Anxiety can be a part of everyday life. Worrying about money or family can sometimes leave you feeling a little anxious. However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can cause concern. Those with anxiety struggle with a variety of everyday life factors. It’s not easy for those with anxiety disorders to act like everything is okay when, in their mind, it is not. Just remember you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are actually the most common type of mental illness and affect almost 30% of the American population at some point. If you or a loved one deal with anxiety, keep reading to learn more about each disorder. Education is a helpful aspect of helping those you love with conditions like these.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is that feeling you get when something doesn’t go right, or you excessively worry about a future event. You may need to isolate yourself, hyperventilate, or cry for no reason. It’s an unsettling feeling to go through, especially when there isn’t anything to worry about — your brain just tells you there is. Fear is a significant part of anxiety and triggers your fight-or-flight response, leaving you overwhelmed. If you have anxiety, you probably tend to avoid situations that cause a panic attack. You may also have difficulties in public, such as at school or work.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves dread and anxiety over everyday events. It can interfere with daily life, causing a person with this disorder to withdraw from those closest to them. Generalized Anxiety Disorder can last for months or even years, and it’s not something that just goes away suddenly.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder can include:
- Feeling on-edge
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty controlling worrisome thoughts
- Unexplained pains and headaches
People with GAC may also experience difficulty staying asleep. Your mind can sometimes race with thoughts, so falling and staying asleep is brutal. If you think you might have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, speak with your doctor to find options for treatment,
Those dealing with panic disorder experience unexpected panic attacks and may worry about when a future attack will occur. Panic attacks are a sudden loss of control, intense fear, and discomfort. This can occur with or without a trigger. People may experience specific symptoms during a panic attack that will be a telltale sign of what they’re dealing with. They may undergo the following:
- Chest pain
- Feelings of impending doom
You may feel entirely out of control during a panic attack. This feeling will subside, but it’s a terrible feeling. It may make you want to withdraw from certain situations or people that make you uncomfortable. These panic attacks can happen at any time, up to several times a day or as rarely as just a few times a year.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is an intense fear of being judged by those around you. You may also feel as though people are watching you. Fear of social situations is a telltale sign of social anxiety disorder. You may avoid all types of social situations or conditions where there will be many people.
People with this disorder may have symptoms of blushing, sweating, trembling, a racing heart, stomachaches, and difficulty making eye contact. You may also experience feeling self-conscious or speak with a soft voice to avoid any kind of attention. If you feel like these symptoms pertain to you, please talk with your doctor to find a treatment that works for you.
A phobia is an extreme fear. You may experience a fear heights that’s so extreme that you never fly on a plane. Another example is the extreme fear of spiders, so much so that you may call a friend to kill a spider in your home. This intense fear makes you terrified of something you shouldn’t be, and individuals without your phobia see it as unrealistic.
Some examples of phobias include:
People with phobias will experience intense anxiety and fear if exposed to the object of their phobia. They may also worry constantly about encountering something they’re afraid of. Other phobias include Agoraphobia, an intense fear of being in public, and separation anxiety disorder. Separation anxiety disorder involves dealing with anxiety when away from someone they are attached to. People with this disorder worry that something will happen to their loved ones if they aren’t with them.
Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders
There are a variety of treatments for anxiety disorders, including therapy and medications. Psychotherapy is an excellent option that allows you to talk through the things that cause your anxiety. A licensed professional therapist or psychiatrist will help you discover the root of your anxiety. Your sessions will be fully customized to your specific needs.
Another form of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These therapy sessions work by changing how you think about the things that cause you anxiety. It will teach you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the things that cause you anxiety. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can also help with anxiety disorders. This form of therapy teaches mindfulness and setting goals to understand better what causes anxiety in your everyday life.
Medications may also help alleviate your anxiety. It doesn’t “cure” you, but it does help with the overwhelming symptoms you experience. You may be prescribed anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers, or antidepressants to help combat your anxiety. It may take some time for your prescriptions to begin working, so don’t fret if it seems like they aren’t working right away. Always be open and honest with your doctor about how you’re feeling to get the best care possible. Your doctor can tweak your medications after you’ve been on them for a while to find the best dose that works for you.
Do You Need Help with Anxiety Disorders?
If you are dealing with any anxiety disorder symptoms, you should seek professional help. You can overcome these mental issues and live a happy and healthy life with proper treatment. Our trained medical staff is ready to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Contact us to schedule an assessment for diagnosis so you can start a personalized therapy program today.