Anxiety Treatment – When Anxiety Becomes a Problem

Anxiety comes in many forms. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life; it is normal to feel a bit anxious before an important exam or before giving a big speech. However, anxiety is problematic and can be considered a disorder when it begins to interfere with everyday activities. The following are basic descriptions of symptoms and experiences that are common for different types of anxiety disorders.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – A person with GAD frequently and excessively worries. Although everybody worries, a person with GAD is not able to control the worry. For example, the worry may interfere with the ability to focus at work or school, despite having looming deadlines. GAD is also usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches or gastrointestinal distress.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – A person with OCD feels compelled to engage in repetitive behaviors or thoughts to alleviate anxiety. For example, a person may wash his/her hands hundreds of times per day due to their fear of germs.

Panic disorder – With panic disorder, symptoms occur very suddenly and out-of-the-blue. This sudden “attack” of symptoms can include a racing heart, sweating, shaking, nausea, or flushed face. A person experiencing a panic attack may fear that he/she is dying or having a heart attack, and may begin to avoid physical exertion or leaving the house to minimize the possibility of a future panic attack. For example, a person might avoid running up the stairs for fear that an increased heart rate will trigger a panic attack.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – A person with PTSD has survived or witnessed a scary, life-threatening situation. After the traumatic experience has passed, he/she continues to feel very scared or have nightmares related to the traumatic experience. Some individuals may feel as if they are reliving the experience if something in the environment reminds them of the event. People with PTSD also tend to experience physical symptoms, such as being easily startled or increased tension.

Phobia – A phobia is a very intense fear of a particular object or situation. For example, some people have an intense fear of getting an injection or giving blood. The fear can be so intense that a person avoids giving blood, even if medically necessary. Other examples of phobias include the fear of giving a public speech, fear of high or enclosed places, and fear of insects or animals.

Social phobia – With social phobia, a person fears social situations. These fears cause the person to avoid speaking, eating or writing in front of others.

***The above descriptions are intended to be a guideline to help point you in the right direction, but only a professional can give a diagnosis. A professional will be able to evaluate you, as there are many factors (such as medical conditions) to consider before making a correct diagnosis.


Source by Tamas Gloetzer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *