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Anxiety Disorders Symptoms & Treatment
Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness that can cause significant distress and interfere with a person’s ability to function. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own unique set of signs and symptoms. With over 30% of people experiencing at least 1 anxiety disorder in their lifetime, they are, as a whole, the most common form of mental disorder.
Anxiety Disorders Include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by excessive and persistent worry that interferes with daily activities. People with GAD may have a hard time controlling their worry and may feel anxious most days, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden period of intense fear or discomfort that peaks within minutes and includes physical symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, or nausea.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): SAD is characterized by intense fear of social situations, such as parties or meeting new people. People with SAD often worry about being embarrassed or humiliated in social situations.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by obsessions (recurrent, unwanted thoughts, images, or urges) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to do to relieve anxiety).
- Specific Phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights, animals, or flying. People with specific phobias often go to great lengths to avoid the object or situation they fear.
- Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia is characterized by fear of situations in which escape might be difficult or help would not be available if the person were to have a panic attack or other type of anxiety attack. People with agoraphobia often avoid public places, such as malls, buses, or airplanes.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is characterized by flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the traumatic event. PTSD can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder (SepAD): Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by anxiety that occurs when a person is away from home or separated from loved ones. People with separation anxiety may have difficulty sleeping away from home, going on trips, or being away from family members or close friends.
- Selective Mutism (SM): SM is characterized by a person’s inability to speak in certain social situations, such as school or work. People with SM may be able to speak in other settings, such as at home or with close friends.
The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary depending on the specific type of disorder. However, there are some common symptoms that are seen in most types of anxiety disorders, such as:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything
Treatment for anxiety disorders typically involves some combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can help people with anxiety disorders learn how to manage their anxiety and cope with difficult situations. Medication can be used to control symptoms of anxiety and may be prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise and relaxation techniques, can also help reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
If you think that you or a loved one may have an anxiety disorder, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Nickischer & Associates offers counseling services to help individuals who are struggling with anxiety disorders. Our counselors are experienced in helping people identify the symptoms of anxiety disorders and develop coping mechanisms to deal with the disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with an anxiety disorder, please contact us to set up an appointment. We would be happy to help you on your journey to recovery.