Know Everything about Anxiety Disorders 2022: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More
The human brain is a complex organ with many functions. It regulates our mood, controls our thoughts and actions, and affects how we interpret the world around us. Although the brain helps us in many ways, it can also be tricky. Sometimes, the chemicals and signals that go back and forth between different brain parts get disrupted. This disruption leads to feelings of fear, panic, and anxiety, which are known as anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are quite common; around one in five people will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. While these conditions can be debilitating for some people at first, various treatment options can help you overcome them with time. Get ready to learn more about anxiety disorders and their treatment options in this complete guide.
What are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that cause people to feel extreme worry, fear, and uneasiness. They are normal reactions to stressful situations, but people with anxiety disorders excessively react to everyday events. Several types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, social phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is described as a constant feeling of unease and worry. People with GAD often experience intense anxiety about everyday things and may have trouble controlling their worries.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Several types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, social phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While these conditions have many similarities, they also have their own distinct symptoms, triggers, and treatment options. Let's take a closer look at each one:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The most common anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), is described as a constant feeling of uneasiness. GAD often involves excessive worry about everyday things like family, work, or health issues. The anxiety experienced with GAD can be so extreme that it interferes with your daily activities and relationships.
2. Panic Disorder
People who experience a panic attack feel like they're having a heart attack or going crazy. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that involves recurrent panic attacks. People with panic disorder feel a sudden rush of intense fear and worry accompanied by physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and shaking.
People with panic disorder may also have irrational thoughts that they could be dying or going crazy. Panic disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting about 5% of people in the US.
3. Specific Phobias
Phobias are intense, irrational fears that cause people to avoid certain situations, even though they pose no real danger. Panic disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting about 5% of people in the US.
4. Social Phobia
Social phobia is a fear of or anxiety about certain social situations. People with social phobia typically fear being evaluated or judged by others and avoid social situations, which can lead to feelings of loneliness.
5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience unwanted, repeated thoughts that make them feel anxious.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders have several symptoms that may make your feel very uncomfortable. These symptoms can change over time and affect different people in different ways. The symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive worry that you can't control – Intense feelings of fear
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, or a rapid heartbeat
- Being easily startled – Trouble controlling your thoughts
- Trouble sleeping – Feeling irritable or impatient – Difficulty in concentrating
- Having frequent thoughts about death or dying – Avoiding activities that you once enjoyed
- Having trouble making decisions – Feeling as though your life is out of control.
These symptoms may be caused by an anxiety disorder or by another mental health condition. It is important to speak with a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to get an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can be overcome with time, patience, and the right treatment. The most common treatments for anxiety disorders are medications, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness meditation. Each of these treatments has its own benefits and downsides, and it's important to discuss your treatment options with a medical professional until you find the right one. Let's take a look at each one in more detail:
- Medications: Many medications available can help treat anxiety disorders. Depending on your type of disorder, your doctor may prescribe one or more medications.
- CBT: CBT is one of the most effective and popular treatments for anxiety disorders. It is a form of psychotherapy that helps you identify and change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to your anxiety.
Conclusion: Understanding Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but when it starts interfering with your daily life, it's important to seek help. Anxiety disorders are treatable and can be managed with self-help, therapy, or medications. With the right treatment, many people can overcome their anxiety and regain control of their lives. While anxiety disorders can be difficult to deal with, remember that you are not alone.