Major Anxiety Disorders Include:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder , is when you get anxious about most every day situations and are unable to remember the last time you were in a relaxed mental state. This state of anxiety is caused by an imbalance in the brain chemicals that are involved in the regulation of a persons moods, serotonin, and noradrenaline a combination of past trauma such as violence, abuse, or bullying chronic pain condition or hereditary factors, among others.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can cause a person to have obsessive, intrusive thoughts that can be distressing or an overwhelming desire or compulsion to perform a routine repeatedly. This could be reflected in his or her habits, be it cleaning or washing hands unnecessarily, arranging items in a drawer in a certain way, folding away clothes, etc.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder , caused after a particularly stressful period such as being in a war zone, surviving an attack or a tragic accident, or incident due to a natural disaster, and so on.
- Phobias, experienced due to an excessive and irrational fear of a creature, place or event, such as bees, spiders, heights, the dark, tight spaces, fire, and so on.
- Panic Attacks, cause irrational and heightened anxiety periods accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, cold hands and feet, inability to breathe or hyperventilate, etc.
Shallow Breathing Or Shortness Of Breath
Adrenalines effects on the heart and lungs are all about helping you run away as fast and as far as you can, or fight to the best of your ability. However, this can be disrupted in cases of extreme stress or anxiety, making it difficult for you to breathe as your body tries to force oxygen into your lungs. The initial rise in your blood levels of oxygen, and fall in carbon dioxide, can cause airway constriction during an anxiety attack.
Forgetfulness/inability To Pay Attention
“One thing I think doesn’t get enough attention is the fact that people with anxiety are ‘in their head’ a lot,”mental health counselor Marissa Geraci, LMHC tells Bustle. “A side effect of this is that they can appear distracted, not present, or often forgetful. If you are close to someone with anxiety, it may seem like they are not listening or that they just don’t care, which can cause a major breakdown in communication and relationships.” If your anxiety is making it difficult for you to concentrate on things other than the fears it creates, seeking help from someone you trust or a professional may help you with redirecting your focus.
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What Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder
Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:
- Family relationships.
- School performance.
- Social functioning.
Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.
Jaw Pain Or Toothaches
That pain in your mouth could be a result of your anxiety. “People struggling with ongoing anxiety can experience jaw pain or toothaches,” Hamilton says. “Anxiety causes many individuals to clench their teeth, both while theyre asleep and awake even if they arent aware. This can lead to headaches or significant dental issues.”
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Try A Book Or Online Course
When you are diagnosed with GAD, your GP may recommend trying self-help treatments before having more intensive psychological therapy or medication.
This will usually involve working from a book or computer programme for around six weeks or longer. In some cases, you may be closely supported by a trained therapist who you will speak to every week or two, although some treatments only involve minimal or occasional contact with a therapist who will monitor your progress.
There are a number of different books and courses available that can help you learn to cope with your anxiety, but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence only recommends trying treatments based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy .
CBT is a type of psychological treatment that can help you understand your condition better and how your problems, thoughts, feelings and behaviour affect each other. The aim of CBT-based treatments is to help you learn ways to manage your anxiety by modifying negative or unhelpful behaviour and thoughts.
Find out more about Living Life – a service which offers appointment-based telephone support based upon cognitive behavioural therapy.
What Is A Panic Disorder
If you have a panic disorder, you get intense, sudden panic attacks. These attacks often feature stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders.
The feelings of terror may start suddenly and unexpectedly or they may come from a trigger, like facing a situation you dread. Panic attacks can resemble heart attacks. If theres any chance youre experiencing a heart attack, go to the emergency room. Its better to err on the side of caution and have a healthcare professional check you.
During a panic attack, you may experience:
- Chest pain.
- Feeling of choking, which can make you think youre having a heart attack or going crazy.
Panic attacks are very upsetting. People with panic disorder often spend a lot of time worrying about the next panic attack. They also try to avoid situations that might trigger an attack.
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Anxiety Attack Symptoms Include:
- Feeling of losing control or going crazy.
- Heart palpitations or chest pain.
- Feeling like youre going to pass out.
- Trouble breathing or choking sensation.
- Nausea or stomach cramps.
- Feeling detached or unreal.
Its important to seek help if youre starting to avoid certain situations because youre afraid of having a panic attack. The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.
Trembling Hands Or Muscle Shakes
Why do some people have shaky hands when theyre stressed or anxious? Rapid breathing, especially when its not helping you run away, can throw out the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide. This then disrupts the mineral balance in your muscle and nerve cells, which they use to communicate. Sometimes, this can manifest as shaking because your neurons arent sending coherent signals.
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Dual Diagnosis: Addiction And Anxiety
Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders are at risk of developing an addiction to alcohol or other substances, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you are seeking treatment for an anxiety disorder and also feel like you have a substance abuse problem, try to find a facility that can help you treat both these issues.
Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
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How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related To Anxiety Disorders
Some people feel the effects of stress in their stomachs. People with IBS have uncomfortable problems with digestion, including stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. They also frequently have anxiety and depression, which can make symptoms worse.
The connection between IBS and anxiety comes from the nervous system partly controlling the colon. The nervous systems response to stress may affect the stomach. Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment for IBS may include stress management and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms.
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
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When To Seek Professional Help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.
If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.
Psychological Symptoms Of Gad
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
- difficulty concentrating
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
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Be Aware Of Avoidance
Its normal to want to avoid situations that make you feel anxious. It might work in the short-term, but over time it can make your anxiety feel worse.
This is because you dont get the opportunity to learn that the thing you fear may not happen or be as bad as you think.
Learn some skills to cope with anxiety, like helpful self-talk and relaxation, then gradually face the things you fear and put your skills into action. As you realise you can manage anxious situations, youll become more confident and motivated to keep it up.
The Effects Of Anxiety On The Body Can Be Fatal
The most serious effects of anxiety on the body can actually lead to stroke or heart attack. Studies done in Nurses Health Study and reported by Harvard Health Publishing found a link between anxiety and heart attacks. This study determined that the participants who had phobic anxiety were more likely to have a heart attack . There was also a 31% increased chance that this heart attack would be fatal. Learning how to manage anxiety, then, isnt simply to help you relax or deal with situations better. It can literally save your life.
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Medicine For Parkinsons Disease
Doctors often prescribe a combination drug, levodopa and carbidopa , to treat Parkinsonâs. The extended-release capsule form of this drug can cause anxiety. Ask your doctor if another medication might be an option.
If your meds are causing you problems, ask your doctor about adjusting doses or switching drugs.
Feelings Of Fear Worry And Anxiety
PTSD can lead to chronic feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety. For example, someone with PTSD may avoid people or places that remind them of their trauma. They may also have trouble sleeping and may feel on edge all the time. These symptoms can make it hard to go about your everyday life. PTSD can also lead to substance abuse and depression. This can increase feelings of anxiety, guilt, and shame.
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How Do Anxiety Disorders Affect Children
Its normal for children to feel some amount of anxiety, worry or fear at certain points. For example, a child may feel scared of a thunderstorm or barking dog. A teenager might get anxious about an upcoming test or school dance.
But sometimes, children approach these situations with overwhelming dread or they cant stop thinking about all the fears tied to one of these events. It may seem that none of your comforts help. These children often get stuck on their worries. They have a hard time doing their daily activities, like going to school, playing and falling asleep. Theyre extremely reluctant to try something new.
When thinking about your childs anxiety levels, getting stuck is key. It separates the regular worries of childhood from an anxiety disorder that needs professional help. If the anxiety or worry interferes with your childs ability to function, it may be time to seek help
Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
In addition to the primary symptom of excessive and irrational fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread.
- Watching for signs of danger.
- Anticipating the worst.
- Feeling like your minds gone blank.
But anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the bodys fight-or-flight response, it also involves a wide range of physical symptoms, including:
- Pounding heart.
- Shaking or trembling.
Because of these physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is finally recognized.
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How Does Psychotherapy Treat Anxiety Disorders
Psychotherapy, or counseling, helps you deal with your emotional response to the illness. A mental health provider talks through strategies to help you better understand and manage the disorder. Approaches include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common type of psychotherapy used with anxiety disorders. CBT for anxiety teaches you to recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. You then work on changing them.
- Exposure therapy focuses on dealing with the fears behind the anxiety disorder. It helps you engage with activities or situations you may have been avoiding. Your provider may also use relaxation exercises and imagery with exposure therapy.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder should see their doctor, who can recommend therapy, medications, or a combination of both.
To diagnose an anxiety disorder, doctors will typically carry out a physical examination to check for any underlying conditions and ask a person about their symptoms.
They may also perform a psychological evaluation and compare the personâs symptoms to the American Psychiatric Associationâs criteria for anxiety disorders.
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