Do you think that you struggle with an anxiety disorder? Here you can find how to recognize symptoms, signs, and various kinds of anxiety disorders. Also, the methods and medications available for treating these anxiety disorders.
What is an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is the typical response of the human body towards a dangerous situation. The feeling of anxiousness you get is a result of the body’s fight-or-flight response, which triggers when it feels threatened. There are many situations under which your brain might get frightened, such as appearing for a job interview, facing an exam, going on the first date, moving to a new place, etc.
There is no need to feel worried if you occasionally experience feeling anxious. Anxiety in a moderate amount isn’t a bad thing. Instead, it can help you stay focused and alert, and compel you to act and solve problems. If you continuously experience an overwhelming feeling of dread, if the fear and worries start to interfere with the normal functioning of your daily life, then you might have an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is not a single medical condition. It is a combination of related issues, and because of that, the symptoms faced by people having anxiety disorders can vary significantly among individuals. Some people might get intense anxiety attacks without any warning, while others can feel a bit panicky just from the thought of attending a social gathering. Anxiety attacks can give some people a disabling fear of specific tasks, like driving, getting on an airplane, etc. others might live in a perpetual state of tension, and worrying about everything. Though everyone experiences anxiety a bit differently, they all have one thing in common, and that is an intense fear about what’s going to happen next.
Anxiety disorders can prevent a person from living their life to the fullest, and if you have an anxiety disorder, then it is essential to know that you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent type of mental health conditions, and there are many ways to get treatment for it. If you are struggling with this condition, then you should consult a doctor to start the treatment process to reduce the symptoms and take back control of your life.
Signs and symptom of anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorder does not only manifest in the form of fear and worrying, but it also affects various systems of the body, which result in physical discomfort in addition to the mental one. Some of the typical symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Anticipating the worst
- Feeling tense
- Feeling like the mind is going blank
- Feeling of apprehension
- Watching for signs of danger
- An overwhelming sense of dread
- Upset stomach
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle tension or twitching
- Frequent urination
- Shaking or trembling
- Shortness of breath
Due to the presence of physical symptoms in people suffering from an anxiety disorder, they often mistake their condition for some other medical illness. Due to this, it becomes harder for them to get a proper diagnosis in time and get the proper medical attention.
What are anxiety attacks?
Anxiety attacks often referred to as panic attacks, are a short burst of intense fear or panic. These attacks usually occur out of nowhere and without any warning. At times there is a triggering event that results in panic attacks like thinking about giving a public speech or getting stuck in an elevator. But, often, there is no apparent triggering event, yet the anxiety attacks occur.
The anxiety attacks generally last for about 10 minutes, but they can last for more than 30 minutes in rare circumstances. For the duration of the attack, the person feels so overwhelmed by the terror that they think they are about to die or lose control of themselves or the situation. The physical symptoms of the attack are so severe that many believe they are experiencing a heart attack.
Following are the symptoms of an anxiety attack:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Trembling or shaking
- A surge of excessive panic
- A feeling of passing out
- Chills or hot flashes
- Stomach cramps
- Feeling unreal or detached
- A sense of losing control
- Trouble breathing
- Choking sensation
After experiencing an anxiety attack, many people try to avoid the situation that triggers their anxiety, but it not an excellent way to treat your anxiety. Panic attacks are treatable, and if you experience it, then you should seek out medical help.
Types of anxiety disorders
There are various types of anxiety disorders. The main symptoms, like excessive fear and worry, are similar among these conditions, but the specific symptoms vary.
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic attacks and panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Phobias and irrational fears
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Separation anxiety disorder
Treatment for anxiety disorders
There are different types of treatments available that can help a person reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Generally, doctors prescribe some medication for treating anxiety disorder, but some therapies are effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
The common medications that doctors prescribe for anxiety disorder include:
Drugs are just a part of a larger treatment for anxiety disorder. Many doctors recommend some psychotherapy along with the medications to help a person understand how their emotions affect their behavior. A mental health specialist listens to the patients and talks to them about their feeling and thoughts, based on it, suggest ways to manage the anxiety.
- Cognitive behavior therapy: CBT is the most common form of psychotherapy, which teaches a person how to turn their negative or panic-inducing thoughts into positive ones. This therapy will guide you to manage the worrisome and fearful situation without inducing anxiety.
- Exposure therapy: for this therapy, the healthcare professional encourages the patient to confront their fears and anxiety in a controlled and safe environment. From gradual exposure to the fearful situation or object, whether in their imagination or reality, they can gain a sense of control. When a person faces their fear without getting harmed, their anxiety will reduce.