The first thing to understand is that there are many different types of anxiety disorders. Some of them include: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). All these conditions have similar symptoms such as feeling anxious or nervousness when faced with certain situations. However, they differ in their causes and treatments.
Many people suffer from anxiety disorders due to various reasons including physical problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and others. Other possible causes may be psychological factors such as family history of mental illness, childhood trauma or even life events such as divorce or death of loved ones.
There are several ways to treat anxiety disorders. These include: medications; psychotherapy; lifestyle changes; and other complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture.
Medications are used to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. They work best if taken regularly. Medication is usually prescribed by a doctor and it must be followed by regular checkups.
There are several types of medications available for treating anxiety disorders. These include benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants and antipsychotics. Benzodiazepine is a class of drugs which includes Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan and others. Antidepressants work by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters that send messages to the brain. Antipsychotics drugs are used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia and disorganized thinking. They also have sedating effects which can be beneficial in treating anxiety disorders.
Another form of treatment for anxiety is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help people identify irrational or unhealthy thoughts. Also, it teaches one how to deal with difficult situations and overcome them without feeling anxious or stressed.
There are several types of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
Lifestyle changes are also important in treating anxiety disorders. These may include: getting enough sleep, eating healthy, engaging in physical activity, drinking less alcohol and smoking less cigarettes or other drugs.
Yoga is a great way to control stress and anxiety. It helps improve concentration, which in turn makes one feel more relaxed in different situations. Meditation is an important part of yoga and it involves clearing the mind of all thoughts and mental activity.
During this practice one focuses on their breathing and nothing else.
Acupuncture is another ancient Chinese treatment for anxiety. During this procedure tiny needles are inserted into the body at specific points. This process is believed to alter the flow of energy (Qi) in the body and relieve pain or illness.
Treating anxiety is vital to one’s overall health. Anxiety can have negative effects on one’s physical and psychological well-being. Therefore, it is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know suffers from anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. They affect about 18 percent of the population at some point during their lifetime.
Anxiety is a natural human emotion. It can be both beneficial and harmful. Anxiety can get you prepared to tackle a challenge and motivate you to succeed but in excess it can cause you to be stressed and pessimistic about life events.
Panic attacks are another common experience for people with anxiety disorders. Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear which is triggered by nothing and lasts from a few minutes to a few hours. During a panic attack you may experience symptoms such as rapid heart rate, chest pain, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, numbness or tingling sensations, breathlessness or smothering feelings, fear of losing control, going crazy or dying.
Panic attacks can be extremely frightening and disturbing for the people experiencing them and for those around them.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is when a person experiences excessive and abnormal anxiety most days for at least six months. This anxiety cannot be explained by events in their lives and the anxiety interferes with their ability to live their lives. People with GAD often experience symptoms of fatigue, problems concentrating, restlessness, issues sleeping, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, stomach problems and headaches.
People with specific phobias are excessively afraid of something which is unreasonable. The fear can be triggered by the presence of the object causing the phobia or simply thinking about it. Some common specific phobias are fear of animals (such as snakes), sharp objects (such as knives), small spaces, heights, flying and seeing blood.
Social anxiety disorder is when a person experiences extreme fear and nervousness around people which limits their ability to function or perform daily activities. People with social anxiety anticipate that they will do something humiliating and show anxiety symptoms such as sweating, blushing, rapid heartbeat, trembling, problems speaking and nausea.
Panic Disorder is a specific type of anxiety disorder in which the person experiences frequent and unexpected panic attacks. These attacks cause a serious disruption in a person’s daily life. Some people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, a fear of leaving familiar locations, due to the great amount of panic attacks suffered when away from home.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety related disorder where a person has irrational thoughts (obsessions) and performs rituals (compulsions) in order to make the obsessive thoughts go away. These thoughts are unrelated to the logic of the situation and the rituals must be completed in order for the person to feel “right”. Common obsessive thoughts include concerns about being contaminated with dirt or germs, fear of causing harm to others and constant worries about making mistakes.
The individual may wash their hands many times in a row, repeat actions a certain number of times, repeatedly check that the stove is turned off or anything else.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The person often re-experiences the event through flashbacks and nightmares and may feel constantly stressed, unhappy, avoid crowds and withdraw from people. While anybody can experience PTSD, it is common in people with anxiety disorders.
How is anxiety treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat anxiety. One of the most common treatments for anxiety is medication. There are numerous different types of medication used to treat anxiety, including benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications work by manipulating the chemicals in the brain that cause the anxiety and other symptoms. While these medications can be effective, it is important to note that they cannot cure anxiety. Once a person stops taking the medication, the symptoms of anxiety will return. However, these drugs can be effective in conjunction with therapy and can help people manage their symptoms so they can lead happier lives.
Another treatment for anxiety is psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”). There are numerous types of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, so by changing our thoughts we can change our feelings and behaviors.
This type of therapy aims to help people identify the negative thoughts they have and change them into more positive ones. The goal of CBT is to help a person overcome their fears without needing to use avoidance or “safety” behaviors. Since our thought patterns influence our feelings and behaviors, an important goal of CBT is to change our automatic thoughts. These are the thoughts that pop into your head throughout the day, and can include things like “I’m too dumb to succeed,” or “people will judge me for this.” By learning to recognize these thoughts and analyzing their validity, a person can learn to accept themselves and others, and decrease self-judgment.
Another common type of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety is called exposure and response prevention (ERP). In this form of therapy, people are encouraged to gradually expose themselves to the sources of their fears. In conjunction with this, people are asked to refrain from engaging in any “safety” behaviors or avoidance.
By facing their fears, people can learn that their fears are irrational and the result of conditioning. By practicing ERP, people can learn to live normally again.
There are also therapies that involve couples work or marriage counseling. If the anxiety is caused by relationship problems, it can sometimes be helpful to work on the relationship itself in addition to any other treatment a person is receiving.
Psychotherapy can often be an effective way of treating anxiety, but it is important to remember that not everyone is helped by it and, for many people, medications do provide better relief. It is recommended that people work with their doctor or psychiatrist to establish a treatment plan that works best for them.
Anxiety cannot be cured overnight, but there are many ways of treating it so people can overcome their symptoms and live a full and happy life.
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Sources & references used in this article:
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The mindful way through anxiety: Break free from chronic worry and reclaim your life by SM Orsillo, L Roemer – 2011 – books.google.com
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Memory of dental experiences as related to naturally occurring changes in state anxiety by G Kent – Cognition & Emotion, 1989 – Taylor & Francis
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