Barbara E. Kaplan, MHDL

Counseling for Individuals, Couples, Partners, Marriages, Families



It is common for people to have anxiety at times and it is usually not long lasting or interfering in daily functioning. Anxiety may occur at times of stress such as in starting a new job or anticipation of a first date.  Anxiety may even be helpful such as being more focused when taking an exam or being alert to danger.  However, when anxiety is persistent, excessive, the person is unable to control it and it is having a negative impact on one’s life, an anxiety disorder may be present.

Anxiety disorders are common mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), based on a February 2001 – April 2003 survey, about 19.1% of the United States population had an anxiety disorder in his/her lifetime in past year with the prevalence greater in women than in men. In addition, this study specifies that 22.8% of those with this lifetime prevalence in past year had serious impairment. According to the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder Fifth Edition, the female to male ratio is about 2 to 1. In addition, according to NIMH, based on the survey specified above, the prevalence of anxiety disorders differs by age in the US. Among people ages 18-69+ years old, the greatest percentage of people with anxiety disorders occurs between ages 30 and 44 years old, a very close 2nd is between the ages of 18 - 29 years old and a close 3rd is in ages between 45-59 years old.

For other statistics, please visit the website:


Different types of anxiety disorders exist such a Separation Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. Symptoms vary and may include but not be limited to: excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, sleep disturbances, being easily fatigued, muscle tension, sudden and reoccurring attacks of intense fear, fearful of losing control, chest pain, dizziness, feeling as if the person can’t breath, choking sensation, chills, trembling, heart palpitations. racing heartbeat, being very nervous in speaking with unfamiliar people, feeling physically separated from self.  A physician may be contacted to determine whether or not it is appropriate to take medication for anxiety.  Because anxiety symptoms may also be symptoms of a physical illness, a checkup by a physician may be obtained to rule out a medical condition/disease accounting for the anxiety symptoms such as having low blood sugar.  Please note that certain medications (prescription and over-the-counter) can imitate symptoms of an anxiety disorder or can make an anxiety disorder worse.  A physician may take into account the patient's reported prescribed and over-the-counter medications, caffeine and nicotine use, dietary supplements, alcohol and illicit drug use to determine if contributing to and/or causing anxiety symptoms, and may consider possible drug interactions.

The good news is that there is effective treatment for anxiety disorders. In general, they may be treated with medication, professional mental health therapy or both. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a type of mental health therapy that is evidence-based in that it has been extensively researched and found to be effective in the treatment of adult anxiety.  This therapy recognizes that one’s feelings and behavior are largely influenced by one’s thought(s) and that unhealthy thinking may result in psychological disturbance such as anxiety or make it worse.  Therefore, the therapist works with the client to identify these thoughts, test and correct them to change the view of self, others, situations and environment.  With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, skills may be acquired that may be utilized not only in the treatment of anxiety but also in other conditions such as depression, in relationship situations, in times of stress, to respond rather than react to others. In other words, they are skills that may be used throughout one's lifetime, not only with respect to specific disorders, but in every day situations.  Please note that some symptoms of anxiety may be symptoms of another mental disorder such as depression. In addition, depression may occur simultaneously with anxiety and vice versa which warrants addressing both conditions.  Medications to treat anxiety disorders may include the following most common classes: anti-depressants (e.g., Prozac), anti-anxiety (e.g., Xanax) and beta-blockers (e.g., Tenormin).  These classes of medications may have side effects and safety concerns.  The patient may ask the physician if dependency, withdrawal or rebound effects may occur from medications being considered to treat the patient's anxiety. The use of medications for the treatment of anxiety is not a cure but may be helpful in providing temporary relief from symptoms.

For an informative podcast in which Dennis Greenberger, Ph.D. explains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, please listen to this podcast (CBT: What is it?):

What is CBT? (Dennis Greenberger, Ph.D. explains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

Permission granted from Anxiety and Depression Association Of America for the above to be included on this Website.  ADAA's persmission is greatly appreviated.


Treating Coexisting Depression and Anxiety    (Anxiety and Depression may co-exist.  Dennis Greenberger, Ph.D. talks about the symptoms of anxiety and depression and addresses treatment for both.)

Permission granted from Anxiety and Depression Association Of America for the above to be included on this Website.  ADAA's persmission is greatly appreciated.

Woody Schuldt, MA explains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

This video is included with permission from Woody Schuldt, MA.   His permission is greatly appreciated.


For more information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, please check out these websites:

For more information on anxiety, please check out the following website:

For additional information about the treatment of anxiety or counseling in general, please call 704 333-1510.

This article is solely for information purposes.  It is not advice.  It is not intended for minors, and minors are instructed to leave the site.  It is not intended and it does not constitute professional or clinical advice.  The user of this page should not take any steps, or refrain from taking any steps, based on the information in this page, but should instead consult a qualified mental health professional.

This article was written some time between January 1, 2016 and January 22, 2019 with changes made in March of 2022.