Anxiety, Worry and Panic 

Anxiety by definition is difficulty tolerating uncertainty - Either an overestimation of negative things happening in the future or an underestimation of one's ability to cope should it occur.

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Three Components to Anxiety

1) Physical/Feelings : heart palpitaions, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, shakiness

2) Cognitions/Thoughts : "something terrible is going to happen"

 3) Behaviors: 'I have to avoid this' or do something to bring this anxiety down

                              A Word about Avoidance: Avoidance is the enemy of anxiety. Though it decreases the immediate anxiety, it increases anxiety over time


Treatment for Anxiety, Chronic Worry, Fears

Some treatments for anxiety disorders are more effective than others – for example CBT. CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Treatment works on stopping the cycle at all three points.  (Note: There is a myth out there that CBT is somehow less emotional therapy than other therapies - but the truth is, when done well with a close relationship with a therapist, it is close, deep, emotionally effective treatment for certain types of difficulties. )

Prolonged Exposure, Exposure/Response Prevention, CBT for Panic and/or Social Anxiety and Agoraphobia

are therapies that can accomplish lasting change in a short time. 


This is certainly not an exhaustive list of therapeutic techniques, but it is a good start to let you know that there are a number of evidence-based practices that are very effective. PBS had a special not long ago called "This Emotional Life". In it, it featured several of these techniques - I highly recommend you see it if you are worried that you can't stop your anxiety, panic, OCD or PTSD symptoms. Click to bring up "This Emotional Life"