Anxiety: Test Anxiety

By: Charleene Polanco

Have you ever had a moment of extreme panic, right before the beginning of a test? How about feeling like you are about to faint, or excessive sweat during an exam? If these symptoms describe your test-taking experience, then you might be suffering from test anxiety.

Test anxiety is defined as a psychological condition where people experience severe distress and anxiety during exams. Some causes of test anxiety are fear of failure and lack of preparation. A fear of failure can result from wanting to perform well. One who associates their self-worth with a test’s outcome, can feel devastated when the grade is not what he or she expected. This creates a vicious cycle, where because the person is afraid of feeling worthless, when they fail, they become anxious while taking the exam.  As a result, their performance level on tests drops. Lack of preparation is another cause of test anxiety, which occurs when students do not study properly for an exam. For those who like to wait until the night before an exam, to cram five chapters worth of information into their brain, tests are a constant source of anxiety and stress.

Symptoms of test anxiety can be split up into three categories; physical, emotional, and behavioral/cognitive symptoms. Some physical symptoms include headaches, nausea, excessive sweating, and rapid heartbeat. Emotional symptoms can be expressed as feelings of anger, fear, helplessness, and disappointment.  Behavioral/cognitive symptoms are difficulty concentrating and negative thinking.

To help manage test anxiety, here are some tips;

  • Properly prepare for exams
  • Develop good test-taking skills
  • Engage in relaxation techniques, like taking deep slow breaths
  • Keep a positive mindset

If you or someone you know is suffering from test anxiety, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit


“Test Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, Anxiety and Depression Association of America , 2018,


Eating Disorders: Binge-Eating

By, Michelle Dierna


Obesity is currently a major epidemic in America and is growing. The question is what gives an Individual the desire to eat excessive amounts of food driven by impulse? The answer to this question can vary, however binge eating is an eating disorder just like anorexia and bulimia. There seems to be a stigma attached to obesity and a belief that people who are overweight do not care about their bodies. This is simply an over generalization; There are many emotional aspects that are involved with any type of eating disorder including binge eating.

For most people control plays a big part in eating habits.  Many eating disorders are characterized by control of eatery. Binge- eaters are not able to handle cravings and desire in order to present themselves from over eating. Over eating can be caused by emotional issues that trigger impulses to eat including boredom, loneliness and depression.

  “Size bashing” and “weight bullying” are terms that connote hostility and possibly even violent behavior toward an obese person. Large people are, indeed, frequently the target of verbal abuse and, sometimes, physical attack. Sometimes they draw stares; other times they are ignored as if invisible. Either way, they are often looked down upon and thought of as second-class citizens.”{Farbman; pyschologytoday}

Eating is involved in our everyday lives, all around the world.  As humans, many people over eat once in awhile- taking an extra serving at Thanksgiving dinner, eating candies when our body is already full. But, for binge eaters, overeating is regular and uncontrollable. Binge eating can have a negative effect on one’s self -esteem and social life. Most have heard of the saying “I’m comfort eating” and for people suffering with this eating disorder its more than just comfort eating -it’s a disease.

 “Eat to live not live to Eat” should be instilled in your mind. Eating is for survival. If you live to eat then ultimately you are shortening your life span. This could happen because being overweight or obese increases you’re risk of diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Your eating habits can affect your mind and your every day life. Your health should always come first. Speaking to a professional about why you might be having these issues could be extremely beneficial, especially if you don’t know the cause of your binge-eating and choosing not to stick to a healthy diet.

If you feel that you are struggling with Binge eating or have any other concerns about Eating Disorders, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices to work with one of our psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists who successfully helped others with similar issues.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.

More detailed information can be found at

Source: Debra.Farbman, Ph.D.”Weight Bullying: Large Size People Who Are Often Targets.” Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Action. N.p., n.d. Web.