How to Know When to Seek Therapy for Anxiety

February 8, 2024

Heightened anxiety is incredibly common in the US, and many people have struggled with it so persistently that they may not fully recognize its damaging effects or what a healthy, anxiety-free life could look like. In writing this blog my hope is that it will help people better recognize how they are being impacted by their anxiety, and what might signal that it is time to seek out therapy for anxiety.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. While occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, it becomes a concern when it is constant or disproportionately intense compared to the situation at hand. Described below are some of the most common symptoms that indicate it could be beneficial to seek out an anxiety therapist:

  • Persistent Worry or Fear: We all worry sometimes, but If you find yourself constantly worrying about a variety of topics, events, or activities to the extent that it interferes with your concentration and ability to complete routine tasks, it might be time to seek therapy for anxiety.
  • Physical Symptoms: Anxiety is not just a psychological issue; it manifests physically as well. Symptoms such as persistent restlessness, fatigue, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances can all signal a need for anxiety therapy.
  • Avoidance Behavior: When anxiety leads you to avoid people, places, or situations to prevent feelings of fear or panic, it can limit your life experiences and personal growth, signaling the need for therapeutic intervention.
  • Impact on Life Quality: If your anxiety is affecting your performance at work, your relationships, or your overall ability to pursue life goals, anxiety therapy can offer strategies to overcome these struggles.
  • Unmanageable Stress: Sometimes, anxiety is a reaction to unmanageable stress. If you feel overwhelmed by the demands of life and unable to cope, an anxiety therapist can help you develop better coping mechanisms.
  • Reliance on Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Turning to alcohol, drugs, or other numbing behaviors as a way to self-medicate your anxiety is a flag that professional support is needed.
  • Symptoms of Depression: Left untreated, anxiety can consume a lot of a person’s mental energy and create persistent suffering. Over time a natural consequence of this can be symptoms of depression such as lack of motivation, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, altered eating and sleeping habits, and feelings of hopelessness. Therapy for anxiety combined with therapy for depression can reverse these pernicious effects.
  • Feelings of Mistrust and Alienation: Anxiety can often be the product of traumatic experience, and when trauma is the root cause of anxiety, it often exists alongside general feelings of mistrust and a sense of social isolation. These types of experiences signal that anxiety therapy, as well as specialized therapies for trauma such as EMDR may be necessary to help restore a person’s sense of emotional safety and connection.

Find An Anxiety Therapist to Restore Balance

Recognizing the signs that it’s time to seek therapy for anxiety is the first step towards gaining control of one’s life and living in peace. It’s important to remember that seeking help is a sign of courage, and with the right support it is possible to significantly reduce anxiety and improve your quality of life. If you are struggling with anxiety, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to a professional to help get on the road to recovery. Not sure where to begin? This blog post can help you determine steps you can take to find the right anxiety therapist in DC.

Want to know more about how I might be able to help you with your anxiety? Getting started is as easy as booking a free consultation.