May 5, 2022

What is an Anxiety Disorder and Could You Have One?

Written by Rachel Eddins


Image of a woman in a crowed looking stressed. In anxiety treatment in Houston, TX we can answer "what is an anxiety disorder". We also offer anxiety treatment in Sugar Land, TX 77478. If you think you suffer from anxiety disorder contact our anxiety therapist in Houston, TX 77019. Call today!


What is Normal Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal part of living. All of us know what it is like to feel worry, nervousness, fear, and concern.

We feel nervous when we have to give a speech, go for a job interview, or walk into our boss’s office for the annual performance appraisal.

We know it’s normal to feel a surge of fear when we unexpectedly see a photo of a snake or look down from the top of a tall building.

Most of us manage these kinds of anxious feelings fairly well and are able to carry on with our lives without much difficulty. These feelings don’t disrupt our lives.

But millions of people (an estimated 15% of the population) suffer from devastating and constant anxiety. That severely affects their lives, sometimes resulting in living in highly restricted ways. These people experience panic attacks, phobias, extreme shyness, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, and other types of anxiety disorders.

The feeling of anxiety is a constant and dominating force that is persistent and disrupts their lives. It may get in the way of day-to-day activities and even make them impossible. This may be a sign of an anxiety disorder that can be addressed in anxiety treatment.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

So when we break it down what is an anxiety disorder? The term “anxiety disorders” describes a group of conditions. To include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder. As well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and specific phobias. So, what is an anxiety disorder then?

An anxiety disorder affects a person’s behavior, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

Here are some of the most common anxiety disorders.

Social Anxiety or Social Phobia

Social anxiety or social phobia is a fear of being around other people. People who suffer from this disorder always feel self-conscious around others.

They have the feeling that everyone is watching them and staring at them, being critical in some way. Because the anxiety is so painful, they learn to stay away from social situations and avoid other people.

Some eventually need to be alone at all times, in a room with the door closed. The feeling is pervasive and constant.

People who have social anxiety know that their thoughts and fears are not rational. They are aware that others are not actually judging or evaluating them at every moment.

But this knowledge does not make the feelings disappear.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a condition where a person has panic attacks without warning. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, about 5% of the adult American population suffers from panic attacks.

Some experts say that this number is actually higher. Since many people experience panic attacks but never receive treatment.

Image of an anxiety disorder word cloud in blue. What is an anxiety disorder? If you think you have one we can help with anxiety treatment in Sugar Land, TX 77478. Call today to speak with an anxiety therapist in Texas. Then start getting help with anxiety treatment in Houston, TX 77009.

Common symptoms of panic include:

  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Fear of dying
  • Trembling
  • Sweaty palms
  • Feelings of terror
  • Chest pains or heaviness in the chest
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Feeling unable to catch one’s breath
  • Tingling in the hands, feet, legs, or arms
  • Fear of losing control

Panic attacks

A panic attack typically lasts several minutes and is extremely upsetting and frightening. In some cases, panic attacks last longer than a few minutes or strike several times in a short time period.

A panic attack is often followed by feelings of depression and helplessness. Most people who have experienced panic say that the greatest fear is that the panic attack will happen again.

Many times, the person who has a panic attack doesn’t know what caused it. It seems to have come “out of the blue.”

At other times, people report that they were feeling extreme stress and weren’t surprised that they had a panic attack.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is quite common, affecting an estimated 3 to 4% of the population. This disorder fills a person’s life with worry, anxiety, and fear.

People who have this anxiety disorder are always thinking and dwelling on the “what ifs” of every situation. It feels like there is no way out of the vicious cycle of anxiety and worry.

The person often becomes depressed about life and their inability to stop worrying. People who have generalized anxiety usually do not avoid situations. Additionally, they don’t generally have panic attacks.

They can become incapacitated by an inability to shut their mind off. Meaning that they are overcome with feelings of worry, dread, fatigue, and a loss of interest in life. The person usually realizes these feelings are irrational, but the feelings are also very real.

The person’s mood can change from day to day or even hour to hour. Feelings of anxiety and mood swings become a pattern that severely disrupts the quality of life.

People with generalized anxiety disorder often have physical symptoms. For instance headaches, irritability, frustration, trembling, and inability to concentrate, and sleep disturbances. They may also have symptoms of social phobia and panic disorder.

What Are Other Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Options for Anxiety Disorders Treatment

Most people who suffer from anxiety disorders begin to feel better when they receive the proper anxiety treatment. Each person’s anxiety is caused by a unique set of factors though the symptoms may be similar.

Generally, it’s a good idea to treat both, though reducing physical symptoms is a priority. Some clients feel better after a few weeks or months of anxiety disorder treatment. While others may need a year or more.

If a person has an anxiety disorder in combination with another disorder (such as alcoholism and depression), treatment is more complicated and takes longer.

While a treatment plan must be specifically designed for each individual, there are a number of standard approaches, that our Houston Therapists utilize.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies along with commitment and behavior change strategies. In order to increase psychological flexibility and reduce symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

This type of therapy may be incorporated with another treatment approach. At Eddins Counseling Group we use it to specifically addresses unwanted thoughts and behaviors.Image of a woman sitting and looking out at a lake. what is an anxiety disorder? Our anxiety therapist in Houston, tx can answer that question. Get help today with anxiety treatment in Houston, TX 77008. As well as anxiety treatment in Sugar Land, TX 77478. Call today!

Exposure Therapy

As a type of behavior therapy, it is often used to help people with phobias and OCD.

Our therapists in Sugar Land, TX work closely with their clients. Gradually increasing his or her tolerance to situations that have produced disabling anxiety.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness is a key component of all aspects of therapy and mental health. The mind is known to be a factor in stress and stress-related disorders. Meditation has been shown to positively affect a range of autonomic physiological processes. Such as lowering blood pressure and reducing overall arousal and emotional reactivity.

Relaxation Training

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from practicing relaxation techniques. For example guided visualization, and biofeedback. Relaxation training is often part of psychotherapy.


Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help restore chemical imbalances that cause symptoms of anxiety. This can be an effective treatment for many people, especially in combination with anxiety treatment.

The treatment for an anxiety disorder depends on the severity and length of the problem. When a person with panic is motivated to try new behaviors and practice new skills, he or she can learn to change the way the brain responds to familiar thoughts and feelings that have previously caused anxiety.

If you feel your anxiety may be more than the usual “worry”, help is available at Eddins Counseling Group in Texas!

Anxiety is very common and very treatable. You don’t have to face it alone.

Start Anxiety Treatment In Houston, TX

If you or someone you know is ready to get anxiety treatment then Eddins Counseling Group can help today. We have Houston therapists as well as therapists in Sugar Land, TX who can provide specialized care for you. Getting help while dealing with an anxiety disorder can be hard. It will get easier by following these steps.

  1. Reach out to us today to get a free consultation at Eddins Counseling Group
  2. Make your first appointment with a Houston therapist who matches your needs
  3. Start getting support for your anxiety disorder

Other Therapy Services in Sugar Land, TX & Houston, TX

At Eddins Counseling Group in Texas, we offer therapy options to fit your needs. With mental health services for children, teens, and adults. Besides anxiety treatment, we also provide depression treatment, disordered eating counseling, trauma therapy, ADHD treatment, grief counseling, and more! We also provide couples counseling and family therapy. Access to mental health support is important to us as therapists and counselors so we have three locations in Texas. Including Sugar Land, Houston Heights area, and Houston Montrose area. Additionally, we provide all of our services through online therapy to Texas residents.

Recommended Readings:

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

Each chapter features a different method for relaxation and stress reduction, explains why the method works and provides on-the-spot exercises you can do to apply that method when you feel stressed.

Image of a phobia workbook.The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook


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