Welcome! If you have found this page, you or somebody you love may be experiencing anxiety and would like to learn more. Good news: anxiety is one of the most treatable mental health issues! While you may be feeling stuck with how to proceed with treatment or even wondering if this is what you are experiencing, let me share some of the common types of anxiety that I treat so you can better determine if you need assistance. Contact me at 785-477-9117 or AmandaPetrikLCPC@gmail.com for more information!
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is that general worrier, whose anxiety and racing thoughts may jump from worry to worry. Today you worry about your health, tomorrow you worry about your grades or if you will be fired, then your appearance and how you compare to others, then finances, then your family. These individuals have difficulty controlling the worry, so simply saying “relax” typically does not solve it. In addition to the worried thoughts, you may experience: sleep difficulties, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, poor concentration, and feeling on edge.
If this sounds familiar and you would like to schedule a consultation, we will gather background information, family history, symptoms, and your anxious thoughts. Let me help you ease those worries before it impacts relationships, school or work, or leads to additional mental health issues.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety is the fear or preoccupation with being scrutinized or judged in social situations, fear you will be embarrassed or mess up, or become anxious performing in front of others. Important to note is that those social situations almost always cause anxiety and are often avoided or endured with much displeasure. In children, this anxiety can look like crying, tantrums, clinging, freezing, or not speaking.
Social anxiety is becoming more prevalent in today’s world due to advances in technology. Many of our daily activities can be done while avoiding people; we can order and deliver our groceries to the door, do our shopping online, meetings via Skype, read a book on your phone instead of checking it out at the library. So when you are required to interact face-to-face with another or perform in front of a crowd, this can be quite nerve-racking. Our goal will be to relieve that anxiety and assist you in those tasks you want to achieve.
Specific phobias, such as that fear of heights, spiders, water, storms, needles, or airplanes, are actually the quickest to treat! A specific phobia is an intense anxiety around an object or situation, and is avoided or endured with much displeasure. Contact me if I can assist you with one of your phobias, especially if it is starting to interfere with your functioning or daily routine.
Illness Anxiety Disorder
Formerly called Hypochondriasis and often referred to as Health Anxiety, Illness Anxiety Disorder is the preoccupation or excessive worry about having or contracting an illness. This can cause compulsive checking of your symptoms online, scheduling multiple appointments with medical professionals, discounting what professionals have told you and seeking additional opinions, and asking for repeated exams or testing. For some though, the opposite is true; they may avoid appointments or revealing their symptoms in fear of what they will be told.
Illness Anxiety Disorder can cause debilitating anxiety as it causes racing thoughts, feeling on edge, difficulty sleeping, additional physical pains as you are overly cautious and aware of every pain, and lead to depressive symptoms.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder is more commonly seen in children, outside of what is considered developmentally appropriate, when he or she fears being separated from an attachment figure. The child or adolescent may worry that something bad will happen to that caregiver when they are gone (get hurt in an accident, never come back) or worry something bad will happen to themselves (be kidnapped, become ill). Due to these worries, he or she will try hard not to be separated from the caregiver, may not want to sleep alone, have difficulties separating to school or to a friend’s house, will not want to stay home alone, may have nightmares regarding separation, or show physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches when anxious.
To meet the criteria for panic disorder, you have experienced unexpected panic attacks, often without any predictable trigger beforehand and can occur as often as several times per day or as few as a couple per year. A panic attack lasts approximately 10-15 minutes, is defined as a period of intense fear, and consists of several symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sweating or chills, feeling weak or faint, racing heart, tingling or numbness, chest pains, feelings of choking, nausea, fear of dying, or feeling a loss of control.
The difference between experiencing panic attacks and having a diagnosis of panic disorder, is the worry that you will then have additional panic attacks in the future and making changes in your life in fear that you will have another. If you find yourself having such intense anxiety that you actually increase the number of panic attacks you are having, it may be time to seek treatment.
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