Anxiety Disorder Help, Symptoms and Treatment
The mind and the body work together as one well-crafted machine. When the brain senses that something terrible is about to happen, it floods the body with chemicals to help the body respond. With these chemicals in play, the person can fight the problem or the person can run away and escape harm. The chemicals are part of an early warning system that can be incredibly helpful. There are times, however, when the brain can become separated from reality. The brain can begin to flood the body with chemicals for no particular reason.
This is exactly what happens in anxiety disorders. Although there may be no particular threat imminent, the brain becomes convinced that the threat is real and that it is coming immediately. As a result, the brain sends panic signals to the body, and the person begins to feel a generalized sense of worry. The fight-or-flight response is there, even though no fight is coming. People who feel this way for months at a time are often diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
Doctors often use the term “anxiety disorders” to describe a wide range of problems, including post-traumatic stress syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some people, however, develop a more generalized form of anxiety disorder. The people who have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may be easily forgotten, as their symptoms might not seem severe or very uncommon. In fact, many people may feel as though they have symptoms of GAD every day, and they don’t need treatment.
Do you believe that a panic or anxiety disorder is a problem for you? Have you experienced panic attacks or intense bouts of anxiety over a specific situation or fear?
If so, anxiety disorder help is only a phone call away. Our counselors are standing by at the phone number listed above, ready and available to answer your questions about the types of treatment available to you or your loved one for anxiety and panic disorders.
Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
Do you have panic attacks? If so, how often and how long? Does a specific event or situation fill you with dread? Are you able to physically function when you are faced with something that causes you anxiety?
The answers to these questions and others will be helpful in determining the specifics of your diagnosis and help you to get the right care for your needs. You may be diagnosed with:
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety Disorder Treatment
The best way to address any anxiety disorder is to undergo a multi-pronged and comprehensive mental health treatment program. You need to make sure that any underlying issues or co-occurring disorders are addressed as well as the specific symptoms that you experience related to anxiety. Medication, psychotherapy, family therapy and other types of intervention can work together to help you learn how to manage your symptoms and regain control in your life.
Are you ready to make the first move? When you contact us, we can match you with a program that can help you address your own personal issues with anxiety and trauma. Call now to get started.
Are you constantly worried about something specific? Do others tell you that you worry too much or that your concern is unfounded? Does your worry cause you physical symptoms, including low energy or an inability to sleep? If so, an anxiety disorder may be the cause.
If you would like to find out how you can best get your symptoms of anxiety disorder under control, contact us at the phone number listed above to get started.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorder symptoms will vary in intensity and type depending upon the specific anxiety-related diagnosis that is causing you problems. However, in general, symptoms of an anxiety disorder often include:
- Restlessness, or an inability to relax and think about something other than your anxiety-causing issue
- Inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or to sleep soundly – or the inability to get out of bed
- Lack of energy
- Inability to focus on anything or to complete tasks
- Muscle aches
- Trembling or shaking
- Panic attacks characterized by sweating, shaking, rapid breathing and/or rapid heart rate
- Gastrointestinal issues, like nausea, cramping or vomiting
When It’s Time to Get Help
Anxiety disorder symptoms can be overwhelming and make it almost impossible for you to function at work or at school. For some, it can make specific tasks or events unbearable, and for others, it can mean working hard to never have to leave the house.
Don’t let anxiety symptoms stop you from living the life you deserve. Contact us today to talk to one of our counselors about the specific symptoms you are experiencing and to learn more about your options in care. Call now.
Defining Generalized Anxiety Disorder
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 6.8 million American adults have GAD. More women than men are affected by the disease, and it often begins in childhood. Many times, the disease grows more severe with time, and people who have lived with GAD for many years are harder to treat than people who are newly diagnosed.
While some anxiety is normal for any adult, people who have GAD often have severe and disabling worries that can consume much or all of their thoughts throughout the day. They may worry about almost all aspects of their lives, including money, family, health and politics. Worries may keep them up at night, and the thought of getting through the day may fill them with dread. These people may know that their worries are out of proportion to the issue at hand, but they may be unable to stop worrying. They may become convinced that they will lose their jobs, for example, or they might worry that the present they bought for a friend is just not right. These tiny worries may circle and circle, melding with other worries, until they become terrifying obsessions. This intense worry can last for six months or even longer, and it can strengthen with time.
This severe worry can cause physical signs such as:
- Stomach upset
- Difficulty swallowing
- Rapid breathing
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Startling easily
These are the same sorts of symptoms a person might exhibit before a big speech or a first date. When the crisis passes, however, the symptoms tend to abate. People with GAD may feel these symptoms relentlessly, all of the time, for no real reason. Their brains are flooding their bodies with stress hormones they simply do not need.
People with panic disorders experience periodic panic attacks. These attacks tend to appear without warning, and they aren’t related to anything that is happening to the person at the time. Many people report that they felt calm and distracted before the attack took place.
During a panic attack, the person suddenly feels all the symptoms of extreme stress, including:
- Racing heart
- Difficulty breathing
The symptoms build in intensity, and tend to disappear within 10 minutes. During that time, however, the person might be convinced that he or she is dying or going crazy. Some people become so scared of the panic attacks that they begin to avoid the place where the attack took place. If the person experiences many attacks, he or she may become unable to leave the house due to fear.
Children and Anxiety
Children can also develop anxiety disorders, but their symptoms may be slightly different than the symptoms felt by adults. They may experience generalized anxiety about multiple areas of their lives, such as their performance in school or their relationships with their friends, but they may demonstrate their fears through neediness. The child may cling to the parents and ask for constant reassurance, or the child may complain of headaches or stomachaches on a daily basis and ask to stay home from school.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says that children who are naturally quiet, shy and careful may be at higher risk for anxiety disorders, although almost any child could develop an issue if placed in a situation of extreme stress.
Risk Factors for Adults
Researchers are currently investigating the link between anxiety disorders and genetics. One study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found a link between panic disorders and genetics in a study of twins separated at birth, which seems to indicate that there is some genetic basis for that disorder. Other researchers suggest, however, that there is no genetic basis for anxiety disorders. More research is needed on this topic.
Experts agree, however, that there is a strong link between substance abuse and anxiety disorders. A separate study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that the link between substance abuse and anxiety disorders was, “positive and significant.” This link is slightly ambiguous, however. It’s not clear whether people abuse alcohol and drugs in order to cure themselves of their persistent anxiety, or whether alcohol and drugs numb the person’s ability to deal with anxiety and stress in a normal manner, so the people develop anxiety diseases as a result.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that GAD often occurs in conjunction with some other form of mental health disorder, such as depression, substance abuse or personality disorders. It’s not clear, again, whether the GAD caused the other problems, or whether the other problems triggered the GAD.
In sheer economic terms, people with anxiety disorders consume quite a bit of health care resources. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, people with anxiety disorders accounted for 54 percent of nonpsychiatric medical costs in 1990. In other words, these people saw their doctors frequently for help, but they may not have received help for their specific condition, and therefore, they did not improve and had to see their doctors again.
Some people who live with anxiety disorders for long periods of time begin to feel hopeless and helpless about their conditions, and they begin to believe that suicide is the only way out. This is a real and terrible consequence of leaving anxiety disorders untreated. People who do not have hope and cannot find relief may choose to end their own lives instead of living with the disease any longer.
Seeking medical treatment is the best way to handle the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Whether you’re a perfectionist and unable to let go of the small things or have severe panic attacks at the thought of a certain situation, event or social issue, anxiety disorder treatment can help you manage your symptoms and get back on track.
Benefits of Anxiety Disorder Treatment
If you aren’t sure if treatment is necessary, consider some of the benefits of getting medical and psychotherapeutic help:
- The ability to manage your symptoms. Any symptoms that stop you from doing the things you want to do every day or that hold you back from exceling at school or at work can be managed through medication and psychotherapeutic treatment.
- Getting treatment for underlying trauma. Your anxiety and panic may be directly related to a specific incident of trauma that occurred during your childhood or early adulthood. Addressing that situation and working through it can help you to experience fewer anxiety symptoms overall.
- Getting treatment for co-occurring disorders. It’s not uncommon for people living with an anxiety disorder to develop a co-occurring mental health issue like depression and substance abuse. Receiving treatment that helps you through these problems can mean that your anxiety disorder symptoms are diminished as well.
Find the Best Treatment Possible
Your success in anxiety disorder treatment is determined in large part by the efficacy of the mental health treatment program you choose. Finding a treatment program that can provide you with the medical and psychotherapeutic care you need starts when you contact us to be matched with the right treatment center. Are you committed to changing your life? Call now.
Help Is Available
There is no one way to treat anxiety disorders, since the problems can manifest in so many different ways depending on the person and his or her history. Doctors can, however, develop effective treatment plans that can make a difference. Some people need medications for a time, until their thoughts calm and they’re able to deal with their fears. Other people simply need to talk about their fears and learn new ways to handle their anxieties. In any case, anxiety disorders are often considered curable conditions. People just need to get started. If you or someone you know is experiencing this sort of crushing anxiety, we urge you to call us and learn more about available treatment options.