Do You Have Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States, affecting about 40 million adults each year. Anxiety disorders are also highly treatable, with about 80% of cases being successfully managed with therapy and/or medication. However, many people don’t seek treatment because they don’t realize that anxiety is a treatable condition or that they don’t recognize their symptoms as anxiety.
In this article, we’ll take a look at anxiety disorders, anxiety symptoms, and some ways you can help yourself or a loved one seek treatment.
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are conditions that cause intense fear, worry, and apprehension in people who are otherwise healthy. Anxiety disorders are far more prevalent in women than in men, with roughly 25 percent of women suffering from anxiety at some point in their life.
Anxiety disorders cause significant distress in the lives of those who suffer from them. These disorders often create problems at work and school, often resulting in missed days from work. Anxiety disorders also lead to sleep disorders, affecting both the quality of sleep and amount of sleep a person receives.
What Are The Effects Of Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry, fear or tension that affects one’s ability to function in everyday life. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people age 18-54.
Anxiety symptoms can include extreme worry, nervousness or fear of not being able to cope. These feelings can cause people to avoid situations, places or objects that make them nervous or anxious. This could include work, social situations or objects that are uncomfortable.
People experiencing anxiety are often diagnosed with panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder can cause anxiety attacks, a fear that sensations like dizziness or nausea are the result of impending death, and panic attacks.
A panic attack is a sudden, intense feeling of fear or anxiety. It may include a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, or a feeling that you’re going crazy. A person having a panic attack will feel like they are in actual danger when most likely they are not.
These anxiety attacks can be mild or severe. They can last for a few minutes or several hours.
Most people have at least one panic attack in their lives. For some people, attacks are a regular occurrence.
There is no one cause of these attacks of intense fear. They may be related to a physical health problem, such as an overactive thyroid gland or heart disease. Or they may be caused by of course anxiety, stress, or a traumatic event.
If you have a panic attack, here are some things you can do to help yourself:
- Try to stay calm and focus on your breath.
- Identify what’s causing your anxiety.
- Talk to someone about your fears or concerns.
- Distract yourself with activities you enjoy.
- Seek professional help if your panic attacks are severe or occur frequently.
What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders that disrupt a person’s ability to function.
The different anxiety disorders are:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry about everyday things, generalized anxiety typically has a negative impact on one’s work and personal life.
Social Anxiety Disorder – Characterized by excessive anxiety and stress in social situations, this anxiety typically has a negative impact on one’s work and personal life.
Panic Disorder – Characterized by sudden panic attacks, panic disorder typically has a negative impact on one’s work and personal life.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Characterized by excessive, uncontrollable anxiety and repetitive behaviors, obsessive-compulsive disorder typically has a negative impact on one’s work and personal life.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Characterized by reoccurring thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder typically has a negative impact on one’s work and personal life.
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Physical symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person. For some people, physical symptoms of anxiety disorder may cause a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, or dizziness. Others may experience a feeling of tightness in the chest, nausea, or a sense of impending doom.
Physical symptoms of anxiety disorder can also include headaches, stomachaches, and muscle tension. Many people with anxiety also experience feelings of irritability, restlessness, or fatigue. Anxiety disorder symptoms often develop gradually. However, some people may experience a sudden onset of symptoms.
What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that involves intense fear or anxiety about social situations. People with social anxiety may dread meeting new people, talking in front of groups, or being watched or judged by others. They may feel so anxious that they avoid social situations altogether.
This anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions. It affects about 7 percent of adults in the United States. It can start at any age, but it often begins in early adulthood.
People with social anxiety disorder may have physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, or shaking. They may also have mental symptoms such as negative thoughts about themselves and a fear of being embarrassed or judged.
There is no one cause of social anxiety. It may be caused by a combination of genetics, environment, and life experiences.
There is no cure for social anxiety disorder, but there are treatments that can help. Treatment options include therapy, medication, and self-help strategies.
If you think you may have social anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders in children. It is estimated that between 4 and 5 percent of children suffer from separation anxiety disorder. The disorder usually begins during the early childhood years, and most cases are diagnosed before the age of 10.
Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive fear and anxiety when separated from a loved one or when anticipating separation from a loved one. The child may experience a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Protesting or refusing to go to school or other activities
- Becoming clingy
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Experiencing stomachaches or headaches
- Having a rapid heart rate
The child’s fear and anxiety may be so intense that it interferes with their ability to participate in everyday activities.
There are a number of things that can trigger separation anxiety disorder, including:
- Separation from a parent or other loved one
- Changes in routine, such as a move to a new home or a change in schools
- Having a parent who is deployed or is frequently away for work
The cause of separation anxiety disorder is not fully understood, but it is believed that it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for separation anxiety disorder, but a combination of therapies is often effective. Treatment may include:
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Medication, such as antidepressants
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or visualization
If you think your child may have separation anxiety disorder, it is important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. The sooner the disorder is treated, the more likely it is that the child will make a full recovery.
How To Cope With Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a medical condition that is characterized by excessive worry. It affects a person’s ability to function normally in day-to-day situations, and can have a serious impact on a person’s life.
Anxiety disorders are often inherited. If either or both of your parents suffer from anxiety, anxiety disorders are more likely to develop in you.
Anxiety disorders are also associated with depression. This type of anxiety disorder is called ‘episodic depression’. Depression and anxiety are often interconnected.
Anxiety And Depression Association
There is a significant association between anxiety and depression. People who suffer from anxiety are more likely to also suffer from depression, and vice versa. This is likely due to the fact that both conditions are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Often, depression may be genetic.
If possible, people who are suffering from both anxiety and depression should explain to a mental health professional which condition is dominating and start there.
How To Choose A Therapist To Treat Anxiety Disorder
Are you suffering from anxiety disorder? If so, then it’s important to find the right therapist to treat it. Here, we will look at some tips that you can use to choose the right one.
Ask for recommendations: Your first and best option is to ask around for recommendations. Ask your doctor, friends, and family if they can recommend any therapists in your area. You can also ask them about their experiences with the therapist.
Do some research: Once you have a list of therapists in your area, make sure you do some research on them. You can do this by:
Visiting their websites: Most professional therapists have an online presence, usually in the form of a website. The websites will give you an idea of their background and experience.
Checking online reviews: Online reviews can give you a good idea of the quality of the therapist’s services. You can use an independent site such as Trustpilot to do your research.
Visiting the therapist in person: Once you have narrowed down your list to a few potential candidates, it’s time to visit the therapists in person. This will give you a chance to ask them any questions you have and get a feel for how they run their practice.
Now that you understand how anxiety develops, what causes anxiety, and what you can do to help yourself or a loved one seek mental health treatment, let’s talk more about anxiety.
Although anxiety disorders are very common, many people don’t understand them. There are many misconceptions about anxiety.
I hope this article has given you a better understanding of anxiety. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about anxiety, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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If you are in crisis or think you may have an emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency room, or call 911 immediately. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a trained counselor.