If you’ve turned on the news lately, you’ve probably found yourself worrying. As the world begins to recover from a two-year-long pandemic, with all of the fears and difficulties widespread sickness entails, and we collectively face the threats of climate change, you may not see a way to avoid anxiety. And to some degree, anxiety is a natural, normal response. However, when anxiety begins to be the main thing you feel and leaves little room for work, relationships, or joy, you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder.
The highly trained experts at Apex Medical Center offer psychiatric and psychological care, and we help people who are experiencing anxiety disorders. We know that the constant weight of anxiety can disrupt your ability to work, engage in meaningful relationships, and to live an overall healthy life.
Types of anxiety disorders
Not all anxiety is the same. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
Generalized anxiety disorder
You worry about the usual things people worry about like money, your health, family, and so on, but you worry all the time — every day for six months or more.
You have panic attacks, suddenly, and at times when you’re not in any kind of danger.
Social anxiety disorder
Social situations make you intensely uncomfortable and cause you to avoid things like going to work or school or even grocery shopping.
Phobia related disorder
When you have a phobia, you have an extreme fear of a specific object or situation to the degree you can’t live normally because you fear encountering the thing you’re afraid of.
There are other types of anxiety disorders, also, but these are some of the most common ones. If you have an anxiety disorder, it’s unlikely to resolve on its own and may well become worse without treatment.
Signs of an anxiety disorder
Although the specific symptoms depend on what type of anxiety disorder you have, they share some common signs. For example, you may find yourself feeling controlled by worry, struggling to sleep well, having headaches, stomach aches, or unexplained pain, or feeling fatigued for no apparent reason. Overall, you are unable or find it very difficult to control anxious thoughts.
Generalized anxiety disorder usually involves a feeling of impending doom. If you have a panic disorder, you have panic attacks regularly, and social anxiety disorders involve worries about social situations.
Risk factors for anxiety disorders
Some of the factors that make it more likely that you’ll develop an anxiety disorder include having experienced a traumatic event during your childhood or having a family history of anxiety or other mental health issues. Additionally, some personality traits such as being shy can make it more likely you’ll develop an anxiety disorder.
Certain health conditions are also associated with a higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Thyroid problems and arrhythmia are two examples.
Treatments for anxiety disorders
There are two main treatment approaches for anxiety disorders: psychological therapy and medications. Often, a combination of the two work best.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, (CBT), which is sometimes called talk therapy, is the most common approach to treating anxiety disorders. In CBT you learn specific skills to help you deal with your anxiety.
A variety of medications may be used to treat anxiety, including some antidepressants, an anti-anxiety medication, or various other types of medicines. The right medication depends on a host of individual factors.
When you have an anxiety disorder, it can feel like your life is getting smaller and the world is getting scarier. You may find it difficult to do the things you need to do and even the things you want to do. Schedule an appointment at Apex Medical Center and find out what treatment options are available for you.