All Posts in Category: General Anxiety

Help For Insomnia/Anxiety Sleep Disorder – Relief in South Florida

Insomnia is the result of those agonizing nights when we restlessly toss and turn because something weighs heavily on our minds. Because we have all “been there”, it should come as no surprise that there is a well-known connection between anxiety and insomnia. The two conditions are often linked together in a catch-22 style that can make life more than difficult for the person who is affected.

To fully appreciate how insomnia and anxiety can result in a sleep anxiety disorder, one needs to understand the different levels of insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to sleep adequately for extended periods of time when one desires to do so. It is characterized by three different levels: early, middle, and late insomnia.

Early insomnia exists when someone consistently has trouble falling asleep. This often occurs because of anxious thoughts that cause the person’s mind to continuously work over their concerns. Early insomnia is what you experience when you stress over upcoming tests or family disputes.

Middle insomnia causes a person to frequently wake throughout the night. Middle insomnia is the culprit when you awaken to a nagging thought, and then stare at the ceiling, seemingly forever, while trying to fall back to sleep. The resulting rise in your stress level keeps you wide awake.

Late insomnia, on the other hand, occurs when a person often wakes up earlier than they intended. No matter how tired they are, they awaken long before the alarm goes off. As in middle insomnia, stress keeps you from falling back to sleep.

Both of these last two levels happen when a person is flooded with anxious thoughts the moment they open their eyes. This anxiety produces other physiological responses, such as a quickened heart beat and a sense of restlessness, thereby increasing the insomnia at the same time and setting a vicious cycle in motion.

By now it should be a little more obvious how insomnia and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. In fact, insomnia is one of the most common symptoms mental health professionals look for when diagnosing a generalized anxiety disorder. The more anxious a person is the more likely it is they will experience some form of insomnia. It follows then, that the more insomnia the person deals with, the more likely it is that their anxiety will rise.

The good news is that insomnia and sleep anxiety disorder can very often be treated successfully. For more information, contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen today.

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Overcome Holiday Anxiety – Tips For a Happy South Florida Holiday Season

The holidays are coming up and this time of year can be one of the most joyous, but also the most stressful. The demands that arise around the holidays can be overwhelming to say the least. There’s pressure to make unexpected guests feel welcome, to throw perfect parties, and to buy the ideal gifts for friends and loved ones. Then there is the baking, cleaning, and entertaining that happens during the holiday season more than at any other time of the year. But the holidays don’t have to be all work and stress and don’t have to be depressing.

There are a few simple tricks you can use to overcome holiday anxiety:

  • Allow yourself some “me” time. It’s easy to feel like this time of year is all about everyone else. But, taking a night to relax and do the things that you want to do or taking even just a few minutes for yourself can rejuvenate your entire outlook.
  • Keep your healthy habits. Many people sacrifice their workouts and healthy recipes during the holidays because there are so many parties and other demands on their time. Overindulgence adds to your stress and guilt. In addition, the familiarity of old habits can help lower your stress level and help you better deal with holiday anxiety.
  • Stick to a budget. When the bill comes after you’ve bought all your gifts and it’s higher than you realized, holiday stress can shoot through the roof. Maintaining a realistic budget gives you one less thing to worry about.
  • Plan ahead. With all the gifts to buy and parties to attend or throw, your to-do list at this time of year will be higher than usual. There’s nothing more stressful than having guests over and realizing at the last minute that you forgot something you need. Planning ahead will help you stay on track and will help combat holiday anxiety.
  • Be realistic. A party you give doesn’t have to be perfect. People will still have a good time even if a few things go wrong. Remind yourself of this when your anxiety level rises.

When in doubt, it never hurts to seek professional help. If you find yourself persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, becoming restless, irritable, or hopeless, these could be signs that there is something heavier weighing on you than the typical anxiety one feels during the holidays.

For more information and tips to help you overcome holiday anxiety, call Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

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Death Anxiety Disorder – Help in South Florida for Fear of Dying

The fear of dying, also known as death anxiety or thanatophobia, is much more prevalent than many of us may think. The concept of death – when it will occur and what happens afterward – is an unknown and we often fear what we don’t know.

It is important to understand the difference between everyday worrying and a full-blown death anxiety disorder. Throughout our lives, most of us will think of death at one time or another. For example, it may dwell in our minds as we age or when the death of a loved one occurs. However, this concern becomes classified as thanatophobia only when a person worries so often that it begins to affect their everyday lives. With this syndrome, every pain or unusual feeling becomes a warning sign for impending death.

For example:

  • A simple headache may lead to thoughts of brain tumors.
  • Chest pains may be considered signs of heart attack or heart failure.
  • The mildest sickness can suggest that death is right around the corner.

People who experience a fear of dying feel that each passing minute is reducing their life span bit by bit. To make things worse, this condition has the tendency to be communicable. Many people are too discouraged to spend time with someone who suffers from death anxiety but those who do may find themselves falling into the same line of thinking. It is easy for groups of thanatophobics to form and exacerbate the anxiety.

How do you know if you may be suffering from a fear of death? When a victim of death anxiety disorder considers their own mortality they may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling faint
  • Intense sweating
  • Queasiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking limbs
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • An inability to speak or think clearly
  • Constant panic attacks
  • Uncontrollable nerves

The fear of death is a debilitating condition that can seriously deplete the joy in one’s life. People with this condition spend so much time worrying about their impending death that they rarely enjoy themselves in anything they do. If you or someone you know suffers from death anxiety disorder, seeking help is very important and will be extremely beneficial.

For more information to help you cope with a death anxiety disorder in the Boca Raton area, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

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Help For Chronic Worry Disorder

By the time most of us reach adulthood we understand that worrying is simply a part of life. We all go through stressful times at one point or another and it is natural to be concerned about the outcome of those events. However, for many people, worrying becomes a chronic condition that affects their life on multiple levels. For these people, it is important to understand the characteristics of Chronic Worry Disorder and how they can seek relief from their concerns.

Chronic Worry Disorder is a symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This high level of concern develops in individuals who feel the need to be hyper-vigilant with regard to their lives and those of their friends and family. They often feel that if they worry enough about important issues or fears they can prevent those concerns from coming to fruition. The problem is that most of their worries revolve around issues that they have no control over; in other words, unproductive concerns.

The amount of worrying involved and that lack of control can lead to other psychiatric disorders, such as:

  • Panic Disorder
  • Depression

Chronic Worry Disorder can also lead to physical concerns, such as:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Aches
  • Pains

But how can you tell if your worry has become disproportionate and unreasonable? You should be concerned if you:

  • Consistently worry about future failures, dangers, or other types of negative outcomes
  • Repeatedly run through the same concerns over and over again in your mind
  • Attempt to stop worrying by anxiously avoiding certain situations
  • Become paralyzed with worry and are unable to focus on constructive solutions to your problems.

The good news is there are many effective treatments to help rid you of your chronic worrying. Some suggested treatments include psychotherapy and relaxation techniques. Oftentimes, your doctor may suggest specialized coping techniques and cognitive behavior therapy to help you learn ways to train your brain away from unproductive concern. In some cases, medication is used in conjunction with psychotherapy. With so many ways to treat this condition, there’s no reason to not seek help and take a step toward gaining your life back.

For more information about Chronic Worry Disorder and therapy for the condition in the Delray Beach, Florida area, contact Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

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Mindfulness Therapy Can Help With Anxiety Disorders

In today’s stress-ridden world, more than 19 million Americans are affected by anxiety disorders. The tension they feel at work, during tests, or in social situations has become irrational and excessive to the point that anxiety disables them in their everyday lives. For most, anxiety disorder introduces an overwhelming loss of control over their thoughts and emotions.

There are several possible treatments for anxiety disorder, but one that is gaining popularity is the concept of mindfulness therapy. Mindfulness, with its roots in Buddhist philosophy, encourages a complete commitment to the present moment.

In the majority of cases, anxiety disorder develops as a result of a past incident. For example, if a person was bitten by a dog as a child, they may become anxious around dogs or animals of all kinds. Through mindfulness therapy, however, that person learns to stop using that past experience to inform their present.

There are seven important elements of the mindfulness attitude:

  • Non-judging – Becoming an impartial observer without making a positive or negative evaluation of what is happening.
  • Patience – Cultivating the understanding that everything must develop in its own time.
  • Beginner’s Mind –The willingness to observe the world with an open mind – as if it were your first time doing so.
  • Trust – Having trust in yourself, your intuition, and your abilities.
  • Non-Striving – The state of not doing anything toward a particular purpose. This can be especially difficult for people in Western cultures, as it requires accepting that things happen in the moment just as they are supposed to.
  • Acceptance – Acknowledging the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and beliefs you have and understanding that they are those things only; they can’t affect your immediate experience without your permission.
  • Non-Attachment – Refusing to attach meaning to thoughts and emotions. Instead, let feelings or thoughts come and go without connecting them to anything.

It can take time to develop a true mindfulness attitude but the reward is that you will have more control over your own life. For the people who suffer from anxiety disorder, this can mean a dramatic change in their everyday lives.

For more information about mindfulness therapy in Boca Raton, Florida, contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and the anxiety disorder specialists at the Center For Treatment of Anxiety Disorders at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen today.

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South Florida Anxiety Therapist Offers Anxiety and Substance Abuse Information

In today’s stress-filled world, anxiety disorders are on the rise, with over 19 million Americans affected. There are many types of anxiety disorders but when alcohol and substance abuse gets thrown into the mix, these conditions become even more complicated. Alcohol and substance abuse fuels anxiety disorders that are already present. In addition, people with anxiety disorders are two to three times more likely to have an alcohol and substance abuse disorder. In fact, the more one looks at the issue, the more obvious it is that a vicious cycle exists between anxiety and substance abuse.
           
When considering the anxiety and substance abuse cycle it can often be difficult to determine which comes first, the anxiety disorder or the alcohol and substance abuse. Some examples that are frequently seen include:

  • Social anxiety disorder leading to alcohol abuse: a person with social anxiety disorder typically feels nervous and uncomfortable in even the most common social situations. They often turn to alcohol to lessen their anxiety.
  • Post traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse occuring together: terrible dreams and hallucinations are often associated with post traumatic stress and a variety of substances. As a result, using certain substances – especially illegal ones – can increase the feelings associated with traumatic experiences, leading to the official disorder. Likewise, post traumatic stress can lead a person to drugs as a way to escape their condition.
  • Alcohol or drugs causing panic disorder: alcohol and drug-induced states can lead some people to hallucinations or experiences that cause panic attacks. As panic attacks occur more often the person develops panic disorder, or the constant anxiety or fear that they will experience a panic attack.

When alcohol and substance abuse occur with an anxiety disorder, treatment can be tricky. Treating the substance abuse will not cure the anxiety disorder or vice-versa, so it is best to treat the anxiety and substance abuse simultaneously. This is especially effective in helping to prevent a relapse. Therapy generally consists of cognitive behavior therapy, which helps the person identify, understand, and change their thinking and behavior patterns. Since medication can be a common part of anxiety disorder treatment, it must be approached carefully in order to avoid aggravating the substance abuse disorder and any chemical interactions that could occur as a result of that condition. If medicine is indicated, most doctors will prescribe medications with low abuse potential.

For more information about anxiety and substance abuse disorder and treatment in the Delray Beach, Florida area, contact South Florida anxiety therapist Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

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Boca Raton Psychologist Discusses Fear Of Flying

Millions of people across the country suffer from a variety of anxiety disorders. The typical disorder is characterized by extreme fear, nervousness, or worry that leads a person to avoid specific places or activities. Dr. Andrew Rosen, a Boca Raton psychologist, notes that one of the most commonly known fears is a fear of flying. He says that, as with any anxiety, there is an irrational exaggeration of the possibility of something bad happening even though the risk of being hurt or killed in a plane crash is one in many millions. Additionally, a fear of flying can involve several components of anxiety that are not specific to airplanes. These components can include:

  • Not understanding the reasons for strange sounds and sights around you
  • Being dependent on the judgment of an unknown person (in this case, the pilot)
  • Fear of heights
  • Dislike or fear of enclosed spaces or crowded conditions
  • Sitting in hot, stale air
  • The possibility of terrorism

The physical and emotional symptoms associated with a fear of flying are similar to those seen in most anxiety disorders. The physiological symptoms can include:

  • Muscle tension and labored breathing
  • Chest pain and/or heart palpitations
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Flushed or pale face

The psychological symptoms can include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Narrowed perceptions
  • Poor or clouded judgment
  • Negative expectancies

The Boca Raton psychologist says there are many coping strategies that can be effective when working through a fear of flying, such as:

  • Expanding your awareness beyond the unpleasant situation. Realize that being paralyzed with fear will not make you any safer.
  • Understanding that your anxiety won’t disappear overnight. Celebrate even the smallest successes you have, such as making it to the airport, then making it on to the plane, then getting through the takeoff. Take one thing at a time.
  • Focusing on what you can do to relax instead of focusing on your fear. Many people bring books, puzzle books, music, or computers with them while they travel. Having something like this gives you something else to focus your energy on.

The fear of flying can be a debilitating anxiety but it can certainly be treated and overcome. For more information on this or other anxiety disorders and their treatment methods, contact Boca Raton psychologist, Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen today.

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