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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When Is It Time For Anxiety Treatment? 20 Questions

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

When is it time for anxiety treatment? In other words, what are some basic areas to help you determine when you've got a problem that requires specialized anxiety counseling?

I've thrown together a basic list that covers most anxiety disorders.

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, it is time for anxiety treatment:

1.) Are your thoughts often focused on sensations in your body?

2.) Are you often concerned about your anxiety?

3.) Are the topics you worry about repetitive?

4.) Are you avoiding objects, places, events or situations due to your anxiety?

5.) Does your anxiety interfere with your relationships?

6.) Are people in your life making special accommodations for you based on your anxiety?

7.) Do you have panic attacks or panic when you approach your fear?

8.) Do you have unwanted thoughts that you cannot seem to stop?

9.) Does your anxiety effect your work or ability to focus at work?

10.) Is your anxiety presenting a barrier to achieving your goals?

11.) Do you often feel agitated?

12.) Are you often struck by scary, irrational or inappropriate thoughts or caught up in "what if . . ."?

13.) Do you perform rituals that make no sense, but you do them anyway to reduce anxiety?

14.) Do you have difficulty with sleeping?

15.) Has anyone suggested you seek therapy or counseling for your anxiety?

16.) Do you worry intensely about future events or plans long before they arrive?

17.) Do you think you have a "phobia" that interferes with your life?

18.) Have you ever suspected that you have an anxiety disorder?

19.) Do you prefer to stay at home or travel only in a "safe" distance around your area?

20.) Have symptoms increased over time or are they limiting your freedom in any way?

How many of these questions have you answered "Yes" to?

Although this is not an exhaustive list or one that leads to a diagnosis, these are common issues that cross most anxiety disorders that I treat at my center weekly.

Know that you can reduce your anxiety and decrease your suffering. It just takes motivation and a commitment to yourself to finally face that which has caused you to struggle.

So, one last question to ask yourself:

Is it time for anxiety treatment?


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