According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S over the age of 18 (that’s almost 20% of the population!) and is the most common mental health problem. Additionally, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety related issues.
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse as time goes on. And these feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including:
Panic disorder: People with this type experience feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms might include sweating, chest pain, heart palpitations, and a feeling of choking. These symptoms may make the person feel like he/she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.”
Social anxiety disorder: Also called social phobia, this disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.
Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation (e.g., snakes, heights, or flying are most common). The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.
Generalized anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.
Symptoms vary depending on the specific type of anxiety disorder. Here’s my video on this topic.
General symptoms include:
• Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
• Difficulty sleeping
• Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• An inability to be still and calm
• Dry mouth
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
• Muscle tension
How can music therapy help?
• Explore personal feelings and therapeutic issues such as self-esteem or personal insight
• Make positive changes in mood and emotional states
• Have a sense of control over life through successful experiences
• Enhance awareness of self and environment
• Express oneself both verbally and non-verbally
• Develop coping and relaxation skills
• Support healthy feelings and thoughts
• Improve reality testing and problem solving skills
• Develop independence and decision making skills
• Adopt positive forms of behavior
• Resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships
If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty with anxiety, please consult a mental health professional who can provide you with the assistance you need. If you’d like to explore how music therapy might help you specifically, please contact me at 256-655-0648 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’m always happy to answer questions!