Anxiety Treatment




Phone: 212-675-2664

Dr. Andrew Eig

Dr. Andrew Eig

Coping with and Overcoming Anxiety with the Help of Psychotherapy

What is it? Anxiety or fear is a natural part of life. It is the body and mind’s response to danger in the environment. Anxiety kicks in our flight-fight system in order to protect us from a threat. For instance, if there is a burglar at the door, our pulse would quicken and adrenaline would start flowing in order to prepare our body to protect itself.

Anxiety becomes troubling when it is misplaced – the danger does not fit our anxious response. It takes imagination and creativity to be anxious. Those of us that have experienced catastrophic thinking certainly are aware of where their mind takes them.
People who suffer from anxiety are not crazy, as they have often been mislabeled. They just have a creative mind then can run astray at times.

Below are a few (but not all) of the more common forms of anxiety that I work with in my practice.

Types of Anxiety:

Generalized Anxiety (GAD): GAD is characterized by feelings of dread, catastrophic thinking, and irrational worry. People with GAD often have irrational concerns about the future, their health, finances and the state of the world to the point that their daily functioning is significantly hampered. Physical symptoms such as sweaty palms, muscle aches, difficulty breathing, tightness in the throat, and frequent headaches often accompany the extreme amounts of worry.

Anxiety can take on a life of its own. We can worry about being worried. A person suffering from anxiety often fears that the worry (e.g. the trouble breathing, catastrophic thinking) will return.

Panic Disorder: Panic disorders or anxiety attacks appear to come out of nowhere for the person experiencing them. They are different for each person. People suffering from a panic attack usually experience rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing (hyperventilation), and light-headedness or dizziness. These physical symptoms are usually accompanied by thoughts that one is dying or “going crazy”. Panic attacks leave us feeling fatigued and wiped out. A full blown panic attack is much like undergoing an intense workout in the gym.

Anyone who has ever experienced a panic attack knows that they are dreadful. Panic disorder is diagnosed when people suffer from frequent panic attacks. Because panic attacks appear to come out of nowhere, we try to avoid situations where we once had panic attacks. We become preoccupied with what situation may have set it off so those circumstances can be avoided. This fear of the panic attack can actually lead to more panic. It is important for the person who experiences this type of anxiety that they are not going crazy and that there is nothing wrong with their health. A panic attack will not hurt their heart or cardiovascular system. It will actually strengthen it.

Often times, agoraphobia (fear of leaving one’s home) accompanies anxiety attacks for this reason. Being outside or in a certain place is thought to trigger another spell. Panic disorder occurs when a part of the brain related to emotion called the amygdala is set to a higher sensitivity than is needed. This function in the brain works much like a thermostat to a boiler. The thermostat senses when a room is too cold and signals the boiler to turn on and bring the heat. We all need anxiety response in some form at some time in our life. The amygdala along with other parts of the brain signal the anxiety response. In the case of a panic attack, the amygdala is set too high. Our body’s thermostat is off and it needs to be reset.

Treatment for panic attacks is usually rapid and highly effective.

Phobias: Phobias are fears of certain things or circumstances. Sometimes phobias like a fear of heights are mere annoyances. At other times, phobias can be debilitating when they cause you to isolate yourself.

Social Anxiety: Social anxiety (or social phobia) occurs when people have fear or worry in social situations. It is common for people with social anxiety to experience discomfort about meeting new people or feeling like they are being evaluated in interpersonal interactions. The amount of anxiety and self-consciousness can be debilitating keeping people from working, going to school, or dating.

Social phobia often times is hidden behind other troubles like addiction or marital problems. Because of the intense amount of shame involved for those experiencing social phobia, it is often kept a secret for many years. People with social phobia who are able endure these uncomfortable feelings enough to seek treatment often find relief in a rather short period of time.

What causes anxiety disorders?

We are not entirely sure what the exact causes of anxiety disorders are. Genetic, biological, and psychological factors interact in a complex way to explain why some people handle stress better than others. Despite our lack of fully understanding the causes, mental health practitioners have become pretty adept at helping people with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy can help people build effective coping skills to reduce their symptoms. In severe cases, psychotropic medication is also used in conjunction with therapy.

Contact me today to arrange an initial consultation.

Andrew Eig, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.
109 East 19th Street
New York City, New York 10003

Phone: 212-675-2664

Email: andy@andreweig.com

Website: consultation request form


Dr. Andrew Eig

Andrew Eig, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Phone: 212-675-2664

email | online form

Office location:
109 East 19th Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
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