Stressful situations are often accompanied by feelings of anxiety. Whether it’s related to money, a presentation, family troubles, a tough exam, or something else, we’ve all probably experienced these feelings at one point or another. Although anxiety often comes up in our lives during times of stress, it’s important to know when to seek help with anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States each year. Although anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., only 36.9 percent of those suffering from an anxiety disorder will receive treatment. Anxiety disorders are treatable, but the first step is knowing when you need to seek treatment.
Feelings of worry, stress, and anxiety are closely related and often used interchangeably, yet anxiety has the unique feature of being triggered by internal or perceived distress. Anxiety is characterized by a persistent feeling of dread or impending danger. Anxiety disorders, unlike occasional feelings of anxiousness, can worsen over time and interfere with daily activities such as work, relationships, and hobbies. Some common anxiety disorders include panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobia-related disorders. Symptoms of anxiety include excessive, often unwarranted worry (ruminating thoughts). Severe anxiety can also transition into physiological symptoms including shortness of breath, upset stomach, increased heart rate, chest tightness, trembling, and sweating. Some people even compare the feeling of severe anxiety to symptoms of a heart attack.
Anxiety is normally considered an issue if you can’t find ways to relax. So when should you seek professional help for your anxiety? If you encounter difficulty obtaining a sense of peace or calm even when making attempts to do so, it may be time to seek help. There are many different approaches to treating anxiety and the best approach depends on your perception of anxiety. Cognitive, feeling, and even hypnotherapy-based approaches are some of the most effective interventions. Medication can also be an effective measure for the treatment of anxiety. Regardless of treatment, the “cure” to anxiety is obtaining a sense of calm when needed.
Anxiety serves as a natural stimulant to our being; however, unaddressed, long-term anxiety exhausts the psyche, sometimes leading to additional symptoms and ailments including panic disorders and depression. In fact, those with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders, according to the ADAA.
“Everyone has anxiety to some degree,” said licensed clinical social worker and certified clinical trauma professional, Sherrard Marrow of TPMG Behavioral Health. It’s important to remember that anxiety is a normal experience for many people. There are ways to combat feelings of anxiety on your own. The next time you have anxious thoughts, consider challenging the probability of your worries and come up with a list of rational outcomes. Coming up with these scenarios in our heads will often decrease our stress or worry over a situation.
Identifying your anxiety is a huge step towards treatment. While it’s possible to take that step on your own, our team of dedicated mental health professionals at TPMG Behavioral Health can work with you to identify your anxiety and regain a sense of calm.
About Sherrard Marrow, LCSW, CCTP
Sherrard Marrow, LCSW, CCTP is a licensed clinical social worker with experience in mental health illnesses, substance abuse, and emotional disorders. As a behavioral therapist, Sherrard uses his varied experience to provide inpatient interdisciplinary treatment, crisis counseling, substance abuse counseling, and treat individuals suffering from trauma, anxiety, and depression. Through his knowledge of psychosocial functioning, he integrates therapeutic interventions using evidence-based practices. Sherrard primarily works with adolescents and adults and has a special interest in treating trauma and substance abuse cases.
Sherrard joined TPMG Behavioral Health in Newport News in 2021.