All About Anxiety: There is no doubt about it; sometimes, our nerves can get to us. And when our stress levels rise with our nervousness, we can experience anxiety.
For some of us, anxiousness occurs in bouts. At the same time, others struggle with different types of anxiety chronically. There are many kinds of anxiety. Most people experience anxiety when starting a new job or trying a unique social situation. In these instances, anxiety can be mild, or it can feel like a full-blown attack. Some events and circumstances can make a person’s anxiety symptoms worse. And some events can relieve anxiety’s more intense symptoms.
In the end, it is normal for us to feel anxious every once and a while. But, an attack or intense fear is different from the occasional bout of nerves.
Today, mental health professionals can distinguish clear differences between occasional anxiety and its disorders. Although both occurrences can have similar physical symptoms, the excessive attacks can wreak havoc on your mental health and body.
Anxiety Disorder Basics
In this disorder can take many forms. Today over 40 million Americans wrestle with a chronic anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is our body’s normal reaction to stress, fear, and danger at its core. Our fears are our internal, emotional response to external threats. When we experience It, we know that our mind and body are doing what they can to protect us from what is causing us stress and fear. For most people, an attack is short-lived. But, for other people, the prickly, nerve-racking side effects of anxiety rarely go away.
When the symptoms of anxiousness linger, the person experiencing these effects may be developing an anxiety disorder.
It is powerful. Without a doubt, even though we hate to experience it, stress can help us push through some challenging situations. But when fear takes control over someone’s life, it is no longer a helpful tool. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a diagnosed anxiety disorder is a mental illness.
What You Should Know about Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
As a form of mental illness, anxiety disorders can take on many forms. One of the most common forms of this mental illness is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association, GADs affect over 6.8 million Americans every year.
People with generalized anxiety disorder can experience both physical and mental side effects associated with chronic anxiousness.
Typically, The Physical and Mental Symptoms of GAD include:
- Excessive anxiety
- Excessive worry
- An inability to concentrate
- Trouble remembering things
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tension
- Excessive restlessness
- Stomach issues
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive fatigue
- Trembling or twitching
Even though generalized disorders are common, that does not make them easy to live with. Many people who struggle with GAD also suffer from co-occurring mental health problems or substance use issues. Additionally, many people with GAD may experience depression, post-traumatic stress, or obsessive-compulsive disorders. In many cases, people with this disorder like GAD feel anxious and out of control over their emotions.
Nevertheless, a person who struggles with GAD can sometimes relieve symptoms. But, when their disorder picks up again, many reports having a tough time breaking away from their cycle of worry.
Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
Sadly, anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that do not have a cure. It should be noted that just because these disorders are not curable does not mean they are untreatable.
Different types of anxiety disorders can be onset by separate occasions and events. In some cases, it’s even possible that the condition would manifest different types of anxiety symptoms. Some of the most common anxiety disorders and their various physical and mental symptoms include.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxious mental health conditions. Along with their ability to cause people to fear being judged in public or intimate social settings, social phobias typically affect more females and adolescents. Approximately 7% or more of United States citizens wrestle with a form of social phobia. Often mistaken for shyness, a social anxiety disorder stems from a much more intense fear than just being shy.
Many who struggle with social phobias have an intense fear of being judged by others.
As a result of these intense fears, many people who experience these attacks alongside social events will purposefully avoid interacting with people as much as possible.
Other Social Phobia Symptoms Can Include:
- Social withdrawal
- Fear of being exposed to the scrutiny or judgment of others
- Intense fear of being viewed negatively; as unfriendly, dull, stupid, etc.
- Avoiding conversational engagement
- Hiding or closing themselves off physically to others
- Rigid body posture
- Bad eye contact
- Twitching or shaking
- Clinging to one known person
- Staring into space
- Stumbling over words
According to mental health professionals at the American Psychiatric Association, researchers can break social anxiety into two separate disorders. There is a generalized social anxiety disorder. And there is a specfic socal phobia.
The first disorder contains all aspects of a general fear related to social events. On the other hand, the second phobia speaks of social anxiety in specific situations like public speaking. A person can have an anxiety disorder to public speaking and not be scared to engage with others socially. But, it is not possible for someone with a social fear to not be afraid of speaking in public.
Generally, someone is said to suffer from social anxiety when their symptoms of fear continue persistently for six months or more.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
A separation anxiety disorder can be tricky. Mainly, this condition occurs in children who are afraid to be separated from their parents. Yet, readers should also note that adults can also struggle with separation anxiety symptoms.
These disorders involve a great deal of concern, worry, and dread. Usually, these feelings occur in the individual when they begin to anticipate a physical or mental separation from someone they love or are attached to. These mental health conditions usually involve a child-to-parent scenario. It can also affect romantic partners of all ages and even people with beloved pets.
Separation Anxiety Symptoms Typically Include:
- Dread that something terrible will happen to the loved one when separated
- Chronic concern over details of where the other person is going
Like other mental health conditions and these disorders, separation anxiety involves a lot of physical symptoms related to nerves. But, these types of mental disorders go beyond behavioral inhibition to affect every aspect of a person’s life.
Even if they like being social, someone who dreads separation is more likely to isolate themselves from others. They do this to keep watch over their loved ones in a safe space. Additionally, adults who struggle with separation problems may find it challenging to engage in a healthy romantic relationship. Their need for their partner’s safety becomes obsessive and controlling.
There is a lot of confusion about panic disorders and how they relate to anxiety. Undoubtedly, panic disorder is an anxiety issue, and people typically use the terms anxiety and panic attack interchangeably. Even so, the two mental health conditions are different.
These disorders can produce panic attacks. Nevertheless, these types of disorders generally affect a person’s ability to think clearly and feel comfortable. On the other hand, a panic disorder makes an individual feel absolute terror. Their symptoms are so intense most people who experience panic attacks have physical reactions to their episodes.
Common Physical Symptoms and Mental Side Effects of a Panic Disorder Include:
- Panic attacks
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme shaking or trembling
- Getting dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling detached from reality
- Stomach problems
- Feelings of impending doom
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people who have a panic disorder are anxious over experiencing their fear. A panic attack can come out of nowhere and make people so terrified they feel as though they may die. Mental illnesses involving panic have unexpected physical symptoms that usually finish within minutes. These attacks can happen to anyone at any time. And they are not typically influenced by other mental health conditions.
Despite there being no proven method for avoiding panic attacks, many people who struggle with this type of disorder regularly change aspects of their daily lives to prevent panic disorder symptoms. For many people, this can work. On the other hand, some people obsess so much about avoiding terror that they onset another fear of attack.
Other Disorders Symptoms
These are only some of the many of these disorders known to humankind. A mental health disorder that causes extreme responses to fear and stress, this disorder can wreak havoc on a person’s life. And in some cases, in attempts to cope with this disorder’s symptoms, people will try to use outside substances as a form of stress management.
Despite the differences these disorders can carry, many share similar symptoms. Some of the commonly noted signs of an anxiety disorder include:
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Mood swings
- Isolation or changes in social activity
- Loss of interest in former hobbies
- “Foggy brain”
- Inability to problem solve
- Chest pain- whether irregular or consistent.
- Gastrointestinal complications
- Obsessive or laser focus on a specific problem, situation, or person
- Frequent thoughts of death or self-harm
- The constant state of tension
Sometimes, OCD and generalized phobias can be considered anxiety disorders themselves. These symptoms can also help medical professionals diagnose these disorders in people.
In the end, there are some cases where a person decides to start taking yoga classes to manage stress and anxiety symptoms. These attempts at stress management can be good. Still, there are other times when people developing these disorders turn to the wrong substances to try and cope with their fears.
Drugs and Alcohol Use are Never the Answer
But, if you aren’t sure where to begin managing your anxiety, a mental health specialist can help.
Treatments for these disorders that do not involve drinking or illicit substances are out there!
Are People with Anxiety Disorders More Prone to Developing Depression Symptoms or Disorders?
These types of disorders come with many physical and mental symptoms. For many people who struggle with an anxiety disorder, there is a chance they could develop other mental illnesses. Many people who struggle with this also wrestle with depression and substance use issues.
According to journals, anxiety medically reviewed content points to substantial comorbidity between chronic anxiousness and depression.
Of course, even when depression symptoms and anxiety disorder mix, a mental health professional can help a patient find an appropriate treatment method. It may not be possible to cure depression. But, treating it and managing depression symptoms are possible. And there are many anti-anxiety medications and therapies that can be useful for recovery.
Causes of the Common Anxiety Disorder
Like other types of mental disorders, anxiety problems typically develop over time. The National Institute of Mental Health has found that anxiety issues often develop due to an experience the person has had, like other mental health disorders.
There are many risk factors. Researchers have determined that anxiety disorder symptoms typically develop from a combination of environmental and genetic stressors.
Genetic and Environmental Factors that Influence Many Anxiety Disorders
The stressors that generally lead to the development of an anxiety disorder include:
- Family medical history
- Personality; some individuals are more inclined to be influenced by stress than others
- Brain composition and mindset
- Trauma and early childhood experiences
While it can be triggered by external factors such as our environment, other risk factors can trigger anxiety disorders.
These symptoms of anxiety can make everyday life seem like an impossible challenge. But there is hope to live a happy and productive life, even with anxiety.
Treating Anxiety Disorders
Treating it can take time and a lot of patience. Some people who struggle with anxiety issues also wrestle with various forms of co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders and dual diagnoses can make the healing process complex. Each condition must be treated as a separate entity without causing harm to the progress of another treatment guide.
Medical professionals have worked hard to find effective ways to treat these disorders. And they have succeeded in finding several effective protocols.
The most popular methods used to treat anxiety include:
- Stress management traiining
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (talk therapy)
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Exposure therapy
- Support groups
Do Different Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed Have Different Treatment Protocols?
Each person is different and complex. Likewise, every person’s experience with panic and these disorders is bound to be different. Some patients only need regular access to talk therapy sessions to gain a better sense of control. Meanwhile, other people may need to use anti-anxiety medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and exposure therapy focuses to feel better.
In the end, treating it aims to help you learn how to manage stress and your responses to stressful events.
Once you understand how your anxiety became an issue, you and your therapist can begin to develop more effective ways to help you stay in control of your mind and body. The process will take time, but healing is possible. And no one’s recovery journey ever looks like someone else’s.
John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) Treating Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conditions
John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) is a drug and alcohol rehab center dedicated to helping people recover from co-occurring disorders and substance abuse. At SJRP, innovation meets tradition as quality treatment professionals practice healing in as holistic an approach as possible.
St. John’s goal is to help people heal in mind, body, and spirit. No matter who you are or where you come from, SJRP is here to support your healing. These types of disorders are the cause of many substance abuse issues and chronic problems. At SJRP, we want to help you beat addiction and anxiety.
Suppose you or your loved ones wrestle with substance abuse and an anxiety disorder call SJRP today at 1-833-387-3422 to learn more about how we can help you. You can also visit us online to learn more about our treatment guides and services. Don’t wait another minute; call now, and start your recovery journey today!