What is Anxiety?
Do you (or a loved one) experience feelings of unease or panic? Is relaxation difficult for you, particularly in the evenings or before bed? Do your thoughts race, constantly coming back to the thing you dread?
These are a few examples of how anxious feelings manifest in everyday life. All of us have anxiety from time to time, especially while enduring the traffic in Los Angeles.
Anxiety can help to motivate us to take action, particularly when it means avoiding negative consequences. Getting to work on time and eating heathier are great examples. We rush to work and skip breakfast to avoid being fired or getting negatively reviewed. We eat healthy foods to avoid heart disease and weight gain. This pattern of avoidance actually
People often confuse fear and anxiety. Both are powerful emotions designed to energize your body to respond to a threat. Fear is an emotional response to an actual and present danger. For example, you would experience fear if you were in a car accident. Anxiety is an emotional response to an anticipated threat. For example, you might experience anxiety if you were thinking about being in a car wreck. Anxiety can also be triggered by threats that are not immediately apparent. This is very common with panic attacks, where the symptoms can sometimes emerge “out of the blue.”
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include (DSM-5):
- Racing thoughts
- Constant worry
- Avoiding certain settings (school, grocery stores)
- Pounding heart
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty falling asleep (insomnia)
- Worry about or feeling a loss of control
- And more
Anxiety is very real and potentially harmful.
Left untreated, symptoms of anxiety can become disordered. This leads to poor health outcomes, increased symptom severity, and increased risk for unemployment and social dysfunction (van Beljouw, Verhaak, Cuijpers, van Marwijk, & Penninx, 2010), even amongst highly trained medical professionals (Yelin, Mathias, Beusching, Rowland, Calcucin, & Fifer, 1996).
When does normal anxiety become disordered? Uncontrolled anxiety prevents people from living their lives to the fullest and achieving their goals. Anxiety disorders are incredibly common in the United States (Baxter, Scott, Vos, & Whiteford, 2013), and yet many people are unable to receive effective treatment.
Psychotherapy is the first line for the treatment for anxiety (Silverman, Pina, & Viswesvaran, 2008; Borkovec & Ruscio, 2001; Kendall, et al, 1997), although medication is also used for severe symptoms.
Do not let your anxiety rule your life. You have the power to change.
If you or a loved one suffer from any of these symptoms, I can help.
Treatment for Anxiety – Dr. Jaffe Can Help
Seeking therapy is the most important first step in managing anxiety. I am confident that we can work together to help you overcome your anxiety and live your life to the fullest.
I use a multi-method, eclectic approach to treatment of anxiety symptoms. I draw from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help people manage anxious thoughts and feelings. CBT is one of the most effective treatment options for people with anxiety (Otto, Smits, & Reese, 2004).
We start with the informed consent process and discuss confidentiality. I then conduct a simple intake interview, where we talk about your life’s story. Your journey is important to my process as a therapist, as I want to understand your life in context. From there, therapy is based on your goals and desired outcome. For anxiety, we might begin by managing your symptoms.
Therapy will help you learn critical skills for managing symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- Square breathing
- Alternative thought processes
- Positive reframing
- And much more
Over time, we will work to get to “the root” of the anxious symptoms. As anxiety is often based in avoidance, we will work together to identify (and change) behaviors that enable anxious feelings. We will also explore triggers of anxiety, and work towards desensitization – which means triggers no longer spark anxious feelings.
As we continue to meet, you will notice significant changes in your feelings of anxiety. No longer will your worries keep you from doing the things you want to do.
I believe that, with the right support, you have the power to free yourself from your anxiety. I want to help you make that change.
Interested in Therapy Services?
If you are interested in therapy services, please contact me as soon as possible.
I would love to hear from you, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is never too late to get help.
Schedule your first appointment today, and give wellness a try!
Read About Dr. Jaffe
Want to learn more about me?
Click on About Me to learn more about my credentials and specialties.
My clinic is based in Encino, California, but I also work with people from all over the area, including Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks, San Fernando, Inglewood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, and beyond!
Want to Learn More?
Interested in learning more about therapy and mental health? Check out the tabs above, or click on the links below:
Baxter, A. J., Scott, K. M., Vos, T., & Whiteford, H. A. (2013). Global prevalence of anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-regression. Psychological medicine, 43(5), 897-910.
Borkovec, T. D., & Ruscio, A. M. (2001). Psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Kendall, P. C., Flannery-Schroeder, E., Panichelli-Mindel, S. M., Southam-Gerow, M., Henin, A., & Warman, M. (1997). Therapy for youths with anxiety disorders: A second randomized clincal trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 65(3), 366.
Otto, M. W., Smits, J. A., & Reese, H. E. (2004). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 65, 34-41.
Silverman, W. K., Pina, A. A., & Viswesvaran, C. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for phobic and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 105-130.
van Beljouw, I. M., Verhaak, P. F., Cuijpers, P., van Marwijk, H. W., & Penninx, B. W. (2010). The course of untreated anxiety and depression, and determinants of poor one-year outcome: a one-year cohort study. BMC psychiatry, 10(1), 86.
Yelin, E., Mathias, S. D., Buesching, D. P., Rowland, C., Calucin, R. Q., & Fifer, S. (1996). The impact on employment of an intervention to increase recognition of previously untreated anxiety among primary care physicians. Social Science & Medicine, 42(7), 1069-1075.