Many people experience anxiety on a normal basis, but suffering from an anxiety disorder is much more serious than we may realize. Anxiety is how our body responds to danger around us. Most people experience anxiety when they feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation. Living with an anxiety disorder is overwhelming. It interferes with your relationships and activities, and causes you to stop being functional. Anxiety attacks can happen in a short time span and can be so severe that one feels as if they are about to die or completely lose control. Those who have undergone anxiety attacks have described it to feel like a surge of overwhelming panic, feeling of losing control or going crazy, heart palpitations, trouble breathing or a choking sensation, hyperventilation, trembling or shaking, and nausea.
According to HelpGuide.org there are six major types of anxiety disorders, each with their own distinct symptom profile: generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety attacks (panic disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the type of anxiety we have been discussing up until this point. It causes worry, fears, and distraction. GAD usually appears in the form of insomnia, stomach issues, restlessness, and fatigue. Panic Disorder is the second most common anxiety disorder, usually appearing in the form of panic attacks. Usually people suffering from a Panic Disorder avoid public places with large crowds. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) allows unwanted thoughts or behaviors to enter your mind uncontrollably. OCD causes recurring worries. A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation. Common phobias include fear of animals (such as snakes and spiders), fear of flying, and fear of heights. Social Anxiety Disorder is an anxiety disorder that causes people to avoid performing, and being in social situations where the attention may end up on them. Many times it causes people to hide their true selves and feelings. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that can occur in the aftermath of a traumatic or life-threatening event. PTSD usually causes those suffering to experience flashbacks or nightmares about what happened, hypervigilance, withdrawal, and avoidance of certain situations that may bring back certain memories.
Your anxiety disorder not only impacts your life but also impacts your family and their quality of life. Many times someone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder has instability in their interpersonal relationships. These disorders usually coexist with other psychiatric disorders, most commonly depression and substance abuse.
The Calm Clinic offers a free 7 minute Anxiety test to see if you suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can cause severe separation from society, even making it difficult for a person to get out of bed in the morning. In order to properly treat anxiety disorders, it is recommended to, decrease your caffeine intake, get your thyroid tested, visit a cardiologist to get your heart rate and blood pressure tested, or withdraw from drugs and alcohol. There are also many things one can do at home as well to try to prevent experiencing anxiety. These include: exercising regularly, learning to breathe properly, learning your triggers, and of course what helps the most is talking about it, especially with those you are close to. Your friends and family are always your best support system, use them to your advantage.
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Eric Silver has been helping a close family member learn to cope with depression for nearly twenty years. Over the years, he’s developed a passion for mental health awareness. Mr. Silver has researched and written extensively within the mental health area, specifically in regard to bi-polar, depression, stress, and anxiety issues.