Anxiety Disorders in Adults

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“Just as anxiety can feed on itself, so can courage.”

― John J. Ratey

Reasons to be Anxious

Everyone is concerned at times. As we grow older, our concerns also increase. Finance, health, and children can all be things that keep us awake at night. In many ways, worrying is a positive thing. It can be the motivational force that helps us solve a problem or persist in a project until we find a solution. But when worries get excessive and interfere with normal daily functioning, it can be a sign of a more serious anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety

General symptoms of anxiety, as opposed to anxiety, include:

  • Physical: Shortness of breath, pounding heart, shaking / trembling
  • Emotional: Difficulty concentrating, Irritability, Expecting the worst, Fear of dying
  • Behavioral: Social isolation / withdrawal, Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much, Changes in appetite

Types of Anxiety Disorders

The following are five types of anxiety disorders that are common in adults (click on the links to learn more):

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

The importance of treating anxiety disorders

Untreated anxiety disorders can have important effects on a person’s life, including poor social relationships, depression, poor academic / job performance, and can lead to other disorders, such as depression or substance abuse.

If you recognize yourself in one of these symptoms, or recognize a neighbor in them, an evaluation is recommended. At the Institute for Bodymind Integration we use a biopsychosocial – holistic / integrative approach that approaches the psychosocial needs as well as the physical, psychological and spiritual factors of the individual and the family.

Appropriate intervention for anxiety disorders include:

  • Individual Therapy: Individual work focuses on developing specific anxiety management skills, while also addressing the struggles of everyday stressors and low self-esteem (often associated with the diagnosis of anxiety)
  • Relaxation and body awareness: Like individual therapy, relaxation, grounding and body awareness works by teaching you specific management skills. We use techniques that make you aware of the inner processes that contribute to fear, and thus teach you to have better control over these processes.
  • Group Therapy: Groups provide safe and appropriate social training where you can receive feedback from other group members and professionals on how to regulate your behavior.

In summary: 

An anxiety disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by the presence of an unhealthy fear. If a fear has no real ground and the person involved experiences social problems, it is a disorder. There are several anxiety disorders (Acute stress disorder, Agoraphobia (without history of panic disorder), Anxiety disorder due to a somatic condition, Generalized anxiety disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia), Post-traumatic stress disorder, Specific phobia (e.g. spider phobia), Social phobia, Anxiety disorder due to alcohol or drugs, Anxiety disorder not otherwise defined (residual group)).

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Individual therapy sessions

Dirk Marivoet psychotherapist in Belgium

Dirk Marivoet, MSc. is a European certified psychotherapist (ECP). He studied physiotherapy as well as psychomotor therapy at the University of Leuven. For over 30 years he has worked in a holistic way and is especially interested in the integration of body and mind.

Dirk Marivoet and his colleagues at the IBI (International Institute of Bodymind Integration) offer individual therapy sessions for those interested in this mind-body approach.

In Ghent (Belgium), Europe, the rest of the world and online.

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