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  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Solutions

What is Anxiety?

It's normal to feel anxious sometimes. Think about that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling before giving a presentation, playing in the state championship, or having a difficult conversation: normal. But anxiety disorders are more pervasive than occasional nerves.


Anxiety disorders fall into several categories, which identify specific facets of anxiety. Commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders include:

  • Social Anxiety -- anxiety of social interaction

  • Separation Anxiety -- anxiety about being away from one's parents or family

  • School Avoidance -- anxiety brought on by specific school environment(s)

  • Generalized Anxiety -- anxiety caused by numerous or unspecified factors

  • Panic Disorder/Somatic Symptom Disorder -- anxiety characterized primarily by physical symptoms

  • Specific Phobias or Fears


What does anxiety feel like?

Anxiety generally presents as intense fear or worry. Your mind may race with thoughts, or you may worry about the past, future, and other things you cannot control.


Anxiety may also present with physical symptoms, such as:

  • sweating

  • shaking

  • dizziness

  • difficulty breathing

  • headaches

  • stomachaches

How do I know if I have anxiety or if my child has anxiety?

You may have an anxiety disorder if you constantly feel nervous or on edge, if you frequently worry, and if these thoughts or feelings disrupt your daily life.


How do I address my or my child's anxiety?

Therapy is a great place to begin addressing anxiety. Therapeutic strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can help you understand your personal patterns of anxiety and how to change them. Read more about CBT here.


Medication may also help regulate anxiety symptoms and stabilize your mood. The most commonly prescribed anxiety medications are classified as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs. These medications work to increase your brain's concentration of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood, happiness, and overall feelings of well-being.


For more information or to schedule an appointment for therapy or medication, call our office at 724-799-8558.


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