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Understanding Anxiety: A Step Toward a Better Life

anxiety infographic


Understanding Anxiety: A Step Toward a Better Life


Feeling anxious every now and then is a normal reaction that helps you survive in emergencies. Sweaty palms, fast-beating heart, jumpy mind—who hasn’t experienced them when having a scary thought or faced with a daunting situation? These responses can be beneficial in dangerous circumstances.

However, if your anxiety is unusually intense and persists when there is no real danger, it can be disastrous to your health and emotional well-being. When anxiety symptoms become overwhelming, it is productive and a common sense step to see a therapist.


Taking the First Step: Understanding Anxiety

What are the basic facts you must know about anxiety?


First, anxiety is a normal response that puts your mind and body on the alert when something isn’t right.

In simple words, anxiety symptoms are real and not imagined. They are part of a biological “fight or flight” response initiated by the “adrenaline rush” or the surging of the hormones norepinephrine and cortisol. These hormones accelerate your heart rate, delivering more oxygen to your muscles and enhancing your impulses, speed, and sensitivity.


Second, anxiety can’t just be turned off, for several reasons.

Stopping the thoughts that make you anxious is unrealistic. Anxiety is a biological system, and it exists to help you react with a “fight or flight” response in dangerous situations, such as fighting off an attacker or escaping from a fire.

Anxiety is also self-sustaining, which means it can prevent you from seeking ways to extricate yourself from its grip. When you fail to get treatment, you can slip into a more complicated case of anxiety with more serious and life-disrupting manifestations.

The last reason is that trying to suppress your thoughts can make your anxiety worse. The Calm Clinic says, “Thought suppression is a psychological phenomenon that states that when you try to avoid having a thought, you actually have the thought more often than if you never bothered trying to avoid it at all.”


Third, there are brain processes that control anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Guide, there are two parts of the brain that play significant roles in controlling anxiety—the amygdala and the hippocampus.

The amygdala processes and interprets sensory signals and alerts the brain if there is a threat or danger. It also functions in storing emotional memories, which can later trigger specific anxieties or fears. The hippocampus specifically encodes upsetting experiences into memories. The persistence of these memories can make it difficult for anxiety to be controlled without professional help or treatment.


Fourth, knowledge is empowering.

An anxiety disorder can be overwhelming, but you are not helpless. Understanding anxiety can reveal its weak points. With professional help, it is possible to turn these into areas of strength. For example, knowing that anxiety can be self-sustaining with thought suppression, you can let your thoughts flow. With a therapist, talk about your fears or sources of panic/phobia.


Fifth, anxiety is treatable.

“Anxiety disorders … are treatable, and the vast majority of people can be helped with professional care,” says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The process may not be easy for some people, especially when anxiety is complicated by other emotional conditions, medical conditions, or substance abuse. A tailored or personalized treatment program works better in these cases.

The ADAA lists several treatment options that can be personalized to meet your needs, and the first on the list is therapy. Talk therapy, with a qualified therapist, works. This is why it is commonly used in the treatment of anxiety, either alone or combined with other treatment options.


On to the Next Step: Talk to a Professional

Now that you’re aware that anxiety can’t be stopped without professional help and that talking about your anxiety is good, your next step is finding a reliable therapist in your area. If you live in or close to Pinehurst in North Carolina, look to Carolina Counseling Services (CCS).

Let your mind and body rest and help yourself live your life to the fullest once again. Look forward to a life where illogical fears have no place. Talking to a caring therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC, is the first step toward facing and controlling your anxiety for an improved life.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

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Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-420-3600 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311