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When is it time to get an anxiety therapist?

January 18, 2024

Most people you know will experience anxiety at some point of their lives, if not a small amount of anxiety each day. Anxiety is a normal part of being human – we get nervous or curious about the outcome of something, we have fears or questions about ambiguous situations, we get that little pit in our stomach when something isn’t working out how we expected it to, etc. While occasional feelings of anxiety are a normal part of life, there are times when seeking professional help for anxiety is necessary. Here are some signs that indicate you may benefit from working with a mental health professional:

1. Persistent and Excessive Worry

If you find yourself constantly worrying, experiencing excessive or unrealistic fears, and struggling to control your anxious thoughts for an extended period, it may indicate a need for professional help. It may be hard for you to tell if what you are experiencing is “excessive” or “unrealistic” – it doesn’t hurt to talk to a professional about this as well, just to get an idea of how you can improve your experience even in small ways.

2. Impact on Daily Life

When anxiety starts interfering with your daily activities, such as work or school performance, relationships, social interactions, or overall functioning, it is essential to seek professional support. We want you to be able to enjoy your life, and while negative emotions are of course a part of that, we don’t want them to hold you back from doing things you need and love to do.

3. Physical Symptoms

Anxiety can manifest in so many ways, and can vary from person to person. These can include, but are not limited to, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, muscle tension, or insomnia. If these physical symptoms become frequent or significantly impact your well-being, talking to a therapist can help. 

4. Avoidance Behavior

If you consistently avoid situations, places, or activities because they trigger intense anxiety or panic, it may be a sign that your anxiety is becoming unmanageable. While it is normal to set boundaries and be strategic about situations you put yourself in, longer term avoidance behavior can restrict your life and limit your opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

5. Impact on Mental Health

Anxiety can contribute to or worsen other mental health conditions, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have a pre-existing mental health condition that is being exacerbated by anxiety or if you notice new symptoms emerging, seeking professional help is important.

6. Significant Distress

If anxiety is causing you significant emotional distress, leading to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or despair, it is crucial to reach out to a professional. They can provide support, guidance, and appropriate interventions to help alleviate your distress.

7. Lack of Coping Strategies

If you find that your usual coping mechanisms, such as self-help techniques or relaxation strategies, are insufficient in managing your anxiety, or only help some of the time, talking to a trusted professional can help you learn new tools and strategies that are specific to your needs to help maximize your ability to self soothe. 

8. Impact on Relationships

Anxiety can strain relationships with family, friends, or romantic partners. If your anxiety is causing conflicts, isolation, or an inability to maintain healthy connections, know that talking about this with a therapist can help you gain some perspective on how your anxiety plays a role in the health of your connections.

Seeking professional help does not mean you are weak or incapable. It signifies a willingness to prioritize your mental well-being and seek the support and guidance needed to manage anxiety effectively. A mental health professional can provide a proper diagnosis, develop a personalized treatment plan, and support you on your journey towards better mental health. Most importantly, addressing anxiety can help you get one step closer to living your best life.

Other Therapy Services Offered in Manhattan, Brooklyn, & Throughout New York

We offer a diverse range of individual counseling services and couples therapy. Our dedicated therapists can help with stress management, symptoms of depression, self-esteem challenges, and college student counseling. Additionally, we specialize in offering support for postpartum depression and anxiety, addressing body image concerns, and navigating the unique challenges faced by women, among other aspects. If you need support reach out to connect with a therapist.

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