“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!” So the song says. But if you are one of the 15% of Americans with a tendency toward anxiety and panic, life in New York City can come at an emotional cost. Glamour aside, The City that Never Sleeps can be a simmering cauldron of stress, worry, rumination, and obsessive thinking – the vital ingredients of anxiety and panic.
Anxiety Related Stress in NYC
We experience stress at work, where the pressures are high and support often lacking. NYC employers demand a high performance, often under threat of layoffs. Freelancers face their unique challenges, like combatting procrastination and vying for the next contract. In the arts, you risk continual rejection, by striving to be the best when being the best still doesn’t get you the job.
For many New Yorkers, just getting around town provokes anxiety and panic. We crowd into limited space on streets and roadways, busses and subways, elevators and escalators. The surface of New York is so congested that the trains are consigned to tunnels. Anyone with a tendency toward claustrophobia is bound to be tested.
Raising a child in New York presents its own anxiety triggers, from cramped apartments, to crowded playgrounds, to competing for the best schools.
How Stress and Anxiety Can Build to Trigger a Panic Attack
This chart shows how stress and anxiety can build to trigger a panic attack. And once you’ve had your first attack, fear of having another can keep you close to your panic threshold. In this way, worrying about having a panic attack actually increases the chance that you will. You may find yourself avoiding places where you anticipate a reoccurrence, like crowded, confined spaces, or anywhere you believe you could not easily escape or get the right help (Agoraphobia). Obsessing and ruminating on these worries, and avoiding triggering situations, only serves to maintain your anxiety, perpetuate the cycle, and further prevent you from living a full, healthy life.
CBT for Anxiety & Panic
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is cost effective treatment for anxiety and panic. CBT offers a sensible, science-based explanation of the problem, and a set of practical, clinically-proven strategies to help you reduce panic & agoraphobia, generalized anxiety, worry & rumination,and rejoin your life. The Cognitive Health Group provides high quality CBT in the New York City area. Click here to request an appointment. Learn more about panic and anxiety:
- A Panic Attack is a False Alarm