All Posts in Category: General Anxiety

woman looking at child

Our Search for Meaningfulness

The human brain is a curious organ. It is programmed from birth to actively search the world around us. As we get older and mature this search gets fine tuned and focused. We pursue education, friendships, hobbies, sports. Our quest for life experience allows us to learn about the world around us and just as importantly develop a better sense of our own identity. We progress from a period of knowledge acquisition (“knowing”) that can last decades into a prolonged journey that requires that we utilize what we have learned and productively participate in life. This “doing” often includes pursuing gainful employment and careers, raising a family, involvement in spiritual endeavors, development of hobbies, political involvement and altruistic pursuits.

Is there a common thread throughout the stage of knowing and the stage of doing? Both stages involve the presence of meaningfulness. Knowledge, employment, raising a family, friendships all invest humans with a sense of value and worthiness. Curiosity without meaningfulness leads to emptiness. Curiosity requires the attainment of goals and real-time accomplishments. Otherwise curiosity ceases and is replaced with apathy and malaise.

All of us need day-to-day meaningfulness to replenish and sustain our souls. A healthy sense of self thrives on it. The covid 19 virus has created an overwhelming challenge to life’s meaningfulness. Our pandemic world has led to anxiety, an overarching sense of helplessness, and problematic hypervigilance as we worry about getting infected. Covid 19 imposed social isolation has led to depression, hopelessness, helplessness and family stress.

How to cope with a world that none of us have control over? It is natural to experience anxiety in this scenario. Besides day-to-day meaningfulness, human beings have a need to be in control. The pandemic has brutally interfered with our belief that we have control. Social media, news outlets and politicians have contributed to our sense of helplessness by providing confusing messages and advice as we have tried to navigate this new world.

What can we do to make the best of this difficult life situation? When life around us appears chaotic and out of control, it is imperative that each one of us focus on our own personal worlds. This can best be accomplished by attending to day-to-day structure and routine. If you can’t influence the external world you certainly can control your personal life. Attention to sleep, nutrition, exercise, hobbies, family and friends, fun can facilitate healthier life balance during trying times. Meaningfulness can be derived from basic life interactions. This will sustain us through life’s travails until normality returns. And normality will return. Once normality returns, we will hopefully have become wiser and better prepared for the post pandemic world.

We Are Here For You

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression due to the ongoing pandemic, we are here to help. Contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida or call us at 561-496-1094 today.

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Getting to Know Anxiety Book Cover

Getting to Know Anxiety

Without a doubt, today’s world is stressful. The end result is that anxiety and mood concerns are now common worldwide and the numbers are skyrocketing.

Written by two mental health experts with nearly eight decades of patient treatment between them, Getting to Know Anxiety describes the basics of anxiety and anxiety disorders in down-to-earth language. In it, Drs. Rosen and Gross offer readers an overview of today’s challenging mental health issues and the most current treatment methods available, as well as practical strategies for mental and emotional self-care.

Getting to Know Anxiety provides a deeper look into everything anxiety-related including:
•Anxiety and General Anxiety Disorder
•Panic Attacks, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
•Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Intrusive Thoughts, along with the OCD variations of Hoarding, Religious OCD, Homosexual OCD and Hypersexuality
•Health Anxiety, including help for reducing Covid19-related anxiety
•Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder
•Social Anxiety
•Phobias, including real-world advice for overcoming fear of flying and speech anxiety
•Childhood Anxiety Disorders
•Reducing stress through self-care
•Professional therapies and guidance about when you should seek professional help

If you are suffering and ready to unravel the mysteries of better emotional and mental health, start by getting a copy of Getting to Know Anxiety today.

Seek Professional Help If Your Anxiety Is Getting Worse.

If you are having a lot of trouble getting out because you are too anxious or your anxiety is interfering with your daily life and has continued for longer than two to three weeks, it is time to speak with a professional.

You’re Safe With Us

If you are struggling with anxiety, reach out and get the help you need. Our office has virtual options available as well as in-person appointments.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today.  

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woman grocery shopping while wearing a mask

Coronavirus Anxiety In The New Normal

Life during the pandemic is slowly returning to a “new normal.” Here in Florida, we’ve reopened just about everything as long as certain rules are followed and masks and social distancing is used.

While many welcome these new freedoms, some people are either wary of going out or are finding their coronavirus anxiety levels are still too high to consider it. Although the prospect of reopening is both welcomed and scary, there are ways to help reduce your anxiety.

First, Be Kind To Yourself If You Are Anxious.

Being worried about your safety and that of loved ones is completely normal.

Knowledge is empowering. It can be helpful to get the facts about the virus from trustworthy sources, like the CDC or your local health department. You should, however, avoid getting information strictly from social media (or even some news reports) where facts and stories are often written in ways designed to scare you.

Be Realistic About Your Expectations.

When venturing out the first few times, keep your expectations low. You will likely relax more once you see that most stores have mask requirements, most businesses have social distancing procedures in place and most people are wearing masks and using hand sanitizer.

Take Baby Steps As You Begin To Emerge From Sheltering In Place.

Just because a phased reopening says you can go to a bar or eat in a restaurant doesn’t mean you have to. Making careful decisions about where you’ll go and when can help you feel in control, which is calming.

When you are ready to resume going places, look for the safer options. When dining out, for example, it can ease some anxiety if you eat outside on the patio instead of inside the restaurant.

If you need to get your hair done, try to make an appointment during off-peak days and times. If you have a dental or doctor visit scheduled, call the office beforehand to find out what new protocols they have in place for safe visits. Maybe you’ll choose to wait in your car until you can be seen, rather than in the reception area.

Or, Jump In With Both Feet.

This is the “rip off the band aid” approach, but it can be highly effective for some people. This is known as a flooding technique.

Wherein taking baby steps might potentially keep your anxiety high in between each new experience, flooding lumps everything together so you get several of those dreaded “firsts” out of the way all at once.

With the flooding method, you might decide to hit the gym, go to the grocery store afterwards, and then end the day by dining out at a favorite restaurant. By doing so, you will see that businesses are doing all they can to keep customers safe, which can ease your anxiety.

Of course, whether you take baby steps or you go all out with reopening activities, you will want to do it responsibly by wearing a mask and staying socially distant.

Keep In Mind That We Need Social Connections.

Social isolation has played a big role in the unease and insecurity we have experienced during the pandemic. Getting out and seeing other people (even just in the aisle of a store) can make us feel like life is more normal, which can improve mental health.

Seek Professional Help If Your Anxiety Is Getting Worse.

If you are having a lot of trouble getting out because you are too anxious or your anxiety is interfering with your daily life and has continued for longer than two to three weeks, it is time to speak with a professional.

You’re Safe With Us

If you are struggling with coronavirus anxiety, reach out and get the help you need. Our office has virtual options available as well as in-person appointments.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today.  

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If, And How, Does Covid Shift The Themes, Styles And Goals of Psychotherapy?

One of The Center’s founders, Andrew Rosen, Ph.D. was recently a guest on The Experts Speak, a free podcast series from The Florida Psychiatric Society, to discuss some of the changes, themes, and pivot points that telemedicine and the Covid crisis have produced, and how it may modify – or not — the styles and goals of psychotherapy.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Professional Help For Anxiety

We offer both virtual / online and in-office treatment options.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today. 

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back to school separation anxiety

Back To School Separation Anxiety During The Pandemic

As the 2020 – 2021 school year begins, many parents and children are experiencing a form of separation anxiety over sending kids back into the classroom during the pandemic. The beginning of the new school year can be threatening to a child during normal times, but the prospect of going into a situation where the coronavirus is likely to be present has raised anxiety levels in many families.

For parents who live in school districts that offer a choice between virtual or in-person learning, it can be overwhelming to make a decision over which is best for their child. Being safe at home means that kids who have special needs or who learn better in person will lose out on many learning opportunities, while children who are fearful of being in a classroom will struggle if they have to go back into the school.

All this stress can bring up separation anxiety and school refusal in kids, not to mention heightened school anxiety in parents.

Separation Anxiety And In-Person Schooling During Covid-19

Sometimes separation anxiety and school refusal come up for children after they have gone through an illness or an emotional trauma, such as moving from one neighborhood to another. In the case of the pandemic, however, illness and death is all we hear about on the news, so a child who may already be inclined to separation anxiety will only worry more.

Parents hardly fare better – in many cases they are having to choose whether to stay home with kids who will be learning virtually (thus, risking their jobs) or sending their child into a possibly contagious environment. Either way, the decision is distressing.

Anxiety Definition

An anxious child may develop a separation anxiety disorder if they show excessive concern about a separation from a parent or caregiver or from their home. Separation anxiety may also be present if they show anxiety about the separation that is inappropriate to their age or stage of development.

Even though it seems that separation anxiety is something that only children face, parents who are extremely worried about the safety of their child during the pandemic may also show similar symptoms. This could indicate their own anxiety disorder.

Emotional and Physical Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety

Children and parents who have separation anxiety may have symptoms including:

  • Difficulty going to sleep, fear of the dark, and/or nightmares
  • Excessive worry about potential harm or illness happening to them
  • Children may be clingy, may fear being alone in a room, or may need to see a parent at all times
  • Adults may feel anxious about the child’s safety if they aren’t within sight
  • Avoiding activities that result in separation from the parent or child
  • Trembling
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches and/or nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Needing frequent trips to the toilet
  • Constantly imagining worst-case scenarios

If a parent or a child exhibits three or more of these symptoms for more than four weeks, they are likely to be suffering from a separation anxiety disorder.

Separation Anxiety Treatment

While you can’t control the things that happen around you, you can learn how to control your responses and actions. When someone is being treated for separation anxiety, therapists try to help the person learn to identify and change their anxious thoughts. Then, they teach coping methods to help the individual react less fearfully to the situations that trigger their anxiety:

Remember – it is natural to worry, but you can learn to keep from going down the rabbit hole of fear by “naming” and identifying your thoughts. For instance, if you start to imagine your child getting sick in school, and then becoming sicker and sicker until you are picturing them in the hospital, noticing and labeling these thoughts as something less threatening (ie:”There go those Peter Cottontail thoughts again!”) often helps remind you that they are just thoughts. You are in charge of how you react to them.

Sometimes, however, self talk still can’t calm the fears and an anxiety disorder can begin. If you suspect that you or your child are developing an anxiety disorder, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible because the longer the anxiety continues, the harder it can be to treat.

We Can Help You Get Past Your Fears

To get more information and help for separation anxiety and anxiety disorders, contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email the Center today.

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Man looking hopeful

Psychiatrists Prescribe Medication, This Psychiatrist Prescribes Hope

A first time patient comes into my office. I attentively listen to their story, ask pertinent questions, order tests when necessary, make an assessment and recommend a course of treatment. The prescription of medication is often involved. Thankfully, most people get better. But why do they get better? Was it the medication, the talking therapy or just the “tincture of time?” I would like to think that it was my careful choice of medication while the psychotherapist will want to take credit for their role. I think that the honest answer is more than the sum of these parts. 

I would like to suggest that there is a component of treatment often ignored. It is the power of hope. Hope you say! What does this four letter word have to do with medical care? It certainly has no relationship to the tremendous advances in medical science and technology that exist today. I don’t want to minimize the power of medical science. But I contend that in fact the power of hope provides an essential component of the therapeutic process.

Maurice Lamm, a respected theologian has suggested that the ability to hope is uniquely human. He believes hope is what separates homo sapiens from other animal species. Our ability to look into the future and anticipate positive change is what sets us apart. Hope is everywhere, we just don’t know it. We tend not to even look for it. We are all too preoccupied with our internal ruminative self talk. Hope allows us to see beyond the here-and-now no matter how painful the present is. Unfortunately, most of us get stuck in our present circumstances and are unable to step outside of this black box. We just suffer.

We are not born with a negative hopeless mental set. Hope is actually built into our consciousness, we just don’t know it. In fact, hope is an adaptive and health-inspiring core component of the human psyche. It can be fostered but this requires an active effort on our part. It is blocked by anger, sorrow and despair. Our loops of negative self talk keep it hidden. The resultant hopelessness is extraordinarily painful and self perpetuating. 

This brings us back to the patient in my office. Most individuals present with feeling stuck in the emotional state that they present with. How to help this person access their own inner hopefulness? I have found that the first step is to educate the patient in an understandable manner, that he/she can take a healthy ownership for the illness and most importantly to take ownership for their treatment and anticipated recovery. This is in many respects a team process with the patient and I joining forces to combat their suffering. It is not until the patient recognizes that I serve only as a facilitator of recovery and that their ability to recover is an ember waiting to ignite. Education is the key. Knowledge about their illness and treatment opens the door to recovery. Recovery requires that I have an active partner in this alliance. 

Even if the initial course of treatment is not fully successful hope is buoyed by an open and honest discussion about the treatment to date and the rationale for the next step. It is empowering for the individual to be part of this process. It has been my experience that this active interaction between patient and myself maintains the installation of hope. One cannot just fill out a prescription for a medication. One must prescribe hope.

Get Hope Today

In Getting to Know Anxiety Drs. Rosen and Gross offer readers an overview of today’s challenging mental health issues and the most current treatment methods available, as well as practical strategies for mental and emotional self-care.

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts or anxiety, speak to one of our trained mental health professionals. We offer both virtual / online and in-office treatment options.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today. 

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anxiety words

Morning Anxiety – Starting Your Day Overly Stressed

Does your anxiety begin before you even hit the alarm button in the morning? Or maybe you are waking up early with anxious thoughts about the day ahead already coursing through your mind. Morning anxiety is common simply because stress is common, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. If you find that you are frequently anxious about the everyday tasks and situations that most other people aren’t threatened by, however, you may have developed an anxiety disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of Morning Anxiety?

As with other forms of anxiety and anxiety disorders, the symptoms you may experience upon awakening with morning anxiety can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Tense muscles, fast breathing, or a pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling irritable, on edge, restless, or “keyed up”
  • Racing thoughts or, conversely, you may not be able to concentrate or may find that your minds goes blank
  • Difficulty controlling your anxiety or stopping yourself from obsessively worrying

What Causes Morning Anxiety?

When you start the day overly stressed, worried, and with racing thoughts from the moment your eyes open, it’s pretty accurate to say that you are going through morning anxiety. The term “morning anxiety” isn’t a medical term, however it perfectly describes the crack-of-dawn distress that many people experience.

Why would you have anxiety before your day even starts? There are several possible causes:

  • Going to bed worried or waking in the night with anxious thoughts will contribute to morning anxiety.
  • Researchers have found that cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are highest within the first hour of waking, and then slowly drop during the day. This peak cortisol level can be even higher if you are already under stress.
  • When you awaken, your blood sugar levels are low, which can result in an increase in anxiety symptoms. Eating a food containing high protein first thing in the morning can help to lower your anxiety if low blood sugar is contributing to it.
  • Too much sugar and caffeine can also increase your anxiety, so be aware of what you eat when you first awaken. Again, aim for eating something with protein in it as opposed to starting your day with something like a cup of coffee and a sugary cereal.

Is Morning Anxiety Common?

Morning anxiety is more common than people think, however it should go away once whatever is worrying you has gone away. In other words, if you are worried about a job review, for example, your anxiety should resolve after you have gotten your review. If you are still very anxious after that or find that you are dealing with undue anxiety, worry, or stress in the morning, you may have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

When you have a generalized anxiety disorder, you worry uncontrollably and excessively about things like money, your job, family and health. If you have GAD, these worries will interfere with your daily life, creeping into your day to day activities and persisting for at least six months.

How Can I Stop Waking Up With Anxiety?

Many times you can stop morning anxiety through simple lifestyle changes. Get plenty of sleep, limit caffeine and sugar intake, and eat a healthy diet. Exercise helps to reduce stress levels as does meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness training.

You might also try challenging your negative thoughts. You can do this by stopping yourself and asking yourself if the thought is accurate. If you had a good friend who was worried about the same thing, what would you tell them? Would you think their fear was valid?

Another exercise to try is limiting your negative thinking. If you can’t stop yourself from obsessing about something, then go ahead and worry – for a 10 minute period. At the end of that time, get started on a task or project. The idea is to do something to distract yourself so you can stop focusing on your negative thoughts.

Practicing gratitude can also help. Keeping a journal of the things that make you happy and reading through it can be very helpful when you are stressed.

If these self-care tips aren’t working, it may be time to turn to a professional. Therapy for GAD and excessive anxiety can include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy to learn new ways of thinking and reacting to circumstances that cause anxiety
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy to help you gain new insights into your feelings, behavior and thoughts
  • Mindfulness training
  • Group therapy
  • Sometimes short term use of medications may be prescribed

Get Help For Morning Anxiety

If your anxiety seems to be increasing or you find that you are experiencing anxiety upon awakening in the morning, you may have an anxiety disorder. If your symptoms get worse or persist for longer than two weeks, please speak to one of our trained mental health professionals. We offer both virtual / online and in-office treatment options.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today. 

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COVID Paradox

The COVID Paradox

Never before in modern memory has the human race been faced with such a stressful and anxiety provoking foe. The novel coronavirus or COVI-19 has resulted in untold emotional unrest and fear among all nations and peoples of our world. There has been a lot of talk about the “invisible enemy,” an RNA based complex protein that looks like a World War 2 anti-ship mine with spikes sticking out of its surface. We are informed daily by the media that young and old victims of this virus are ending up on ventilators for weeks at a time if they survive. To “flatten the curve” and avoid overwhelming our hospitals we have had to become socially isolated, settle in place in our residences, wear masks when going out and remembering to wash our hands and not touch our faces. And after three months of dealing with this enemy of grown ups we are now being informed that children who we believed were not at risk of being made seriously ill have suffered as cases of a strange multi system inflammatory syndrome much like Kawasaki disease began to appear at hospitals.

The reality of this plague is bad enough to fathom by any rational person. The facts we are presented with certainly evoke fear and apprehension. Our frontline healthcare providers who are by their profession somewhat desensitized to run-of-the-mill suffering as they treat patients with terminal illness, heart attacks, metastatic cancer or debilitating strokes, find themselves traumatized by the COVID crisis.

So what is generating this degree of emotional suffering? Much of it comes from the unseen enemy, this virus that is only visible under special microscopes. Some of it comes from the fact that its genetic structure is novel. No human being had been exposed to it prior to its appearance in Wuhan so our immune systems had no defense against its onslaught. It is extraordinarily infectious so that an infected person will infect several people in close proximity over time.

What is the paradox that I am referring to? Actually, there is more than one paradox. The first one involves the media explosion that began last century and has exponentially continued this century. We appreciate all the benefits from being plugged in 24/7 to social media, internet messaging and an abundance of television news all day long. The digital revolution that amazed us has also proved to be harmful to our emotional well being. Multimedia exposure during the COVID pandemic has been like watching a horror movie that never ends! What we valued and embraced has turned out to be a traumatizing process. If you check the Centers for Disease Control website for data on the influenza outbreak for the 2018-2019 season you will find that 35.5 million Americans came down with the flu, 490,000 hospitalizations resulted, and there were 34,200 deaths. Imagine if the media tracked the annual flu season like they have tracked the COVID pandemic. Every flu season would be emotionally traumatizing. We certainly don’t go into lockdown every year for the flu nor do we social distance. We do have a flu shot available, but data on its effectiveness suggests a 45% effectiveness this past season. Our advantage with influenza is that over time, all of us have had some level of exposure to this family of viruses imparting a degree of “herd immunity.”

This brings us to the core paradox. If we stay locked down and isolated indefinitely there will be no herd immunity developing. The concept of herd immunity means that if enough of our population is exposed and develops immunity to this virus, ongoing spread becomes very difficult. For example, smallpox, chicken pox, measles and mumps had been the scourge of society until the administration of vaccines essentially created a herd immunity.

We will eventually have an effective vaccine for COVID-19 but it will be some time before we will be able to provide mass inoculation. If there had been no COVID-19 social isolation our healthcare system would be over run, resulting in a tsunami of fatalities.

So the course that is being taken is to gradually open up our lockdown while we carefully prepare for future waves of illness. Be reassured that there will come a day in the not too distant future that this horrible virus will be no greater a threat than the annual flu. That time will come.

Connect With A Psychologist.

If you are experiencing anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are available for online services. For more information, contact the The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida or call us today at (561) 496-1094.

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game tiles spelling anxiety

Is The Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Your Mental Health?

For months we’ve been hearing about the spread of the coronavirus and rising COVID-19 death rates. Some areas of the country have begun to slowly reopen, but others still remain either locked down or people are very restricted. While we tend to think of the virus in terms of health and physical illness, there is also a mental health toll to the fear and stay-at-home orders that have resulted from the pandemic.

What Are The Effects Of COVID-19 On Mental Health?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mental health effects of the stress generated by coping with COVID-19 can include:

  • “Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs”

We all react to stress differently, therefore not everyone will experience the same concerns. Some people, however, are dealing with several of these challenges, particularly if they suffered from anxiety or depression before the pandemic.

People who may have a harder time dealing with the mental health effects of the coronavirus are those who:

  • Are first responders, such as front-line doctors and nurses
  • Have loved ones who have gotten the virus (whether or not they have recovered)
  • Are already dealing with mental health concerns
  • Engage in substance abuse
  • Have been temporarily laid off or have lost their jobs
  • Are in abusive relationships
  • Are over age 65
  • Have chronic medical conditions

Anxiety Symptoms

When we are faced with the unknown, fear and anxiety can take on a life of its own.

If you are already someone who is anxious, you might find that you are now having physical symptom, as well. Maybe you are having headaches or stomach problems. Maybe you aren’t sleeping well or are having trouble or eating. Whenever someone experiences new symptoms, worry and fear can quickly become overwhelming.

Anxiety can also become evident through psychological symptoms, such as:

  • Having trouble concentrating or insistently worrying about the virus
  • Being short-tempered with your family or others
  • Feeling like you are constantly “on edge”
  • Worrying that you are losing control

In addition to psychological symptoms, there are other physical symptoms of anxiety that can include:

  • A rapid heartbeat and/or shortness of breath
  • Insomnia and problems sleeping, which leaves you fatigued
  • Headaches or an increase in migraines
  • Nausea, sweating, muscle tension

Reducing Stress And Anxiety During The Pandemic

These self-care tips can help you regain control and reduce your anxiety about the coronavirus:

Stop watching coverage of the pandemic: The first thing you should do is to stop watching the news and reading about the pandemic online. When something grips us with fear, it is sometimes hard to break away from the catastrophic thoughts that come along with it. By continuously engaging in news coverage, however, you don’t give your mind a chance to gain some mental distance from it.

Keep in mind that news coverage is often designed to be presented in a way that makes us tense and concerned. This is what compels us to click on the new report or tune into the television station – and it’s what keeps the reporters or news channels in business.

Don’t focus on physical symptoms: If you know a symptom of the virus is a cough, for example, it’s natural to scrutinize every tiny cough you have. But remember that there are other, more likely causes of a new physical symptom than the coronavirus.

This is also allergy season, which can cause a cough. You may have been around dust or be dehydrated, which could cause a sore throat. The point is that there are numerous reasons for many of the symptoms of the virus that are normal and not a result of being sick.

Do some stress reducing activities: Meditate, take a walk, sit on your patio in the sunshine, or try an online yoga class. Take one of the endless online classes and virtual museum tours that have popped up during this time of social distancing. Being active lessens the stress hormone, cortisol, and also serves as a distraction.

Additionally, you might focus on doing something you’ve been meaning to do, such as clean out a drawer or a closet, organize a closet, paint a room, or plant spring flowers.

Professional Therapy For Covid-19 Anxiety

Sometimes self-care is not enough to get relief from anxiety. If your symptoms seem to be getting worse or if you find that a couple of weeks have gone by and you are still feeling more anxious than you think you should about the pandemic, you may have developed an anxiety disorder. In that case, it’s best to turn to a professional.

They can help you sort out your fears and gain a new perspective. Just talking through your concerns may be enough to reduce them, however speaking to a therapist can benefit you in many other ways as you navigate this pandemic.

The vast majority of mental health practitioners are using tele therapy to aid their clients during the shutdown, as well as after reopening. With tele therapy, you can talk to your therapist from your home – there is no need to go into the office.

 If it is decided that you would benefit from therapy, treatment may include one or a combination of these:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy, which can help you get a better understanding of your anxiety and teach you ways to cope.
  • Mindfulness training, which teaches you to refocus your attention away from thoughts about your fears and your symptoms.
  • Medication, which is also sometimes used short term and in combination with other forms of therapy. If you would benefit from a medication, the therapist may prescribe it or your primary care physician could do so.

Virtual Anxiety Help

If you find that you are experience anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, overwhelming and disabling, you may have an anxiety disorder. If your symptoms get worse or persist for longer than two weeks, please speak to one of our trained mental health professionals.

For more information, please contact The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 today. 

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