What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a very common mental health disorder that affects millions of people every single day. It is an excessive worry about future events or the way someone feels when they are in certain situations. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for more than six months, then it might be time to talk with your doctor about anxiety disorders. There are many different diagnoses and treatments available for those who suffer from this debilitating condition. In this post, we will discuss what anxiety disorders are and how to identify them as well as treatment options that may work best for you!
Anxiety is a natural response to stress and can be useful in certain situations. When you are feeling anxious, your body releases adrenaline to make it easier for you to react quickly. This is why many people feel their heart race or “butterflies” in their stomach when they are nervous. It does not always mean that there is something wrong with them! If this anxiety occurs too often or interferes with daily life, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders can attempt to avoid situations that cause or worsen their symptoms. The following are some common symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder are examples of different types of anxiety disorders.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
People who suffer from GAD have an excessive amount of worry that does not go away. They may feel like they need to be prepared for everything and are tense, irritable, or restless much of the time. The excess worrying can interfere with daily life because it is hard to focus on one task at a time. Individuals who are suffering from this disorder often feel like they cannot control the worrying, which can cause significant distress.
This is when an individual has repeated panic attacks out of nowhere and without any warning signs. In some cases, people with this diagnosis may not even know what caused them to have a panic attack. These individuals may have a fear of losing control or going crazy, and they can be extremely sensitive to physical changes such as increased heart rate.
When someone is suffering from a specific phobia, it means that something irrational causes extreme anxiety in them – usually the object/situation only mildly provokes their reaction. Some examples of specific phobias are blood-injection injury, heights, flying in airplanes, spiders/bugs, and public speaking.
This is when an individual becomes anxious or uncomfortable in places where they feel it would be difficult to escape if something terrible were to happen. This could include open spaces (such as bridges, crowds), being alone (because they cannot get help if needed), or traveling in public transportation.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety typically occurs because an individual fears that other people will judge them for their actions and behaviors. They may worry about embarrassing themselves by doing something wrong around others, saying the wrong thing, not knowing what to say, etc. This is known as social anxiety disorder and it can be very debilitating for those who are suffering from this condition.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
This occurs when an individual has a great deal of worry about being away from home or people they need to take care of them (children). They may feel like something terrible will happen if they are not by their loved ones’ side. Those who suffer from this disorder often have difficulty being apart from the people they love and need to stay close in order to feel secure or safe.
Risk factors of Anxiety Disorder
If you are suffering from one of the following, it is important to talk with your doctor about what might be causing this.
Genetics – There may be a genetic factor involved if another family member has suffered/is suffering through an anxiety disorder or mental illness. This does not mean that because other people in their family have experienced these disorders that you will too. However, it is important to discuss your family history with a medical professional in case there are any genetic factors that may be causing this disorder such as an imbalance of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) between the brain and body.
Stressful life events – Although these types of situations do not always lead to anxiety disorders, the combination of stressful life events and other possible causes could be the reason why an individual is suffering from this.
Symptoms to look for – If you are concerned that someone close to you may have an anxiety disorder, pay attention to their behaviors or habits in order to see if any symptoms fit with what they might be experiencing. Some examples include feeling like they are out of control, avoiding certain places or situations (going to work/school even though there is no reason why not), constantly worrying about safety. other common symptoms include
-Inability to relax
-Incessant worrying about everyday things, even when there is little reason to worry
-Uncomfortable feelings in your stomach or chest area
-Tense muscles and rapid breathing
The first step most often taken in order to treat anxiety disorders is with therapy and medication. If the disorder has become so severe that it begins affecting daily life then psychiatric treatment may be needed. There are several different types of medications that can help minimize the symptoms, however it is important to note that these do not cure mental illness and you should only take medication under a doctor’s supervision. The most common treatment for anxiety disorders involves psychotherapy (usually cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT), which helps people learn how to change their behaviors and feelings in order to reduce the impact of the disorder.
Self-Help and coping.
There are a variety of things people do to assist them cope with anxiety disorder symptoms and make therapy more successful. Some examples include:
-Keeping track of your symptoms and how you feel each day
-Writing about the things that make you anxious or upset
-Surrounding yourself with supportive people who can help facilitate treatment (therapist, family)
-Staying on top of medications by visiting doctor’s appointments regularly.
Please contact our doctors if you need help with this disorder.