"Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them." Epictetus
Anxiety is not a biological problem. It is a psychological state characterized by pronounced physical symptoms.
Generalized anxiety (free floating anxiety) is a relatively common anxiety condition. Constant worry and rumination in the absence of any real threat or dwelling on the "what ifs", characterizes this type of anxiety. Somatic symptoms may include:
feeling on edge or restless
exaggerated startle response
trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
accelerated heart rate
The inability to “turn off” pervasive negative thoughts coupled with the somatic symptoms which develop begin to incapacitate a person. Since there is no apparent "trigger" or "cause" for his or her physical symptoms and mental distress a person often feels hopeless about their psychological state and becomes depressed.
How Can Therapy Help?
Psychotherapy can help a person who suffers from generalized anxiety in a number of ways. First, by providing a supportive and safe environment in which a person can talk about his/her feelings. Second, therapy helps the individual to identify and understand those stressors and maladaptive coping skills associated with their anxiety. Third, the individual learns effective cognitive and behavioral techniques to interrupt and alleviate the negative thought patterns and ruminations. Finally, therapy helps the individual to develop new and more effective coping skills to deal with stress.