Anxiety – When to Seek Counseling

We all experience stress and anxiety is everyday life. Anxiety is defined as feeling worry, nervousness, or unease, usually about an unknown future outcome. Low levels of anxiety do not cause alarm and do not interfere with the quality of one’s life. Sometimes anxiety can improve your production capabilities. We all know at least one person who needs that extra incentive to get the job done. During this time of COVID-19, unemployment, furloughs, and potential illness, it is understandable that many are experiencing increased anxiety and worry about the near and distant future. Standing in line to enter shops like King Soopers in Loveland, Home Depot in Fort Collins, or Walgreens in Greeley with everyone wearing face masks can be a little freaky. What types of issues regarding anxiety would qualify for a professional diagnosis? Counselors have several options from which to choose.

  1. Adjustment Disorder requires distress symptoms which are out of proportion to the event at hand and must cause significant impairment in social or occupational functions.
  2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is considered when there is excessive and uncontrollable worry and anxiety many consecutive days. Symptoms may include: restlessness; easily fatigued; trouble concentrating; irritability; muscle tension; and/or, sleep disruption. This also includes significant interruption is social or vocational areas of life. Of course, panic attacks can accompany this disorder. Symptoms of panic attacks are listed under Panic Disorder.
  3. Panic Disorder can be diagnosed when a person has recurrent and unexpected panic attacks which can last anywhere from minutes to hours. You may notice a pounding heart, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, hot or cold flashes, or numbness. Some people feel like life is not real; they can feel separate from their body; they may worry that they are going crazy or even dying.

When should you seek counseling? It is always advisable to seek advice from your doctor to rule out any organic or physical ailment. Generally, when the issues are causing so much disruption in your life that you cannot meet your daily responsibilities, counseling can be helpful. Counselors share ways to lower anxiety, which can be practiced at home. Talking to someone else has been known to help manage the unwanted feelings and to not feel so alone. If you are struggling with any of the above, please reach out to a professional counselor in your area. See my blog for skills available, both mental and physical, to help lower your anxiety and increase your ability to function throughout the day. I can be reached at (970) 829-1968 or emailed at to make an appointment.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub. 7.3137j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#dobs=anxiety

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