All posts by Dr. Andrew Rosen

Holiday Stress And Anxiety – Tips to Help You Cope

As the holiday season approaches, the stress level increases for everyone. There is so much pressure associated with this time of joy: pressure to get the right gifts, to shop among the harried crowds, to attend the vast variety of festivities. Nearly everyone goes through some form of holiday stress and anxiety, but for people who already suffer from anxiety disorders, the festive season can be nearly unbearable.

If you find yourself becoming sick at the idea of attending the first holiday party, it would be wise to seek the aid of a mental health professional to address your anxiety concerns. They can help you find appropriate relief from your fears through specialized therapy. In the meantime, however, the following tips will help you work through this joyous, but stress-filled time:

  • Get specific about your concerns and work toward solutions. If you’re worried about money, suggest a gift exchange instead of traditional gift-giving. If the holiday shopping crowds stress you out, complete your shopping online.
  • Ask for help. If you’re worried about hosting dinner for your entire family, ask each member to bring a dish. If you’re concerned you won’t get the correct gifts, ask for suggestions.
  • Let go of that perfect holiday image. Things never go exactly as planned. If you expect everything to be perfect you are bound to be disappointed and your anxiety will shoot off the charts. Set realistic expectations and you’ll enjoy the holidays much more.
  • Treat yourself well. Pamper yourself and allow yourself to indulge. Work up a sweat through ice skating or other exercise. Physical exertion is a great aid in reducing stress at any time.
  • Be choosy about the social engagements you attend. It’s not necessary to participate in all of them and it’s perfectly all right to attend only the parties with the people you’re most comfortable with.
  • If you have lost a loved one – find a way to remember them. It may as simple as playing the person’s favorite music or visiting his or her grave (make sure to bring along family or friends who can help you cope).

Often, the holiday season brings joy but also holiday stress and anxiety. But with a little planning you can enjoy the season along with everyone else. For more information or for help in dealing with holiday stress and anxiety, call Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida. They specialize in helping those who fear the holidays. Take the first step by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

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Health Anxiety Disorder

Across the country, millions of people are plagued by a persistent fear that they are suffering, or will suffer, from a disease or other serious medical condition. This is known as health anxiety disorder, or hypochondria. Every year, as many as 14 percent of patients who are examined for health problems are actually experiencing hypochondria. Sufferers of this disorder tend to feel very real physical symptoms, such as:

  • Tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling
  • Palpitations
  • Pain

Fortunately, when these people visit a doctor with their concerns, tests reveal that there is nothing wrong. Unfortunately, as a result, they’re usually told the symptoms are imagined. Doctors don’t take them seriously and often consider them to be “difficult patients” rather than genuinely concerned individuals. On the other hand, some doctors are more likely to run unnecessary tests just to appease the patient. In fact, more than $20 billion a year is spent on unnecessary procedures and examinations. This can have the adverse effect of increasing the patient’s anxiety since it can provoke their concern while still not producing results.

People who are extreme worriers are more likely to develop health anxiety disorder. The fear that arises with this disorder can be paralyzing. To make things worse, about two-thirds of hypochondriacs suffer from a co-existing psychiatric disorder, such as major depression or panic disorder.

Treatments for health anxiety disorder can include:

  • Sessions with a mental health professional to assist with the stress associated with the disorder.
  • Regular doctor visits with a trusted physician. If the visits occur regularly rather than on an as-needed basis the patient has a better chance of distinguishing between the seriousness of the symptoms they experience.
  • Working to recognize that the physical signs each person experiences are not a symptom of something sinister and are, instead, their mind making their normal bodily sensations seem more threatening than they actually are.

If you or someone you know is suffering from health anxiety disorder it is important to seek help immediately. Health anxiety is a debilitating condition that can severely affect the lives of the people who suffer from it. Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida specialize in helping those who are fearful that they may have a serious medical condition. Take the first step toward getting help by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

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Dating and Social Anxiety Disorder

Approximately 19.2 million Americans have Social Anxiety Disorder, a condition in which a person experiences intense fear of social situations. Typically, these people are afraid to interact with others, get nervous easily, are often self-conscious, and worry about what others might think of them. Social Anxiety Disorder is not the same thing as “just” being shy. People who are afflicted want to have friends and live the same type of life as other people, but they worry about being rejected or embarrassed in certain social situations.

Social Anxiety Disorder can have a debilitating effect on a person’s life. As a result, people who suffer from the disorder are far less likely to date or get married than the average person. The combination of dating and social anxiety disorder presents many complications for people who have this condition:

  • Men often have a harder time in a dating situation. Society normally dictates that men are responsible for initiating dating scenarios. As a result, a man with Social Anxiety Disorder will generally feel more pressure than a woman.
  • In a social situation, a man with this condition typically worries about what they’re going to say to their date. They are afraid of looking silly or unintelligent. This fear can be so intense that they may not even be able to introduce themselves or may seem "stuck up" or snobby beacuse they don’t say much in social situations.
  • Women tend to worry more about what people will think of them. Their appearance, especially, is cause for concern. They often feel that everything, from their nails to their shoes, is an opportunity for someone to judge them.
  • Eating out – one of the most common dating activities – is especially stressful for someone with Social Anxiety Disorder. Both men and women become concerned that they will display improper eating manners that will make their date or others develop a negative opinion. If a person who has this disorder does choose to eat at a restaurant, they are often under extreme stress while doing so.
  • Many people are able to interact comfortably, even with a stranger, in a one-on-one situation. It is the possibility of facing a group or of being surrounded by people that really enhances the stress they feel.

For those who are anxious about dating with Social Anxiety Disorder, don’t overlook places where you already may feel more comfortable:

  • a church you may already belong to
  • a group you may volunteer with
  • a neighborhood association you may belong to
  • friends or family who can arange a blind date and then can double-date with you to help you feel more comfortable
  • a sports team you may belong to

The point is that having a common ground can help you feel more at ease with someone new and can take some of the fear out of dating with Social Anxiety Disorder.

 If you or someone you know suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder, it is important to seek help. Your doctor will generally suggest a combination of therapies, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy. Additionally, your doctor can suggest coping methods that can help to make dating easier over time. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed. Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders specialize in helping those who are fearful of dating with Social Anxiety Disorder. Take the first step toward getting help by calling them at 561-496-1094 or by emailing them today.

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