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Anxiety Disorders

Written by: Editorial Staff.

Anxiety Disorders

It’s safe to assume that everyone experiences some form of anxiety in their lives, whether it’s before specific on-stage performances or in preparation for exams. However, it’s very important to distinguish the difference between getting anxious occasionally over something like making a speech, and being afraid or uncertain daily about every little thing. More than a million adults in America suffer from anxiety-related problems, which means anxiety is a common disorder.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Although specific symptoms vary according to different types of anxiety disorders, the primary indication is usually excess worry over minute details in everyday life. Each type of anxiety disorder has different causes, symptoms and treatment options available. Therefore, it’s necessary to identify the exact disorder you may be suffering from and get help accordingly.

Common Anxiety Disorders Include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder typically feel excessive and unrealistic worry about little things in their everyday life. Unfortunately, the amount of worrying they do is usually something they cannot control or turn off at will. A typical day for someone with general anxiety disorder can be filled with unnecessary concern and tension over family, health, money or work-related stresses, even though they may be completely unwarranted. In some cases, the mere thought of making it through the day tends to generate anxiety among sufferers.

In addition to feeling “on edge” most of the time, physical symptoms can also play a significant role in generalized anxiety disorder. Common physical symptoms related to generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • headaches
  • muscle tension
  • fatigue

Often, a generalized anxiety disorder can be treated with medication or certain types of psychotherapy. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any type of treatment plan.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that usually involves panic attacks, where people experience episodes of extreme fear or anxiety that can occur randomly or be specifically triggered by certain events. These episodes can generally occur every now and then or on a more frequent basis and last anywhere between mere minutes to prolonged hours. Fortunately, most panic attack sufferers can get better with treatment. Options can include antidepressants, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy and certain types of stress-relieving activities.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD typically suffer from performing certain tasks or rituals excessively without merit. Carrying out their obsessions and compulsions usually provides OCD sufferers with temporary relief from feeling anxiety. Some of the common things that most people with OCD obsess about include cleaning, showering, washing hands, turning things on and off etc. Those who have obsessive-compulsive disorder can also feel angry, stressed, worried, depressed, embarrassed or nervous.

The exact causes of OCD have not been accurately identified or fully understood. However, some people believe that obsessive-compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder while others feel abnormalities cause it in the brain. Having OCD in no way makes you strange or abnormal; genetic and hereditary factors have also been linked to this disorder. Medication, therapy, support groups and exercise are all ways in which OCD can be effectively managed.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Unlike the anxiety disorders mentioned above, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD specifically results from a frightening event that may have involved physical harm or the possibility of physical harm. A number of traumatic episodes can cause PTSD to occur, such as rape, child abuse, being involved in car accidents, plane crashes or natural disasters.

Most people with post-traumatic stress disorder may exhibit symptoms of becoming irritable, aggressive, and even violent. Having flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic event(s) suffered is common with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you have never been able to talk about your PTSD, seeking treatment as soon as possible would be in your best interest. Professionals, such as licensed therapists and psychologists can be of great help. Joining a support group or engaging in activities that would allow you to relieve some tension can also be useful ways to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

What Are The Causes Of Anxiety Disorder?

Some reasons for anxiety disorders are:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Environmental stress
  • Drug Withdrawal
  • Medical conditions

What are the Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorder?

  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Trauma
  • Negative life events
  • Severe illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Low self-esteem

Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

Several types of drugs are used for treating anxiety disorders.

1. Medications

Antidepressants

Modern antidepressants are used as the first drugs to treat anxiety disorders. SSRIs and SNRIs are used to treat anxiety disorders.

Bupropion

This is another type of antidepressant used to treat chronic anxiety. It works differently than SSRIs and SNRIs.

Other Depressants

Monoamine oxidase and tricyclics are commonly used but its side effects are drop in blood pressure, blurry vision, urinary retention which is quite unsafe for people.

Benzodiazepines

Persistent panicky feelings cause anxiety. Xanax and Klonopin are used because they work quickly. It makes you dependent on them. Anxiety disorder treatment shouldn’t take a long time. Make sure your doctor prescribes one of these drugs for the treatment.

Antipsychotics

Low doses of these drugs can help to make other treatments work better.

Psychotherapy

This is a type of counseling that helps to learn how emotion affects behaviors. This is a kind of therapy because mental health specialists pay attention and talk to you about thoughts and feelings. It helps to manage anxiety disorder.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This is a common type of psychotherapy that teaches how to keep away negativity and panic causing and behaviors with positive vibes. You will also come to know how to manage fearful situations with a careful approach.