In today’s stressful world, it’s normal to feel anxious from time to time. However, when excessive anxiety and worry become difficult to control and interfere with daily activities, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. One may feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety persists and can get worse over time if it is not treated. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder improves with psychotherapy or medications. Making lifestyle changes, learning coping skills, and using relaxation techniques can also help. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, of which the main categories include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. Symptoms for these categories are listed below.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling the mind go blank
- Excessive Anxiety or worry
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
- Sudden periods of intense fear
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Sweating, trembling or shaking
- Recurrent unexpected panic attacks
- Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
- Feeling of impending doom
- Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
- Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack
- Intense worries about when the next attack will happen
- Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
Social Anxiety Disorder:
- Staying away from places in which there are other people
- Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
- Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
- Fear of social situations
- Anxiety about public speaking or engaging in a performance in which one feels embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others
- Feeling highly anxious with other people and having a hard time talking to them
- Being self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, rejected, or fearful of offending others
- Worrying for days or weeks before a social event
- Feeling nauseous or sick to the stomach when other people are around
Some physical health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid or low blood sugar, as well as taking certain medications, may worsen an anxiety disorder. A thorough mental health evaluation is important as anxiety disorders often coexist with other related conditions, such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
IDCC’s expert mental health professionals use evidence-based methods to evaluate and diagnose anxiety disorders. Our clinicians are informed of the most recent developments in the research of anxiety disorders and work with scientifically proven treatments. IDCC’s compassionate clinicians and mental health professionals listen to your concerns to thoroughly understand your concerns, health issues and experiences with anxiety to create a treatment plan suited to your needs.
There are various treatment options for treating anxiety disorders including some of the following. Talk Therapy or psychological counseling involves working with a therapist to reduce anxiety symptoms. Another treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a short-term treatment focused on teaching specific skills to directly manage worries and help the patient gradually return to the activities that have been avoided because of anxiety.
If deemed necessary, medication may also be used as treatment as well. Medications used to treat anxiety include antidepressants and sedatives. These medications work to balance brain chemistry, prevent episodes of anxiety, and ward off the most severe symptoms of the disorder. Using medicine together with the likes of talk therapy has been proven as a very efficient method for treating anxiety.