What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders
When a person has an anxiety disorder, they may feel fearful or uncertain almost all the time. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the fear and anxiety that occur due to an anxiety disorder are markedly different than the brief episodes of these feelings that are commonly related to normal events, such as speaking at a public event or meeting a blind date. In most cases, if a person has an anxiety disorder, their anxiety disorder symptoms will persist for more than six months. There are several different types of anxiety disorders.
Find Out What Could Be Making Your Anxiety Worse
Everyone gets anxious, restless, and frazzled but if you constantly feel worried, tense, or on edge, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time.
Doctors make a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder when patients have anxiety symptoms for more than six months.
Examples of other anxiety disorders include:
- Specific phobias
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can have more than one anxiety disorder.
Research shows that a combination of environmental and genetic factors likely increase a persons risk for developing an anxiety disorder, notes the National Institute of Mental Health. Like so many health conditions, anxiety appears to run in families.
In addition to underlying disorders, anxiety may be caused by stress, whether from a major life event or the accumulated effect of small everyday stressors. Anxiety can also come with a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or thyroid disorders that need treatment. Theres a clear link between caffeine and anxiety and alcohol and anxiety. And certain medications may cause anxiety. In this case, avoiding caffeine and alcohol or changing medications may reduce the anxiety. Its important to note that while all these things can cause anxious feelings, this type of anxiety is distinct from a psychiatric diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.
Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.
A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
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How Does Medication Treat Anxiety Disorders
Medications cant cure an anxiety disorder. But they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, may decrease your anxiety, panic and worry. They work quickly, but you can build up a tolerance to them. That makes them less effective over time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the short-term, then taper you off or the provider may add an antidepressant to the mix.
- Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. They tweak how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants may take some time to work, so be patient. If you feel like youre ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your provider first.
- Beta-blockers, usually used for high blood pressure, can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can relieve rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the right medication combination and dosage. Dont change the dose without consulting your provider. Theyll monitor you to make sure the medicines are working without causing negative side effects.
Social Anxiety Vs Introversion
Its very important to understand that social anxiety disorder is not just introversion.
Introverts are people who prefer to spend time alone. They may feel drained after social interactions, but they do not have overwhelming anxiety and dread before attending a party or entering a room. Introversion doesnt have a negative impact on a persons quality of life, but social anxiety disorder can be debilitating.
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What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
Why Do I Get Panic Attacks For No Reason
Have you recently felt that you have had a panic attack for no reason? Do you get panic attacks and cant understand why they happen?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders groups panic attacks into two categories expected or unexpected. If you feel as though you have had a panic attack for no reason, it is likely that you have experienced one that would be considered unexpected.
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Tip : Learn To Calm Down Quickly
While socially interacting with another person face-to-face is the quickest way to calm your nervous system, its not always realistic to have a friend close by to lean on. In these situations, you can quickly self-soothe and relieve anxiety symptoms by making use of one or more of your physical senses:
Sight Look at anything that relaxes you or makes you smile: a beautiful view, family photos, cat pictures on the Internet.
Sound Listen to soothing music, sing a favorite tune, or play a musical instrument. Or enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature : ocean waves, wind through the trees, birds singing.
Smell Light scented candles. Smell the flowers in a garden. Breathe in the clean, fresh air. Spritz on your favorite perfume.
Taste Slowly eat a favorite treat, savoring each bite. Sip a hot cup of coffee or herbal tea. Chew on a stick of gum. Enjoy a mint or your favorite hard candy.
Touch Give yourself a hand or neck massage. Cuddle with a pet. Wrap yourself in a soft blanket. Sit outside in the cool breeze.
Movement Go for a walk, jump up and down, or gently stretch. Dancing, drumming, and running can be especially effective.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
You can check what treatment and care is recommended for anxiety disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website.
NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. NICE only provide guidelines for:
- Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder ,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder , and
- Social anxiety disorder.
The NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. But they should have a good reason for not following them.
We have described some of the treatments for anxiety disorders below. The treatments you will be offered depend upon the type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing.
You can find more information about treatments for:
Monitoring your symptomsSome anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder may get better by itself with no treatment at all. Or after education and advice from your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms to see if they improve. And they will talk to you about medications that you can get without a prescription. These are sometimes called over-the-counter medications.
Individual non-facilitated self helpThis involves working from a book or a computer program. You will be supported by a trained professional
Individual guided self-helpYou should:
Your learning should:
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Understand That Anxiety Is A Body Reaction
Number one, anxiety is a bodily reaction.
So, it is mind and body but its predominantly body so you get the flight or fight reaction, you get the rapid heart rate, the sweating, the trembling, the scared feeling, that adrenaline surge that goes through your body and then that kicks off the thoughts, the raving thoughts, the worries.
Everything that kind of comes together to bring that anxiety reaction.
So its usually the body reaction that comes first and then the body reaction kind of triggers the mind, as in the mind goes, Ooh, the body is reacting in quite a fight or flight manner. I will scan the environment and see what the threat is.
And if there is no imminent threat then the mind will make up a threat because thats what you need the equilibrium going and I know thats horrible but thats just the way your mind and your body works.
You cant have one without the other.
They will do what they can to support each other and give you a solid consistent story even if that means going through anxiety and going through a frightening time.
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How Can I Get Help If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder
You should make an appointment to talk with your GP if you are worried about your symptoms. Or they are causing problems in your day to day life.
Your doctor will look at different things when deciding on your treatment such as the following.
- Your diagnosis and symptoms.
- Any other conditions you have.
- Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
Talking therapiesThe NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has made psychological therapy more available on the NHS. IAPT services mainly provide support for low to moderate anxiety and depression.
The service can be run by the local NHS Trust or a non-NHS agency, like a charity who work with the local Trust.
IAPT should be available in your area. You can often self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.
To find your local the IAPT service you can search online here:
You can also ask your GP or PALS service for details of local IAPT services.
You can get more information about:
- GP: What to expect from your GP by clicking here.
- Medication. Choice and managing problems by clicking here.
- Talking therapies by clicking here.
Is It In Your Genes
If anxiety appears to run in the family, it may be that your genetic inheritance that biological lottery has set you up for some vulnerability to anxiety.
That does not necessarily mean your genes are the cause of your problem. The story is far more complicated than that.
Not every timid, shy and anxious child develops into a fearful adult with anxiety problems.
Lifestyle factors, parenting and other experiences, as well as your manner of dealing with stressors , determine the ultimate outcome.
Your personal development, and here the development of anxiety, depends on
- how safe your environment was when you grew up
- to what extent essential emotional needs were met
- whether or not you had parents who were overprotective
- whether or not you had a parent who was always anxious
- whether or not you were encouraged to become more resilient and deal with, rather than avoid, feared situations at home, with friends and at school
These experiences would have shaped your own reactions and general attitude towards stressful situations and life-events.
But ultimately, yes, your genes could indeed be the cause of your anxiety.
So, what can you do about it?
Youve always been a nervous type chronically anxious?
Regardless of whether that is through a genetic predisposition or any of the above, you just need to follow all the steps below to permanently get over that sense of panic.
Unless you need treatment for trauma, decide to focus only on the here and now from now on.
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How Can I Help Myself
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are likely to be become frightened or anxious. This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things like yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundations wellbeing podcasts.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation