Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. It is your body's natural response to stress. Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness. This occurs when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety. Whether you have everyday stress, everyday anxiety or an anxiety disorder you can learn important strategies to help you manage and move forward.
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during which time a variety of psychological and physical symptoms occur. These symptoms can include rapid heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, hot flashes, and lightheadedness, as well as a sense of impending doom, chills, nausea, abdominal pain, chest pain, headache, and numbness or tingling. Symptoms may also include fears of dying, fears of losing control or "going crazy" and a sense of feeling detached from yourself or your surroundings.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression can cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest and can interfere with your daily functioning. It can cause critical symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions in which time people have recurring, unwanted and intrusive thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to act on behaviors or do something repetitively (compulsions) in order to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease distress.
A phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation. It is a type of anxiety disorder. A person with a phobia either tries to avoid the thing that triggers the fear, or endures it with great anxiety and distress. The three types of phobias are social phobia (fear of public speaking, meeting new people, or other social situations), agoraphobia (fear of being outside), and specific phobias (fear of particular items or situations). Supportive and gradual exposure assists with development of desensitization to the distressing stimulus.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder. Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty controlling their behavior and often fail to achieve their full academic, social and/or professional potential. Clinically, varying symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention may be present. There are 3 subtypes of ADHD: Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, Combined Presentation.
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors that alter brain functioning in a manner that affects one or more cognitive processes related to learning. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math. They can also interfere with higher cognitive processing skills such as organization, time management, abstract reasoning, long or short-term memory and attention. Learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.
Chronic pain is commonly defined as any pain, which lasts more than 12 weeks, it persists, often for months or even longer. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years, contributing to subsequent struggles with self-concept, anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms. Behavioral pain management techniques can reduce the experienced severity of the pain.
Brain Injuries/Cognitive changes
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that results in lasting cognitive changes. It may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Effects can last from several weeks or several years to lifelong. Individuals may struggle to achieve as much as they once did, may not be able to work or attend school and they may no longer be able to live independently. The severity of a TBI is correlated to the length of the recovery process. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. A blow to the head usually causes concussions. Other insults to the brain may result from stroke, brain tumor, and/or cognitive decline secondary to dementia. A neuropsychological evaluation characterizes an individual’s strengths and cognitive challenges and sets out a treatment plan to help recovery or ability to compensate for functional limitations take place faster.
Adjustment to Life Changes/Stress
Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life, as even positive life changes can often produce stress. On a positive note, increased stress has been shown to result in increased productivity, but too much stress may cause an overload leaving you unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.
Self-esteem refers to a person’s overall sense of his or her value or worth, or one’s attitude toward oneself. If you are suffering from a low sense of self worth, you would benefit from working on developing an honest and realistic conception of yourself based on your strength and weaknesses by setting realistic expectations, reducing perfectionistic tendencies, gaining a better understanding of yourself and adjusting your self-image, and discontinuing comparing yourself to others.
Health & Wellness
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness refers to not just physical health but emotional, spiritual, and social issues. Health is a state of being, whereas wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle. Learning to maintain an ideal level of wellness is key to experiencing a higher quality of life. Emotions and actions relate to our overall wellness and wellness also directly impacts our actions and emotions. It is crucial for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.
Mindfulness Based Techniques
Mindfulness is a natural human state in which an individual experiences and attends to the present moment. Interventions have been developed to train people how to incorporate this practice into their daily lives. Mindfulness is taught as a set of skills through structured exercises. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.