Some anxiety is normal and even helpful (like when you are studying for a test), but when your anxious feelings begin to impact your everyday life and relationships, it might be time to consider help from a mental health professional.
At Move Forward, we regularly work with clients struggling with anxiety. Our licensed counselors offer online therapy services (telehealth) to residents in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Williamsport, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Gettysburg, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Anxiety can show up in many ways—from phobias and social anxiety to full-blown panic attacks. It can be difficult to know whether what you are experiencing is “normal” or has crossed the line into an anxiety disorder.
When deciding whether to receive therapy for your anxiety, there are a few signs that indicate a more urgent need to seek help.
1.) You are worrying all the time.
We all experience anxiety at some point in our lives—from the jitters we get before a job interview or a first date to a fear of public speaking. When occasional anxiety becomes more frequent and forceful it is time to consider counseling services.
Being plagued by persistent anxious thoughts constitutes excessive worry which can be so overwhelming that it interferes with your ability to do daily tasks. For example, you are so concerned about making a mistake at work that you are calling in sick, or fear of getting into a car accident is making it so you don’t travel to the grocery store. Or maybe you are always thinking about what would happen if your child got sick or injured, or your anxiety over large groups is causing you to withdraw from friends.
2.) You are having physical symptoms.
Even though anxiety stems from your brain, oftentimes it is manifested in physical symptoms—like stomach aches, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, appetite changes, teeth grinding, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, muscle tension, nausea, and insomnia, to name a few.
All those anxious feelings you are wrestling with need a place to go and sometimes that place is your digestive tract. The more you learn about your anxiety and how to control your anxious feelings the more you will understand the mind-body connection and take actions to feel your best.
At Move Forward, we help our Pennsylvania clients to recognize how unhelpful thought patterns impact behaviors. We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help clients change those thought patterns so they can feel better both mentally and physically.
3.) You are having panic attacks.
Panic attacks can be scary. Often sufferers will mistake them for heart attacks (if you are unsure, please consult your doctor). Your pulse quickens, your chest gets tight, it feels hard to breathe, you start sweating profusely, and you might feel dizzy. A panic attack is a physical response to anxiety. They might be triggered by something on the news or an overwhelming feeling that is boiling over inside. You might have a panic attack before getting in front of a crowd or taking a test. You might have one because you feel like you have too much to do and no time to get it done.
There is a solution. You don’t have to worry that panic attacks are a normal part of your life. Learning relaxation techniques and other tools from a licensed therapist can help you better control the thoughts that are causing your panic attacks.
Anxiety can keep you from living a happy, joyful, fulfilling life but it doesn’t have to. There are a variety of proven techniques that can help get you back to feeling your best and enjoying all the moments of your life.
Online Therapy Can Help
Online therapy has a lot of benefits and can be a valuable resource on your road to healing. All you need is a quiet, comfortable space, and a working internet connection. Online therapy offers flexible hours, less risk of exposure to illness, and it saves on travel time.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Our professionally-trained and licensed counselors have openings. Just call our office at 717-462-7003×1 and speak to our administrative assistant to get started to feeling better. Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life. You can get the tailored help you need right now. We are here for you.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.