Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about something with an uncertain outcome or even in the absence of a stressor. Anxiety is a normal emotion and a common human experience. Not only can it serve to motivate us, it can also protect us from harmful or unpleasant consequences (e.g. failing an exam due to lack of preparation or placing ourselves in an unsafe situation).
However, when the ways in which we learn to manage anxiety become either maladaptive or problematic which can lead to the development of an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder involves more than temporary fear or worry. Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of intense and persistent fear or worry, that is non-normative for the context, and results in impairment in relational and occupational areas of functioning.
Anxiety disorders are not uncommon. The prevalence of anxiety disorders is on the rise. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “An estimated 264 million people worldwide have an anxiety disorder.”
When struggling to manage anxiety effectively it is important to seek out a therapist who specializes in evidence-based strategies, such a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Response Prevention Therapy to help you learn to cope effectively with anxiety.
How Can an Anxiety Therapist Help You?
If you are struggling with anxiety consider seeing an anxiety counselor near you.
Many people with anxiety use psychotherapy to manage their condition. Some forms of psychotherapy that have been proven to alleviate anxiety symptoms include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Response Prevention Therapy.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the client is taught ways to restructure thinking patterns that foster anxiety, problem solve, and engage in effective action steps to improve mood and manage anxiety in the long term. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been thoroughly researched and proven to be effective in treating anxiety.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is one of the most researched and effective treatments for anxiety-related disorders. ERP is based on the premise that by facing the fear (exposure) you will learn that you can handle the discomfort without engaging in the unhelpful coping strategies (response prevention) such as reassurance seeking, over-informing oneself, rumination, and avoidance. Through ERP, you learn strategies for reducing these unhelpful coping mechanisms that can often take many hours out of your day.
Working with a therapist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety can help equip you with the tools to learn how to manage and cope with symptoms of anxiety so that you can live your life accorinding to your values and goals without impairment from anxiety.
The OCD & Anxiety Center is committed to patient-centered care. We will design a customized treatment plan that focuses on meeting your behavioral health needs. To make an appointment with the best anxiety counselor in Orland Park, call (630) 522-3124.
Dr. Maha Zayed is a psychologist and owner of The OCD & Anxiety Center. The Center is located in two suburbs outside of Chicago. She has devoted her career to specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy for anxiety, OCD, and anxiety-related disorders. She is comfortable working with children and adults and is able to provide treatment both in the office and outside of the office, wherever anxiety happens.