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Anxiety: What Exactly Is It? And How Can I Get Rid of It?

Anxiety is quite common these days. In fact, it's so common that it is the most common mental health illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, ages 18 and older ( One thing I aim to do with clients that face anxious symptoms is to normalize these symptoms. You're probably wondering what symptoms necessitate an anxiety disorder? One of the most common anxiety disorders is Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. According to the DSM, which us Therapists equate this to the "Purple Bible," Generalized Anxiety Disorder is described as follows:

A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of different events or activities (such as work or school performance).

B. The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.

C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms having been present for more days than not for the past 6 months):

  1. Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.

  2. Being easily fatigued.

  3. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.

  4. Irritability.

  5. Muscle tension.

  6. Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).

D. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

E. The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition.

F. The disturbance is not better explained by another mental disorder.

As you can see, we all have traits, which is why it so common, and why it's even more important to normalize its very existence! Having anxiety doesn't make anyone defected. It simply means that we have a roadmap to overcome what's at the core of the worry and no longer be impacted in a negative way. Being engaged in therapy is a step in the right direction. Your Therapist can work with you to determine goals and objectives to realistically address your anxiety symptoms and learning just how much you are capable of!

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