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Do I Need Professional Help?

From a teen in the U.S.: I’m very anxious all the time and I overthink things a lot. I often get so anxious that I start shaking and I’m really on edge, and I lose track of things. I’ll snap at people when I don’t mean to because I’m freaked out. I sometimes get panic attacks that cause me to miss events or bail and hide. Some of my friends have suggested I seek therapy, none of them are mental health professionals. I wonder if maybe I’m blowing my problems out of proportion, or maybe I’m just not good enough at dealing with it and I just need to get better at dealing with my problems myself. Mental health care can be expensive and I don’t wanna waste anyone’s time if I don’t actually need help.


Sometimes we know the answer when we ask a question. You say that you are anxious a lot and even get panic attacks. That’s reason enough to seek out some professional help. You don’t have to solve your problems on your own. If you could do it, you would have done so already.

You will not be wasting a therapist’s time. The first few meetings with a therapist are used to assess the situation. If the therapist thinks you don’t need help, they will tell you. The recommendation may be for just a few sessions to give you peace of mind or it may be for some ongoing help to learn ways to manage your anxiety. You and the therapist will work together to decide what you want to do within your budget and/or insurance.

Meanwhile, I do suggest you do some research on anxiety. You will find that you are not at all alone in your struggle. Almost 19 percent of Americans deal with anxiety every year. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be highly effective in giving people relief.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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