How many of us are too preoccupied just thinking about how we feel? Everyone is just so busy running from work to school and home to even consider how our spiritual being is doing. How are you feeling right now? Are you anxious? Stressed out? Approximately 44 million people in the United States are suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety disorder is the most common mental health disorder there is and only one third of those with anxiety disorders get help. However, anxiety disorders are the easiest mental health disorders to treat.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety is a common reaction to a stressful situation but, in some people, it can become much more than that. Many individuals have a condition called generalized anxiety disorder, which is an everyday feeling of overall anxiety and stress. This condition usually includes times of severe panic called panic attacks in which the individual is struck by the inability to act normally or respond to an everyday occurrence. In some cases, a panic attack can include symptoms such as:
- Heart palpitations or rapid heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Hyperventilating or not being able to catch your breath
- Intense feelings of crippling fear
- Feeling out of control
- Shaking or trembling
- Nausea, headaches, diarrhea
- Dizziness or confusion
- Chest pain
- Feeling of impending doom
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:
- Constant worry about everyday occurrences
- Avoiding certain places or people
- Fear of being judged or humiliated
- Flashbacks, nightmares, or panic attacks
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Tense muscles and muscle aches or cramps
- Feelings of irritability or aggression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Restless or edgy
- Worrying for days or weeks about something
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Shaking or nervousness
Cause of Anxiety Disorder
Although experts do not know exactly what causes anxiety disorders, they believe it is a combination of things. Some of these things can include hormonal changes, physical illnesses, stressful situations that last for prolonged periods of time, and genetic causes. Yes, scientists have found proof that these anxiety disorders run in the family and can be connected to hereditary defects in the brain.
Treatments for Anxiety
There are many treatments to help with anxiety. Some of these are psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, support groups, stress management techniques, and medication.
Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy because it is essentially talking to a therapist. This type of treatment is only effective if the talk is tailored to the individual’s personal anxiety issues. There are no side effects of psychotherapy like there could be with other treatments such as medication and it can also help with other mental health conditions.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is another form of talk therapy but it actually helps teach you alternative ways of thinking. By altering your thought patterns, it can change your way of feeling and behaving to anxiety when it comes up. It works to identify, challenge, and neutralize those negative and anxious thoughts and feelings.
Many individuals do well with support groups by talking with others who have similar problems. Just the act of sharing your own issues with others can produce a therapeutic feeling for some. It also helps to hear what others find helpful when they are having an anxiety attack.
Stress Management Techniques
Some techniques such as meditation and yoga can be very helpful for those who suffer with anxiety disorders. There are also studies that have proven that exercise is a good way to alleviate anxiety as well. Avoiding some things such as alcohol, certain medications, and caffeine can also help prevent stress.
There are many different medications that are shown to help with anxiety disorders. However, this is usually only done in cases that are severe or unable to be treated with therapy or other measures. Some medications such as anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, sedatives, and beta blockers have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders. You will need to see a psychiatrist or your physician to get a prescription.
If you or someone you know may have an anxiety disorder, talk to someone. You can talk to a professional therapist online today and you do not even need an appointment