Do you know that there are several different types of anxiety disorders that can affect you?
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life.
However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
Moreover, anxiety disorders often involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety.
And the fear of terror can also reach a peak within minutes. This is also known as a Panic attack.
It is important to note that these feelings of both anxiety and panic attacks interfere with daily activities.
Furthermore, they are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger, and can last a long time.
You may avoid places and situations to prevent these feelings.
Symptoms often start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
However, in some cases, anxiety also results from a medical condition and needs treatment.
Keep on reading to learn more about it.
Anxiety refers to the anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.
Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat.
Moreover, it is more associated with a fight or flight reaction, either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger.
It is important to note that anxiety disorders can cause you to avoid situations that trigger or worsen the symptoms.
This disorder affects job performance, school work, and personal relationships.
There are different types of anxiety disorders.
Let’s discuss them as follows:
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Types of anxiety disorders are;
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This disorder involves persistent and excessive worry that interferes with daily activities.
Moreover, this ongoing worry and tension may also come with physical symptoms like restlessness, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, or sleep problems.
The main symptom of panic disorder is a recurrent panic attack, an overwhelming combination of both physical and psychological distress.
During a panic attack, different symptoms can occur in combination.
- palpitations, pounding heart, or rapid heart rate
- trembling or shaking
- a feeling of shortness of breath or smothering sensations
- chest pain
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- a feeling of choking
- numbness or tingling
Moreover, chills or hot flashes, nausea or abdominal pain, a feeling of detachment, fear of losing control, and fear of dying are symptoms of a panic attack.
An important thing to note is that since the symptoms are so severe, you may think that you are having a heart attack or other life-threatening illness.
The mean age for the onset of panic attacks is 20 to 24, while they may also occur with other mental disorders like depression or PTSD.
A specific phobia is excessive or persistent fear of a certain object, situation, or activity that is generally not harmful.
Moreover, if the fear is excessive, you may not overcome it.
Such fears cause distress in such a way that you may go to any length to avoid what you fear.
Examples are public speaking, fear of flying, or fear of spiders.
Other Types of Anxiety Disorders
Some of the other types of anxiety disorders are:
It is a fear of getting into a situation where escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or help may not be available in the event of panic symptoms.
The fear is often out of proportion to the actual situation and lasts six months or more.
With this disorder, you may experience the fear in two or more of the following situations:
- using public transportation
- being in open spaces
- being in enclosed places
- standing in-line or in a crowd
- staying outside of the home alone
You may also actively want to avoid situations, that require a companion or endure intense fear or anxiety.
When you do not get treatment, it can become so serious that may be unable to leave your house.
Social Anxiety Disorder
With a social anxiety disorder, you can experience significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected, or looked down on in social interactions.
People with this disorder often try to avoid the situation or endure it with a lot of anxiety.
Common examples are:
- fear of public speaking
- meeting new people
- eating or drinking in public spaces
This fear or anxiety can cause problems with daily functioning and can last at least 6 months.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
With this disorder, you are excessively fearful or anxious about separation from someone you are attached to.
This feeling is beyond appropriate age, can persist, in the case of children at least 4 weeks and 6 months in adults, and cause problems functioning.
However, physical symptoms of distress develop in childhood, but in some cases, can carry on in adulthood.
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Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Some of the common signs and symptoms f anxiety are:
Feeling nervous, restless or tense, having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom, breathing rapidly or hyperventilation, sweating, and trembling.
Moreover, some other symptoms are:
- increase in heart rate,
- trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than present worry,
- trouble falling asleep,
- gastrointestinal, GI issues,
- difficulty controlling worry,
- having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Currently, the causes of anxiety disorders are unknown.
However, they likely involve a combination of risk factors.
These include genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental issues.
Moreover, anxiety disorders tend to run in the families, suggesting that a combination of genes and environmental stresses can produce these disorders.
Can Medical Conditions cause Anxiety?
The causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood.
Life experiences like traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety.
Moreover, inherited traits can also be a factor.
Yes! Some medical causes can also lead to anxiety.
In some cases, anxiety signs and symptoms are the first indicators of a medical illness.
In case your doctor suspects the cause of your anxiety to be a sign of a medical condition, they may order tests to look for signs of problems.
Some examples of medical conditions that have links to anxiety are:
Heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems like hyperthyroidism, respiratory disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.
Moreover, drug misuse or withdrawal, withdrawal from alcohol, anti-anxiety medications or other medications, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and rare tumors that produce certain fight-or-flight hormones can cause it.
In some cases, however, anxiety can also be a side effect of certain medications.
It is also possible that your anxiety may be due to an underlying medical condition if:
- you do not have any blood relatives such as a parent or sibling with anxiety disorder
- do not have an anxiety disorder as a child
- do not avoid certain things or situations because of anxiety
- have a sudden occurrence of anxiety that is not relatable to life events and have no previous history of anxiety
Having an anxiety disorder causes other things as well, then just makes you worry.
It can also lead to or worsen other mental and physical conditions.
- depression that often occurs with anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions
- substance abuse
- trouble sleeping or insomnia
- digestive or bowel problems
- social isolation
- headaches and chronic pain
- problem functioning at school or work
- poor quality of life
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Diagnosing Anxiety Disorders
You can begin by seeing your primary care provider find out if your anxiety has links to your physical health.
They may check for signs of an underlying medical condition that may need treatment.
However, you may need to see a mental health specialist in case of severe anxiety.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.
With the help of psychologists and certain other health professionals, they can diagnose anxiety and also provide counseling.
In order to diagnose an anxiety disorder, your mental health provider may:
Give you a Psychological Evaluation: This involves discussing your thoughts, feelings, and behavior to help pinpoint a diagnosis.
It also helps to check for related complications.
Moreover, anxiety disorders often occur along with other mental health conditions like depression, or substance misuse
This can make the diagnosis more challenging.
Comparing symptoms to the Criteria in the DSM-5: Most doctors use this criterion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5.
This was published by the American Psychiatric Association, to help diagnose an anxiety disorder.
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The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications.
You can benefit from the combination of the two. It may, however, take some trial and error to discover which treatment works best for you.
Also known as Talk Therapy or psychological counseling.
Psychotherapy involves working with a psychotherapist who can help reduce the anxiety symptoms.
Moreover, it can also be an effective treatment for anxiety.
Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, is the most effective form of psychotherapy in the case of anxiety disorders.
Often during a short-term treatment, CBT focus on teaching you certain skills that help to improve your symptoms.
And gradually return to activities you have been avoiding because of anxiety.
CBT also includes exposure therapy, in which you encounter the object or situation that triggers your anxiety.
This way, it helps you to build confidence that you can manage the situation and anxiety symptoms.
Different types of medications can help to relieve the symptoms, depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have.
And whether you have other mental or physical health issues.
Certain antidepressants can help to treat anxiety disorders
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication: buspirone.
In certain situations, your doctor may prescribe other types of medications like sedatives or benzodiazepines, or beta-blockers.
These medications provide short-term relief of anxiety symptoms and are not for long-term use.
Make sure to talk with your doctor, or seek medical advice about the benefits, risks, and possible side effects of medications.
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Lifestyle and Home Remedies
While in most cases, you can benefit from psychotherapy or medications, certain lifestyle changes can also make a difference.
Keep Physically Active
Develop a routine so that you are physically active during most of the days.
Make sure to exercise as it is a powerful stress reducer. Moreover, it helps to improve your mood and helps you stay healthy.
Start out slowly and increase the amount and intensity of your activities gradually.
Avoid Alcohol and Recreational Drugs
Both of these can cause or even worsen anxiety.
If you are unable to quit on your own, make sure to see your doctor or find a support group that can help you.
Quit Smoking or cut back on Caffeine Beverages
These two contain nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
Stress management and Relaxation techniques
Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga can help you relax and ease anxiety.
Do what you can to make sure you are getting enough sleep to feel rested.
However, if you are not sleeping well, talk to your doctor or seek medical advice.
Eating a healthful diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish has links to reducing anxiety.
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There is no way to predict for certain what can cause you to develop an anxiety disorder.
However, you can take steps to reduce the effect of symptoms if you are anxious.
Get Help Early: Anxiety like many other mental health conditions can be hard to treat if you wait.
Stay Active: Make sure to participate in activities you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself.
Moreover, enjoy social interactions and caring relationships, which can help reduce your worries.
Avoid Alcohol or Drug use: Both alcohol and drugs use can cause or worsen anxiety.
If you are addicted to any of these substances, quitting can make you anxious.
If you, however, cannot quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.
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Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can even be beneficial in some cases. However, can alert you to dangers and help prepare and pay attention.
However, anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders tend to be the most common mental disorders and affect about 30% of adults at some point in their lives. But they are treatable and can help you lead a normal productive life.
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