Does Everyone Get Anxious or Is It Just Me?

Anxiety itself is a nervous emotional state that every single person you’ve ever met will experience at some point in their life. This is not to be confused with the type of anxiety for which you may want to consider seeking treatment.
This normal level of nervousness is both a natural and automatic response to situations:
  • That are unfamiliar (such as taking swing dancing lessons or driving for the first time)
  • That put some type of competency to the test (such as taking a test or starting a new job)
  • That subject us to the judgment of others (such as going on a first date or giving a presentation)
This low level of anxiety is universal and doesn’t affect your ability to participate in or enjoy certain activities, complete tasks of daily living, or pursue your goals. Meaning, if you want to become a lawyer, you will pursue that goal even though the first few times you have to argue a case in law school you may be a nervous wreck.
These reactions may cause you to feel nervous or tense, but the feelings aren’t severe enough to cause you to avoid the situation or cause you significant distress. These normal levels of nervousness are common for most people and don’t necessarily warrant treatment if they’re not interfering with your life. It’s important to note that the emotion of anxiety I’ve described here is quite different from clinical levels of anxiety that actually affect an individual’s ability to function as well as they’d like.
You may want to consider seeking treatment for your anxiety if:
  • You experience these feelings as more severe or intense, if they last longer, or if you experience them often or in many types of situations.
  • You are significantly bothered by these feelings.
  • You find yourself factoring in your feelings of anxiety when deciding whether or not to do something.
If any of these sound familiar, you may want to take a free online screening or speak with a mental health professional to determine exactly what’s going on. Rest assured, if you are experiencing clinical levels of anxiety, these types of concerns respond really well to cognitive behavioral therapy and can be treated in a relatively short time.
Anxiety treatment orlando

So What Type of Anxiety Warrants Treatment?

Clinical anxiety, in a nutshell, is simply persistent and extreme worry or fear. The experience of anxiety, regardless of the person or situation, always has 4 things in common:
  • Overestimating the likelihood that something awful will happen (i.e. I am 99% certain that something terrible will happen if I try to drive on the freeway.)
  • Overestimating how bad the outcome will be (i.e. I will probably be fired from my job and then my girlfriend will leave me all because I forgot to give my boss that message he got earlier.)
  • Underestimating the likelihood of others being available to help or provide support in the event of a negative outcome (i.e. I will drown if I try to go swimming in our pool and no one will be able to save me.)
  • Underestimating your ability to cope with the negative outcome (i.e. If I have to move before my lease is up, I will panic, not be able to find somewhere or afford somewhere, and end up homeless and living under a bridge.)
Many clients report experiencing this type of anxiety either in the form of anxious thoughts or worries (i.e. “My daughter is a half hour late coming home, she has probably gotten into a horrible accident somewhere”) or in the form of intrusive mental images (i.e. looking at the clock and realizing my daughter is late followed by immediately picturing her being pulled from a mangled car by rescue personnel). Both the thoughts and mental images are typically accompanied by the physical symptoms of anxiety such as tension, upset stomach, sweating, or shaking. Often times, when experiencing this level of anxiety, it can have a strong effect on your behavior, causing you to react as if the terrible outcome has already happened or to avoid situations that trigger these feelings.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing anxiety to the degree that it is affecting your ability to live the life you want, it is important to address these issues with the help of a trained mental health professional. Please contact us for more information on cognitive behavioral therapy and how it can help. If you’re interested in cognitive behavioral therapy in Orlando, or to make an appointment to begin treatment for anxiety, please give us a call at (407) 603-6132.

If you liked this post, share it: