Do you tend to worry or panic about everyday life events more days than not?
Do you think, or have others commented, that this worry is excessive or unreasonable?
Is it difficult to manage this worry without it interfering with your daily life or the things you enjoy?
Have you had multiple episodes where you experienced a pounding heart, trembling, shortness of breath, and/or chills or hot flashes?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be among the millions of people who struggle with anxiety.
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, such as feeling anxious in response to a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. Anxiety is not inherently bad and we even need some anxiety to have an appropriate level of awareness and motivation. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, involve more than temporary worry or fear, and this anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Anxiety problems are the most common mental health concern in the U.S., affecting 18% of the population (National Institute of Mental Health). Anxiety is highly treatable; yet, only 1/3 of those suffering with anxiety receive treatment.
Therapy for anxiety is most effective when it is uniquely tailored for each individual client, which is a priority for Dr. Leavell. After getting to know you and your experience with anxiety, she uses cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a well-established, highly effective, and lasting treatment that focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns. Relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, exercise, and other creative coping skills may also become part of the treatment plan.
Specifically for use with phobias and obsessive-compulsive concerns, Dr. Leavell may utilize Exposure Therapy, which involves a process for reducing fear and anxiety responses. In therapy, a person is gradually exposed to a feared situation or object, and learn to become less sensitive over time. Recent concerns for which Dr. Leavell has successfully used exposure strategies include Emetophobia (fear of vomiting) and fears of being alone. Exposure techniques are also used in trauma recovery during which a client shares their traumatic stories and engages in coping and relaxation in order to reduce the intensity of emotions experienced when the stories are triggered or come to mind in every-day life.
If you have not tried therapy for your anxiety, consider contacting Dr. Leavell today to get information about her treatment and approach to improving the lives of people with anxiety.