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By Katie Bailey, MA, LPC

Some stress and anxiety are a part of life. In my last blog post, I talked about ways you can work to lower your anxiety on your own. For many people, working with a therapist who specializes in anxiety is necessary to bring lasting improvement. How do you know if you need to seek anxiety treatment with an experienced therapist? Here are ten signs to consider.

1. Worry takes up too much time of your day and impacts your ability to make decisions. If you can’t stop the snowball of fearful thoughts, and so you lose significant time out of your day, anxiety therapy can help you. If those worries seem to hold you captive to the point you can’t even make decisions, it’s time to seek professional help.

2. You are skipping out on fun things you used to enjoy. You love to travel, but passed on the last weekend away with friends because you were afraid to fly. Maybe you stayed home from a night out because you were worried about driving. If you are changing your normal activities out of fear, its time consult an anxiety therapist.

3. Exhaustion is everyday life. If your worry and anxiety is uncontrollable and makes you feel exhausted all the time, you need to get help. Your stress is impacting your sleep and therefore effecting your daily functioning. When you aren’t sleeping well, that feeds the cycle of anxiety and only takes you further down the worry spiral.

4. You are isolating yourself, or fear being alone. Either of these situations is a sign you could need anxiety therapy. If you cut yourself off from others, and just want to hide out in your house, you need to see that as a red flag. On the flip side, if you are scared to be alone, and always need someone with you, you need to ask yourself why. Are you worried that if something happens to you, no one would be there to help? This fear is common with people who have anxiety disorders and anxiety treatment can help you tame those fears.

5. Planning daily activities to avoid certain situations is an indicator you need professional help. For example, if you avoid taking the elevator at work, or can’t go to the grocery store because of the line of people – your anxiety is controlling you. An experienced counselor can help you learn how to manage your anxiety better, rather than your anxiety controlling your life.

6. Panic attacks. Panic attacks are terrifying. This is a sudden onset of intense anxiety that could include rapid heart rate, “pins and needles” feeling, dizziness, sweating, and a fear that you are dying. Usually after a panic attack, the anxiety is worse, because you are understandably fearing another panic attack. If this is your experience, please find a qualified anxiety therapist to help you. You don’t have to live terrified of when the next panic attack will come.

7. Anxiety has lasted more than a few days. We all have some stress in life. If you’re moving, having a new baby, changing jobs, a close relative or friend is sick – all of these things have a normal amount of anxiety attached to them. These things also pass. If your anxiety lasts more than a few days, you should consider anxiety treatment. There’s no shame in asking for help. We all need help sometimes.

8. Physical symptoms. If you have physical symptoms of anxiety that don’t subside, anxiety therapy can help you. Constant muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders, rapid heart rate, sweating, chest pain, sleep problems, dizziness – all of these are signs to which you need to pay attention. Go see your doctor to rule out any other physical concerns. If your doctor confirms your symptoms are due to anxiety, make an appointment with an experienced therapist.

9. Anxiety is impacting your relationships. Do you need constant reassurance that your partner loves you? Do you worry about what your friends are doing – without you? Do these fears put tension in your relationships? Don’t let anxiety ruin your relationships with people that matter the most to you.

10. Catastrophic thinking. Are you always expecting the worst? You have a headache, so it must be a tumor. Your spouse is late coming home, so they must be dead in a car accident. Your kid has a fever, so it must be leukemia. If you jump to these catastrophic conclusions without having any concrete reason to do so, you need to seek anxiety therapy. You aren’t meant to live in a regular state of fear. Our world is a scary place, and sometimes those things do happen. You need help learning to live in the present moment, and not fearing things that have not yet happened. This is a hard process, and most people need the help of an anxiety counselor to learn how to squash those awful thoughts when they pop up.

Start Anxiety Counseling in Montgomery County, PA

At Lime Tree Counseling, our team specializes in anxiety treatment. We can help you gain new perspective on what is causing you stress and help you learn new skills to manage those feelings so they don’t control your life. Start your healing journey today and contact us to schedule an appointment.

Often times anxiety becomes overwhelming after a traumatic event. Our therapists also offer PTSD & Trauma Therapy. We can work with you on both recovering from your overwhelming event and reducing your anxiety symptoms. Contact us today and we will get you scheduled with one of our trauma specialists.