Anxiety disorders affect people around the world. When a person experiences an anxiety disorder they often feel extremely anxious and out of control. While stress and anxiety can be a normal part of someone’s life, an anxiety disorder can, instead, take over their life.
The main types of anxiety disorder exhibited include:-
- General anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Generalized anxiety disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic, severe and unsubstantiated worry about normal, everyday problems. People with GAD may have excessive worry and concerns about work and school performance, finances and health. These people may find their anxiety and worry very difficult to control and may have difficulty sleeping and concentrating. As a result, many people with GAD experience fatigue, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability and edginess.
Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience frequent and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort. The most severe discomfort associated with panic attacks often occurs within several minutes and begins to subside after about 20 minutes. Those who have panic attacks will often make trips to the emergency room or doctor because their symptoms closely resemble those of life-threatening heart problems and other illnesses.
During panic attacks, a person experiences at least four of the following symptoms:
- pounding heart or increased heart rate
- trembling or shaking
- sensations of shortness of breath
- feelings of choking or tightness in throat
- chest pain or discomfort
- nausea or abdominal distress
- feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
- numbness or tingling sensations
- feeling detached from reality
- fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- feelings of impending danger or doom
- the need to escape or flee
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is characterized by intense fear and anxiety when it comes to social situations or performing in front of other people in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. These people may avoid social situations entirely due to their intense anxiety and distress they feel in these situations. Some scenarios that may be difficult for people affected by social anxiety include social interactions, being observed and performing in front of others.
Phobias are characterized by a fear of specific objects or situations. The feared object almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety. People with phobias actively avoid feared objects or situations or may endure them with intense apprehension. Specific phobias commonly include animals, insects, germs, heights, thunder, driving, public transportation, flying, dental or medical procedures and elevators.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by the preoccupation of having to perform ritualistic and repetitive behaviors called compulsions to relieve anxiety of unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions). Those with OCD have obsessions about dirt, germs or contamination, order, arrangement or symmetry, accidently or purposefully injuring themselves or another person and religious and sexual thoughts or images.
To reduce anxiety, people may feel inclined to do things repeatedly or ritualistically such as cleaning, checking, repeating and mental rituals, as they fear what would happen if they did not. They may spend several hours each day performing these seemingly futile rituals despite being aware of the irrationality of their behaviors, yet they feel powerless to stop them.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when people are exposed to an actual or perceived threat of death, serious injury or sexual violation. PTSD may result from a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist attack, sudden death of a loved one, war, sexual assault or rape or some other life-threatening incident.
PTSD is characterized by re-experiencing a traumatic event through distressing thoughts and recollections of the occurrence, flashbacks or nightmares and the persistent avoidance of distressing memories and external reminders of the event. People with PTSD may experience hypervigilance or increased arousal responses that may lead to difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
Treatment for an anxiety disorder will often be similar to treatment of other mental health disorders in that it normally involves medication and/or therapy.
Medication used to help treat anxiety will include mainly anti-anxiety medications. These medications work to diminish symptoms of anxiety and allow a person to better cope during their daily life. For the best results, individuals can look into using both medication and therapy during their treatment.
Therapy modalities for anxiety can often depend on the type of anxiety disorder and the individual’s circumstances. One of the most commonly used therapies for anxiety disorders if Cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps the client identify negative thoughts and behaviors and learn to turn them around. There is also exposure therapy for those with phobias and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) for those with PTSD.
Find Help Today
Whatever the type or cause, anxiety disorders can prove problematic if not dealt with. The sooner help is found the better off the person will be. To learn more about anxiety disorders and where to find help, feel free to contact Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona for assistance.