children as well as adolescents on the topics of self esteem, handling emotions, friendship skills and study skills. Brochie works with children and adults with a variety of issues. In her personable approach, she draws from a wide range of theoretical orientations to creatively meet the needs of each client.