According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in every six Americans have some kind of anxiety disorder. This issue also occurs in women more than men. People with anxiety disorder suffer from a persistent feeling that something bad is going to happen or have an extreme overwhelming feeling of worry, tension, and fear.
Often, anxiety disorders are overlooked because it’s symptoms can easily be disguised as something people go through normally but if it begins to interfere with your everyday life; you may need to consider seeking help.
Here are a few signs to look out for:
- Sudden attacks of heart pounding panic
- Avoiding responsibilities
- Believing that something bad will happen if things aren’t done a certain way
- Unable to shake irrational feelings
- Trouble sleeping
- Cold and sweaty hands/feet
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension
There are several different types of anxiety disorders:
- Panic disorder- feelings of terror that strike without warning and often makes people feel like they are going crazy.
- Social anxiety disorder- centers on fear of being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment.
- Phobia- fear of a specific thing such as snakes or heights so much that a person may avoid common situations.
- Generalized anxiety disorder- excessive and unrealistic worry even if there is nothing to provoke it.
Although there is no exact cause of this disorder, it may be contributed to problems in the brain that regulate stress and other emotions. Other factors include it being inherited from your family and being triggered from a significant event or traumatic experience.
If symptoms of an anxiety disorder are present, a doctor will begin an evaluation by asking you questions about your medical history and performing a physical exam. There are no lab tests to specifically diagnose anxiety disorders but various tests are used to look for physical illness that may be the cause of the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
The disorder is treated differently for each person depending on which one they suffer from and the severity of it.
Listed below are a few treatment options:
- Medication- used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and anxiety reducing drugs.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy- the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.
- Dietary and lifestyle changes.
- Relaxation therapy.
If you believe that you have an anxiety disorder seek help immediately so that you can go back to living life as easily as possible