50: Living With Anxiety


An estimated 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is a beast and in addition to depression, one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. Given anxiety is so prevalent, we’ve decided to dedicate episode 50 to all those LIVING WITH ANXIETY. Tune in as Nikki Young, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Alyssa Najera, Licensed Clinical Social Worker discuss the different types of anxiety, common risk factors, and how you can deal with it.

In this episode we talk about:

If you have ever wondered what anxiety is, felt like you have it, been diagnosed with it, asked if you suffer from it, in denial about it, or raised by someone with anxiety, it may be helpful to better understand the different types of anxiety and how to recognize them.

Types of Anxiety:

What is Phobia: irrational fear or aversion to something (i.e. Fear of spiders, fear of elevators, etc.)

What is Social anxiety: nervousness or fear being in social situations (i.e. Public speaking, fear of judgement, etc.)

What is Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD): anxiety provoked behavior in all types of situations and settings including home, social, work, and peer environments

What is Substance Induced Anxiety: anxiety experienced through drugs or alcohol, possibly in attempts to self-medicate.

What is Medical Induced Anxiety: anxiety caused by medical factors (i.e. Cancer treatment causing anxiety due to traumatic news and stability)

What is Panic Disorders: experiencing episodes of panic and panic attacks suddenly and unexpectedly. Panic attacks consist of feeling fearful, can’t breathe, heart racing, sweating, and feeling as though you are dying

What is Agoraphobia: an intense fear of particular places and situations. Sometimes this can look like having a fear of leaving home alone, public transportation, or crowded areas  

What is Selective Mutism: Difficulty or failure to speak in specific environments (i.e. school, work) despite having the ability to understand and speak normally in other setting such as home

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder: a type of anxiety in children characterized by anxiety related to the separation from parents/caregivers that is excessive for their developmental age

What is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)?

  • The DSM is basically the bible of mental health and other disorders. It guides health and mental health professionals in appropriately diagnosing a cluster of symptoms in order to identify a treatment plan for specific diagnoses. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and has been revised several times since original debut in the 1950’s. The most recent edition is the DSM-5

How do I know if I have Anxiety?

  • Common Symptoms of Anxiety
    • Excessive worrying
    • Feeling restless, nervous or tense
    • Increased heart rate
    • Rapid breathing
    • Feeling stuck in your head about that past and future, difficult staying present
    • Having difficulty controlling the worry
    • Avoiding people, places, or things that may trigger anxiety
  • Talk to you doctor to
    • learn more about therapy for anxiety
    • explore individual and group treatment options
    • explore a medication assessment or referral to a psychiatrist (*Medication must be monitored under the treatment of a health professional such as primary care physician or psychiatrist and is most effective when combine with psychotherapy treatment and/or other modes of treatment)

“Nobody comes out of the womb being like, okay these are the things that might go wrong, this is your engine checklist.” -Nikki Young, LMFT 00:23:00

How do I treat Anxiety?

Anxiety therapy is offered in the form of both individual and group therapy. There are several different  modalities used to treat anxiety when being treated by a mental health professional.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Anxiety: CBT is one of the most commonly used types of treatment for anxiety. CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on the link between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT focuses on breaking destructive though patterns and improving your mood and behavior.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Anxiety: EMDR is a trauma-specific intervention that is relatively newer in comparison to other forms of treatment. It is also a great form of treatment phobias and other forms anxiety. A mental health professional must be either EMDR-Trained or EMDR-Certified in order to provide this type of Anxiety Therapy.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Anxiety: DBT helps increase emotion regulation and symptom management through skills training and individual and/or group therapy

When is anxiety normal and when should I look into professional help?

At the end of the day, everyone gets anxiety and in small doses and it can be a good motivating factor. Anxiety may cause problems to arise that mean you would benefit from professional help if,

  • Anxiety starts to impair or negatively affect your relationships, academic functioning, or occupational functioning
  • You find yourself taking advantage of unhealthy self-medicating techniques (e.g. alcohol or drugs)
  • Experience embarrassment about or with seeking help for anxiety issues

Therapists Uncut Challenge:

If you recognize signs or symptoms of anxiety, allow yourself to acknowledge this part then ask in what ways has anxiety negatively impacted you? In what ways has anxiety been beneficial?

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some links:

National Institute of Mental Health


DSM Library


Thank you for allowing us into your lives and helping us make mental health relatable and a part of your everyday conversation! For more information or to access all episodes visit TherapistsUncut.com.

What is the Therapists Uncut Podcast:

The Therapists Uncut Podcast is a light-hearted, informative self-help podcast for grown-ups. It is hosted by off-the-clock therapists hoping to validate your experiences, normalize therapy and therapists, and help you prioritize your mental health.

Who are the Therapists Uncut Podcast Co-Hosts:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at catalystcounselinginc.com

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, trainer and consultant, and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at smalltowncounselingca.com or alyssanajera.com.


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria