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Anxiety: symptoms and treatment

What are the most common symptoms?

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty breathing; (physical symptom)

  • Feeling of suffocation; (physical symptom)

  • Fear that the worst will happen; (psychological symptom)

  • Fast heartbeat (tachycardia); (physical symptom)

  • Tremors; (physical symptom)

  • Feeling light-headed or dizzy; (physical symptom)

  • Numbness or tingling sensations; (physical symptom)

  • Fear of losing control; (psychological symptom)

  • Nervousness; (psychological symptom)

  • Inability to relax; (psychological symptom)

  • Excessive sweating on the face, underarms, body or hands; (physical symptom)


What is an anxiety attack?

Contrary to what many believe, anxiety is a necessary factor for our development. It's what makes us leave our comfort zone to seek personal improvement and success in achieving our goals.

An anxiety attack can be characterized by a state of fear, apprehension, expectation, malaise, discomfort, insecurity or strangeness of the environment or oneself. There is also that feeling that something unpleasant is about to happen, accompanied by pessimistic and catastrophic thoughts of the worst possible things.

What does anxiety do to the body?

Anxiety activates the mental system associated with defensive aggression and retraction, rather than using a mental system associated with approaching challenges. This causes our body to spend a lot of resources trying to resolve a situation that often has no imediate solution. When we insist on trying we'll wear ourselves out trying to solve a problem much bigger than ourselves. Think of a car that is accelerating at full throttle, with its foot on the brake. It's wasting resources that will be needed later, at a time when those resources are not being needed.

Our body activates as if the stressor were in front of us and anxiety becomes virtually unavoidable. When this happens our body prepares for three things.To fightto escape or Freeze. And it is exactly this preparation that makes us feel the most common symptoms of anxiety, as mentioned at the beginning of this article.

How to control anxiety

Today's trend is to search the internet for the quickest solution. Nothing replaces good psychological treatment. There are several tools to understand and modify our thoughts that a qualified practitioner can teach you. If we understand what's happening, we will be able to anticipate moments and thoughts that can result in anxiety, improving our ability to deal with these difficulties. But first, it's essential to undergo a psychological assessment to gather further information, and see whether these losses are actually caused by anxiety or some other unnoticed factor.

From the simplest techniques to the most advanced, in my consultations, I see that acceptance that anxiety can/will happen is fundamental to feeling in control. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we learn how to aproach these maladjusted thought patterns.

In the representations below you can see a little of how the Cognitive Model may help.

The Situation can be something experienced, an event, someone's speech. 

An automatic thought happens for no apparent reason. Hence the name "automatic"




automatic thinking



Emotional, Physiological, Behavioral

Responses are the possible ways we can react. Regarding Emotional responses we notice changes in our mood. Physiological responses generaly result in feeling symptoms in the body (racing heart, trembling, tightness in the chest, etc.). The Behavioral responses are the ways we behave or the things we do or say.

Still don't understand?

Talk to Pedro and he will explain everything to you. Book your appointment and start your sessions as soon as you need.

A hanging lamp illuminates an intriguing drawing. Above a small blackboard, there is a thought bubble carefully sketched. Inside the bubble, words and ideas intertwine in a visual representation of thought. The lamp, symbolizing inspiration, shines over the blackboard, emphasizing the importance and power of reflections and ideas. The scene conveys the image of a creative and imaginative process, suggesting the pursuit of insights and solutions through deep reflection and inspiration.
Sintomas Ansiedade
Modelo Cognitivo

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