Anxiety Therapy in NYC

Anxiety is one of the most common conditions we treat at Behavioral Health of NY

What Is Anxiety?

Most of us experience anxiety from time to time.  It’s a natural reaction to common stressors such as work pressure, relationship conflicts, or financial concerns.  Some people seek therapy to manage their anxiety to common everyday stressors, while others seek treatment for worry and fear that lasts for long periods of time.  Yet others have anxiety that’s so intense it affects their daily functioning. At Behavioral Health of New York we treat anxiety with evidence-based therapy backed by scientific research.

 

what is anxiety

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

People with GAD have excessive worry and anxiety about everyday things in life, such as work, family, health, school, or finances. The worry can be constant and dominant over other thoughts and feelings.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People with OCD may experience recurrent unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors, like handwashing, counting, or cleaning. Often, people with OCD turn to repetitive behaviors as an effort to ease or mitigate their anxiety, but these compulsions typically end up reinforcing the unwanted thoughts instead.

Social Anxiety

People with social anxiety may experience overwhelming anxiety before, during, or after interactions with others. They are typically afraid of being embarrassed or judged by others. At times they may avoid social interactions, such as canceling a date at the last minute, staying home from a holiday party, or avoiding an important meeting with a co-worker. 

Phobias

Phobias are anxiety disorders focusing on a specific object, situation, or event. People with phobias typically use avoidance to protect themselves from the object of their anxiety, but avoidance often ends up making their anxiety worse over time.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops in the wake of a severe trauma. Although often correlated with the stress and anxiety of soldiers after war, PTSD can affect anyone who has suffered a trauma, including everyday citizens who have suffered from abuse, domestic violence, health crises, accidents, and other tragedies.

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder may experience episodes of intense fear and anxiety often accompanied by extreme physical reactions, such as chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling restless, tense, or on-edge
  • Sweating, trembling, heart palpitations 
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Trouble controlling thoughts of worry 
  • Having the urge to avoid the things that cause your anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Muscle tension

Therapy for Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used therapies for anxiety. CBT helps people with excessive worry identify and diffuse unhelpful thought patterns, and gain behavioral strategies to reduce anxiety.

 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

In ACT for anxiety, a person is encouraged to let go of the struggle to control unwanted thoughts while focusing on the present moment. It aims to influence the relationship that the person has with the unwanted thoughts through the use of cognitive defusion, mindfulness, and other techniques.

Exposure & Response Therapy (ERP)

In exposure and response therapy, a person is intentionally exposed to the situations, thoughts, or images that create anxiety for them. The process works by gradually exposing the person to what causes anxiety while preventing the anxiety response.

 

Therapy for Anxiety

What Causes Anxiety?

Contributing Factors

It’s important to note that there is no definitive known cause of anxiety. However, there are some factors that can contribute to the development of anxiety or an anxiety disorder. These include:

  • Family History: Anxiety tends to run in families. While there is some evidence for a genetic predisposition, it’s not totally clear how much is inherited versus learned. Growing up with anxious parents, one can certainly learn to be fearful or worrisome as an adult.
  • Trauma: People who experience or witness trauma, especially during childhood, may be more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.
  • Health condition or serious illness: The stress or worry about one’s medical treatment or future of their illness can significantly contribute to anxiety.
  • Personality: People with certain personality characteristics tend to have higher levels of anxiety. Some of these include perfectionism, overthinking, social inhibition, avoidant personality, self-consciousness, introversion, and difficulty tolerating uncertainty.
  • Drug or alcohol use: Frequent or excessive drug or alcohol use has been correlated with an increased risk for anxiety.
  • Other mental health disorders: People who have been diagnosed with another mental health disorder, such as depression or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety versus those who haven’t been diagnosed with another condition.

Common Triggers

For some people anxiety comes on without any cause, warning, or precipitating events. For others, some common triggers are:

  • Work Stress
  • Relationship Conflicts
  • Social Events/Dating
  • Conflict with co-workers or superiors
  • Career Change
  • Public Speaking
  • Health Concerns
  • Financial Stress
  • Divorce
  • Life Transition
Common risks
AnxietyGirl6

Examples of Anxiety

  • Even though you’re the top employee on your team, you always assume that you’re about to be fired whenever your boss requests a meeting with you.
  • You’ve been looking forward to an important event (e.g., a friend’s wedding, your child’s graduation), but at the last minute, you feel so afraid of being in a crowd that you stay home instead.
  • When you feel moments of pure joy, you start immediately worrying about what terrible thing is going to happen in your life to “take it away” or “balance things out.”
  • You frequently, and in great detail, imagine the unexpected deaths of your loved ones and how you would react or what steps you would have to take to survive.
  • When you leave home, you often have to double back to check that certain appliances are turned off or unplugged.

When to Seek Help

You may want to seek help from a trained mental health professional when you experience some of the following signs:

  • Your anxiety is negatively interfering with your daily life or preventing you from engaging in everyday activities.
  • You can’t seem to shut off your thoughts that something bad is going to happen.
  • You worry so much that you’re exhausted all the time.
  • You are regularly having panic attacks.
  • You have been experiencing anxiety for more than a few days or weeks.
  • Your anxiety is impacting your physical health.
  • Benefits of Anxiety Therapy

    Therapy for anxiety is different for everyone. However, common benefits include:

    • Uncovering what’s causing your fears and worries
    • Improving your relationships with family and friends
    • Adopting healthier lifestyle behaviors
    • Reducing stress
    • Developing better problem-solving and coping skills
    Benefits of therapy

    Feel Better with BHNY

    If anxiety is affecting your life, our clinicians are here to help.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Therapy Is Best for Anxiety?

    CBT is one of the most effective forms of therapy for anxiety. Different forms of CBT may be used for specific types of anxiety. For example, ERP is often the recommended therapy for phobias.

    How Often Should You Go to Therapy for Anxiety?

    Therapy for anxiety often occurs on a weekly basis, but you and your therapist will determine the right schedule for you.

    Do I Have Anxiety?

    The only way to be certain that you have an anxiety disorder is to receive a diagnosis from a mental health professional. If you suspect that you may be experiencing anxiety, contact Behavioral Health of New York today.