What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a key part of several different disorders. These include:
- panic disorder: experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. A person with panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack.
- phobia: excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity
- social anxiety disorder: extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations
- obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated behaviors
- : fear of being away from home or loved ones
- illness anxiety disorder: anxiety about your health
Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
Psychotherapy And Relaxation Therapies
Psychotherapy includes many different approaches, such as cognitive behavior therapy and applied relaxation .33,34 CBT may use applied relaxation, exposure therapy, breathing, cognitive restructuring, or education. Psychotherapy is as effective as medication for GAD and PD.11 Although existing evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions about many psychotherapeutic interventions, structured CBT interventions have consistently proven effective for the treatment of anxiety in the primary care setting.34â36 Psychotherapy may be used alone or combined with medication as first-line treatment for PD37 and GAD,11 based on patient preference. Psychotherapy should be performed weekly for at least eight weeks to assess its effect.
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Tip : Look At Your Worries In New Ways
The core symptom of GAD is chronic worrying. Its important to understand what worrying is, since the beliefs you hold about worrying play a huge role in triggering and maintaining GAD. You may feel like your worries come from the outsidefrom other people, events that stress you out, or difficult situations youre facing. But, in fact, worrying is self-generated. The trigger comes from the outside, but your internal running dialogue keeps it going.
When youre worrying, youre talking to yourself about things youre afraid of or negative events that might happen. You run over the feared situation in your mind and think about all the ways you might deal with it. In essence, youre trying to solve problems that havent happened yet, or worse, simply obsessing on worst-case scenarios.
All this worrying may give you the impression that youre protecting yourself by preparing for the worst or avoiding bad situations. But more often than not, worrying is unproductivesapping your mental and emotional energy without resulting in any concrete problem-solving strategies or actions.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are like other forms of mental illness. They dont come from personal weakness, character flaws or problems with upbringing. But researchers dont know exactly what causes anxiety disorders. They suspect a combination of factors plays a role:
- Chemical imbalance: Severe or long-lasting stress can change the chemical balance that controls your mood. Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period can lead to an anxiety disorder.
- Environmental factors: Experiencing a trauma might trigger an anxiety disorder, especially in someone who has inherited a higher risk to start.
- Heredity: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. You may inherit them from one or both parents, like eye color.
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What Are The Signs Of Bad Anxiety
Anxiety disorder symptoms differ from one person to the other. However, common warning signs include restlessness, agitation, fatigue, increased irritability, and sleeping problems. In some cases, patients tremble, sweat, breath rapidly, or have trouble concentrating on routine activities.
There are five main types of anxiety-related disorders. These are social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In recent times, living in a stressful world makes it hard for patients to discern whether they have any of these anxiety conditions or just a bad day at work.
Without proper management, anxiety symptoms may escalate over time and become complicated to treat. Like any other ailment, early treatments guarantee a long-lasting solution. Note that you should consult a reliable therapist before the situation gets out of control. Also, if you experience recurring suicidal thoughts, talk to an expert.
Other grave signs include excess fear of the unknown, low productivity at work or school and overdependence on drugs/alcohol to cope. Luckily, you can train your mind at home on how to minimize anxiety.
First, you can write down your fears and worries on paper. Then, take time to explore the causes of your problems. With this information at hand, you can maneuver around some anxiety triggers and lead a better life.
What Causes Panic Disorder
Doctors donât know exactly what causes panic disorder, but one possibility is that the brains of people who have it may be especially sensitive in responding to fear. There’s a link between panic attacks and phobias, like school phobia or claustrophobia. Thereâs also a theory that panic disorder may come from an oversensitivity to carbon dioxide, which makes your brain think you’re suffocating.
A few things can make you more likely to have panic disorder:
- Someone in your family has it
- High levels of stress
- Frequent negative feelings or trouble dealing with negative emotions
Some believe there are ties between panic attacks and:
Most often, panic attacks come “out of the blue.” One may even begin while you’re sleeping. Using drugs or alcohol to try to deal with panic disorder can make the symptoms worse. Attacks may come after the use of mind-altering drugs. And some medications can cause panic attacks, including some antidepressants.
Panic disorder may start after:
- A serious illness or accident
- The death of a close friend
- The birth of a baby
People with this disorder often also have major depression, although there is no evidence that one condition causes the other. If you’re 40 or older and have panic disorder, you may have depression or another hidden medical condition. Talk to your doctor to find out what’s going on.
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What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder
This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.
What Is The First
Cognitive behavioral therapy is regarded as a necessary treatment for anxiety, and studies show that it is at least as effective as medication. Unfortunately, many people may not be able to focus on therapy without the symptomatic relief provided by medication. For that reason, psychotherapy is often used in combination with medication. A major value of therapy is that it helps people identity the triggers for their anxiety, an important first step in learning the lifetime skill of managing anxiety. Drugs, on the other hand, provide relief only as long as they are taken. While they carry the risk of side effects, the most commonly recommended drugs, the SSRIs, do not work immediately and dont work at all in about a third of patients.and only moderately in another third.
One of the paradoxes of anxiety is that the condition produces bodily symptoms that are, at a minimum, highly unpleasant but many people do not seek treatment at all. Many who do seek treatment go from doctor to doctor searching in vain for diagnosis of what they believe must be a physical disorder.
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Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
If SSRIs don’t help ease your anxiety, you may be prescribed a different type of antidepressant known as a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor .
This type of medicine increases the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.
Examples of SNRIs you may be prescribed include:
SNRIs can also increase your blood pressure, so your blood pressure will be monitored regularly during treatment.
As with SSRIs, some of the side effects are more common in the first 1 or 2 weeks of treatment, but these usually settle as your body adjusts to the medication.
Most Importantly Stay In The Moment
Learning to manage anxiety takes time. Its important not to get ahead of yourself. That means being patient with your progress. Typically, it takes a holistic combination of approaches that is unique to you. So, dont live too far in the future or in the past. Do your best to stay in the moment and remember that feelings are only temporary.
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Does Anxiety Ever Go Away On Its Own
Anxiety is a deeply rooted protective mental state essential to the survival of individuals and the species. Some anxiety is therefore necessary. Unfortunately, the neural pathways of anxiety are given to overactivity, and worst-case scenarios of possible danger ahead, dreamed up in the imagination, commandeer attention. Anxiety naturally waxes and wanes on its own, but in the absence of skills for managing worryand especially the disquieting physical components of anxietyit can get the upper hand. Given the natural variable course of anxiety, there may be periods when symptoms no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for disorder, but residual symptoms are still likely, as is the possibility of recurrence, There are many things to do when your anxiety wont go away,
Psychotherapy For Anxiety Disorders: What To Expect
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process, where psychologists and patients work together to identify specific concerns and develop concrete skills and techniques for coping with anxiety. Patients can expect to practice their new skills outside of sessions to manage anxiety in situations that might make them uncomfortable. However, psychologists wont push patients into such scenarios until theyre sure they have the skills they need to effectively confront their fears.
Psychologists sometimes use other approaches to treat anxiety disorders in addition to CBT. Group psychotherapy, which typically involves several people who all have anxiety disorders, can be effective for both treating anxiety and providing patients with support.
Family psychotherapy can help family members understand their loved ones anxiety and help them learn ways to interact that do not reinforce anxious habits. Family therapy can be particularly helpful for children and adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Most patients who suffer from anxiety are able to reduce or eliminate symptoms after several months of psychotherapy, and many patients notice improvement after just a few sessions.
Psychologists are highly trained and will tailor a treatment plan to address the unique needs of each patient. To find a licensed psychologist in your area, visit Psychologist Locator.
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Natural Remedies To Alleviate Anxiety
Some anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel a certain amount of unease or uncertainty when it comes to stressful situations such as taking a test, giving a presentation, or meeting new people. In many cases, a small amount of anxiety every so often can be a good thing. It helps to keep you aware of potential dangers and motivates you to be prepared.
For many people, however, anxiety occurs more frequently. They experience it almost every day. Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobias can interfere with normal daily activities, affecting their work, home, and personal lives. They differ from regular anxiety in that people feel an excessive amount of fear or anxiousness.
Dealing with anxiety can be stressful, but it is treatable. Many people with anxiety find relief with treatment. While some people benefit from taking medication, others find success with natural remedies.
Does Exercise Reduce Anxiety
Exercise may be used alongside medication and psychotherapy to treat anxiety disorders.
But experts recognize that exercise may be the last thing those struggling with anxiety want to put on their to-do list, and it can be hard to put those routines in place. Some people have anxiety so extreme that a 10-minute walk can be hard to undertake, says Beth Salcedo, MD, the medical director of the Ross Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders in Washington, DC, and a past board president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Anxiety and depression, which often occur together, lead to lower motivation, so it may be that medication might help in this case to give patients enough energy to exercise, says Ken Duckworth, MD, the chief medical officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
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How We Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If you suspect your child may have GAD, it is essential to speak with a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible. Children with GAD respond well to treatment that is administered by trained mental health clinicians. By closely working with the treatment team, you can help your child go on to enjoy an active and fulfilling life.
Evidence-based treatments for GAD in children and adolescents includes cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of medication and therapy. Here at Boston Childrens Hospital, medication is used in conjunction with therapy for treatment of GAD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants are currently first-line medications in the pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders in children. These antidepressants are powerful anxiolytics with a broader spectrum that may improve comorbid affective disorders and symptoms of anxiety.
Forgive Yourself And Wait To Worry
Are you particularly critical of yourself and the blunders you make? Well, imagine if you had a friend who constantly pointed out everything that was wrong with you and your life. Youd probably want to get rid of them right away.
But people with anxiety often do this to themselves so frequently that they dont even realise it anymore. Theyre just not kind to themselves.
So perhaps its time to change and start forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we make. If you feel like youve embarrassed yourself in a situation, dont criticise yourself simply realise that you have this impulse to blame yourself, then drop the negative thought and redirect your attention back to the task at hand or whatever you were doing.
Another effective strategy is to wait to worry. If something went wrong and you feel compelled to worry , dont do this immediately. Instead, postpone your worry set aside 10 minutes each day during which you can worry about anything.
If you do this, youll find that you wont perceive the situation which triggered the initial anxiety to be as bothersome or worrisome when you come back to it later. And our thoughts actually decay very quickly if we dont feed them with energy.
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