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Is This Just Anxiety?

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From a young man in the U.S.:  i am constantly rubbing my hands together, i talk to myself in my head and always think someone is talking to me is this normal? ive went to 3 drs and they said its just anxiety

Is This Just Anxiety?

Answered by on -

A.

There is no “just” to anxiety on the level you are experiencing. I’m glad you talked to doctors to find out what is troubling you. But a diagnosis is just the beginning of the journey to feel better. Anxiety can be treated. You don’t have to continue to feel this way.

I hope you will make an appointment to see a psychologist or counselor who specializes in anxiety disorders. Together, you will talk about what approach would be best for you.

Usually (but not always), some medication is helpful to help bring the level of anxiety down so you can then benefit from talk therapy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often prescribed to provide some relief.

During talk therapy, you’ll look at whether you can change some of the choices you are making in how you live your life. For example, if you are not allowing yourself enough sleep time, you will be more vulnerable to stress. If you aren’t getting any exercise, you aren’t giving yourself a healthy way to discharge some of that anxious energy. Caffeine and drug or alcohol abuse can also contribute to anxiety.

If your job is what makes you feel so upset, maybe there are creative ways to either reduce the stress on the job or maybe it’s time to think of moving on to another one. Or maybe problems with relationships are upsetting you. If that’s part of the picture, you and your therapist can also talk about that.

You and your therapist will discuss ways to improve your ability to cope. No matter how much we might wish it were not so, stress is an inevitable part of life. Everyone in the U.S. (indeed around the world) is under more stress lately because of the pandemic, politics, and economics these days. You can’t make all that go away but you can learn ways to change the intensity of your reaction to it.

Research has found that Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective for treating anxiety. disorders. CBT helps you identify and change thoughts that are getting in your way and helps you learn strategies for controlling your stress. You can find out more about CBT by searching on the Internet.

Finally, you can teach yourself some new strategies as well. Consider reading up on mindfulness and meditation practices and see if there is one that appeals to you.

There are a number of articles about treatment of anxiety disorders on this site. I hope you will take a look.

I’m very glad you wrote to us. You deserve to feel less stressed. I hope you will follow through with some of these suggestions. Most people who get treatment do feel appreciably better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This Just Anxiety?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Is This Just Anxiety?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/06/14/is-this-just-anxiety/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Jun 2020 (Originally: 14 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 13 Jun 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.