Anxiety | Los Angeles Psychotherapist Dr. Bill Cloke


Anxiety can be defined as the misapprehension of a future event that is considered to be fearful. Anxiety may be described as the body’s response to the possibility of a 600 pound gorilla coming around the corner. Even though there is no gorilla the anticipation of something bad happening will trigger an anxiety. This condition may be experienced as:

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Choking
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Frozen with Fear

Anxiety may be stimulated by a specific event or felt as free floating. Anxiety is associated with feelings of dread, pessimism, fear of abandonment, loss, or rejection especially by a loved one. Anxiety may result from internal personal issues such as: feeling worthless, feeling unlovable, inadequacy, or weakness. Anxiety may be produced from a fear like being humiliated in front of others. Anxiety can stimulate panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Anxiety can be brought on by thoughts especially from an experience that has already occurred and might happen again. This kind of anxiety is anticipatory, as it is related to an event that is considered feared or anxiety producing, such as test taking, public speaking or performance.

Anxiety can be distinguished from worry because worry has a magical or protective component to it. “If I worry hard enough the plane will stay in the air and my child will be safe.”

Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is considered to be a problem when it persists up to six months or more. This type of anxiety is associated with specific life stressors such as relationships, health, finances, or performance. In order for there to be a diagnosis of anxiety disorder a person must have at least three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulties with sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness or being inappropriately tense

Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Fears

There is no specific age for the onset of anxiety. Anxiety is more common in females than males. Generalized Anxiety may be associated with specific fears such as:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of rejection or humiliation
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Fear or death
  • Fear over loss of health or illness

Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Getting Help

Anxiety does not just go away; it is a system that is built in and works on its own. Getting help is not a sign of weakness but an indication of your determination to resolve a difficult issue that is hard to see and understand. Anxiety can be very debilitating so gaining some mastery over it can have a tremendous effect on the quality of your life.Therapy may include:

  • Thought stopping
  • Re-attribution of a misapprehension of a future event
  • Recognition and reprocessing of negative thinking
  • Understanding anxiety and how it works in your system
  • Learning to take control of your life
  • Positive guided imagery
  • Supportive psychotherapy

Please feel free contact Dr Bill Cloke today with any questions

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