A normal amount of stress and daily disruptions can cause symptoms of anxiety, but it becomes a disorder when the excessive symptoms make it difficult to function on a normal level. If someone is experiencing chronic and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear that are unattached to any obvious source, they should make an appointment with a licensed health professional. If these feelings are left alone and manifest into Anxiety Disorder, they will eventually cause severe mental and physical health problems such as cardiac disturbances, dizziness, and digestive problems.
Participating in therapy with a licensed professional brings awareness to the important role that someone’s thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors play in determining how to feel and behave. In some cases, medication in conjunction with therapy is necessary.
Types of Anxiety Disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition in which someone exaggerates any feelings of fear, worry, and tension, whether there was an incident to provoke them or not.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is described as having repetitive behaviors, compulsions, or thoughts that are often performed with the hope of preventing them or making them go away.
- Panic Disorder is characterized as having feelings of severe and intense fear while suffering from physical symptoms such as a fear of dying, difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, or abdominal distress. Known as a panic attack, most are very unexpected and frightening.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common after someone is exposed to a terrifying or life-threatening event. Although there are numerous events that cause PTSD to develop, some include surviving a violent personal assault, natural or human-caused disaster, severe accident, military combat, or when someone’s life is put in grave physical harm or threatened.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) is caused by feelings of extreme anxiety because they fear being judged by others or behaving in a way that causes embarrassment or ridicule. This disorder is triggered by excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder often dread events where they will be surrounded by people and sometimes suffer from physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations, sweating, heavy breathing, and feeling faint.
Michaela Bucchianeri, PhD, LP
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
I love this question because I believe it possesses a sort of magical property. In an instant, it shakes loose all the constraints and assumptions about how things must be, and invites you to pause and consider how they might be.
What might your life be like if you weren't consumed with fear, worry, or shame?
What might your life be like if your time and energy were available for the people and interests that truly lit you up?
What might your life be like tomorrow if you took one small (but bold) step today?
Questions like this create a sense of urgency. They stir up emotion. They spark action.
Therapy isn’t so different. If you’re living with anxiety or body image and eating concerns, know this: Those sensitivities and insecurities that keep you feeling stuck? They’re strengths and resilience in disguise. When your energy is finally freed up to use how you wish, there will be no stopping you.
Therapy works best when the latest, tested tools are shared between a client ready for change and a therapist who knows and understands what that feels like.
It’s a bit like walking the Myers-Briggs line between Thinking and Feeling. And you’re not walking alone.
Thoughts + feelings.
Brain + heart.
They don’t always agree. So, if right now both are telling you to take the next step, it might be time to listen.Education:
- PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Notre Dame
- Postdoctoral residency in Eating Disorder Treatment, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
- Postdoctoral fellowships in Eating Disorders Research & Child/Adolescent Primary Care, University of Minnesota
Clinical experience in hospital, community mental health, and university counseling settingsSpecialties:
- Body image/weight concerns
- Career changes/discernment
- Chronic pain
- Disordered eating assessment/referral
- Emotional eating/binge-eating
- Health behavior change
- Life transitions
- Postpartum anxiety/adjustment
- Self-care/stress management
- Work-life harmony