Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists of New Jersey
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Dr. Lynn R. Mollick and Dr. Milton C. Spett - founders of leaders of the New Jersey Associaton of Cognitive Behavior Therapists

Stress, Worry, Anxiety, & Panic Attacks

Symptoms of Stress, Worry, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks

  • Worry about things that have happened or may happen.
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Rapid heartbeat you can feel
  • Sweating, feeling hot or cold
  • Headaches, chest, jaw or back pains, other muscle tension
  • Stomach and/or bowel distress
  • Trembling, tingling, faintness
  • Feeling that things are unreal

The word "stress" refers to two different things:

  • A difficult external situation, like a boss who overloads you with work.
  • Your reaction to that difficult situation.

There are three ways we can help you reduce your stress:

  1. We can help you develop new ways to deal with difficult situations to make them less difficult.
  2. We can teach you new ways of thinking about difficult situations to make them less upsetting.
  3. We can teach you relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation skills that will reduce your distress.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy includes many specific techniques for treating each of the anxiety disorders. We'll figure out which specific techniques will work best for you. We'll help you think differently and behave differently when your symptoms occur. We'll help you feel better with relaxation, mindfulness, or meditation techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a panic attack feel like?
Your heart starts pounding. You feel like you can't breathe. You feel terrified, dizzy, faint, hot, cold. You're scared that you're having a heart attack, going crazy, or losing control.

You may want to get out of wherever you are, or go home, or call someone for help. You may go to an emergency room where they perform tests and find nothing medically wrong.

Panic attacks can occur in specific situations or come on suddenly and unpredictably. Between attacks, you probably worry that you will have another panic attack, and you may avoid places where you may have a panic attack.

How are other anxiety disorders different from panic?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – the worry and anxiety are present most of the time. They become worse when you are under pressure and better when the pressure is off.

Social Anxiety Disorder is anxiety that occurs in social situations or during public speaking. People with social anxiety usually fear saying something foolish or looking foolish to others.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs after experiencing or witnessing something life threatening. PTSD sufferers become very anxious or avoid reminders of the traumatic situation. If you have PTSD, you may have nightmares or sudden, intrusive images of the traumatic event. Sometimes people with PTSD cut themselves or develop eating disorders.

Phobias are anxiety symptoms that occur only in specific situations, like when flying or driving over bridges. People with phobias avoid situations that provoke their anxiety symptoms.

How will Cognitive Behavior Therapy help me with my anxiety disorder?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is very effective for anxiety disorders. If you suffer from stress, panic, anxiety, phobias, PTSD or social anxiety, we will give you clear, specific guidance in how you can think differently about your anxiety problem and what you should do when you experience your anxiety symptoms. We may ask you to perform certain exercises between therapy sessions, and we may teach you meditation, mindfulness, or other relaxation techniques.

Is medication helpful for anxiety disorders?
Medication doesn't cure anxiety disorders; it reduces your symptoms for as long as you take the medication.

If you're currently taking medication for an anxiety disorder, we would not recommend stopping abruptly. If you want to get off medication, we'll work with you and your physician to help you gradually reduce and eventually stop your medication.

Can I ever be free of these symptoms?
You probably can't imagine ever being free of your anxiety symptoms. And you may be discouraged because you've had treatment and it hasn't helped you. But with the right kind of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, the day will probably come when it will be hard to remember that you once had these problems.

For more information or to make an appointment:

Call us at 908-276-3888

Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists of New Jersey
1150 Raritan RoadCranford, New Jersey
Opposite Friendly's RestaurantOne mile from GSP exits 135 and 136