Anxiety Disorder: Hub pageAnxiety is something that is actually helpful to us. It alerts us to dangers, makes us aware of our surroundings, and prompts us to pay attention. Yet, an anxiety disorder is more than that. It affects around 30 percent of the population and is the most common mental disorder. It also happens as part of dual disorders.

Here is more on anxiety disorders: what an anxiety disorder is, why it happens, who gets it, what the symptoms are, and what treatment options exist.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

There are six types of anxiety disorder. These include agoraphobia, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This disorder interferes with daily activities due to excessive and persistent worry. It may include physical manifestations as well as fatigue, insomnia, lack of concentration, muscle tension, and feeling on edge.

Panic Disorder

This anxiety disorder leads to recurring panic attacks. These exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Fears like fear of dying, fear of losing control, and more
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Detached feelings
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal pains and nausea
  • Shaking
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of choking
  • Numbness
  • Chest pain
  • Tingling

People with this disorder sometimes seek the help of the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack. That’s because a panic attack mimics the symptoms of cardiac issues.

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Phobias

A phobia is the fear of something in an intense way. Examples include fear of spiders, flying, public speaking, and more. The person knows that they have this irrational fear. Yet, they cannot seem to get over it or overcome the fear of whatever it is they’re afraid of. These conditions are also known as specific phobias.

Agoraphobia

Many people think agoraphobia is fear of leaving the home. It is actually more than that. It’s the fear of being in a situation where escape may be embarrassing or difficult. This does not include only the home but may also include enclosed spaces, public transportation, open spaces, and crowds. Or, a person may be afraid of being outside of the home alone. When agoraphobia is left untreated, its symptoms may become worse and lead to people refusing to leave their homes.

Social Anxiety Disorder

This form of anxiety disorder encompasses things like fear of public speaking or being around others in public. People with social anxiety disorder feel that they will be embarrassed, rejected, humiliated, and so on. This fear should last at least six months to qualify as social anxiety disorder and affects a person’s ability to do things like eat in public or meet new people.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

One with this disorder is extremely fearful of being apart from someone they are attached to. They may be worried the person will be harmed or away from them for a variety of reasons. This fear is excessive and inappropriate to the person’s age. They may have nightmares or refuse to be apart from the person they are attached to.

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

There is no one thing that causes anxiety disorders. Instead, research points to a number of factors. These triggers include things like life events, personality, chemistry, and genetics. Some studies show that anxiety disorder runs in the family, or is hereditary, so it is a biological issue.

Who Gets Anxiety Disorders?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

In any given year the estimated percentages of U.S. adults with various anxiety disorders are:

  • Specific Phobia: 7 to 9 percent
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: 7 percent
  • Panic Disorder: 2 to 3 percent
  • Agoraphobia: 2 percent
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: 3 percent
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder: 1 to 2 percent

What Problems Does It Cause?

According to Psychiatry:

Anxiety disorders can cause people into try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, school work and personal relationships can be affected.

Some people have panic attacks that can lead to hospital visits, and others may not be able to leave their homes. Some may not get enough sleep due to worry and nightmares. Left without treatment, anxiety disorders can affect a person’s lifestyle and well-being.

What Kind of Treatment is Available?

The first thing that someone who thinks they have an anxiety disorder should do is to see a doctor. This is to be sure that the diagnosis is actually an anxiety disorder and not something else.

There are a variety of treatments available to help those with an anxiety disorder. These include both medications and psychotherapy.

While medications are not used as a cure, they do treat the symptoms of this disorder. There are anti-anxiety medications as well as antidepressants. Some people may be prescribed something for the physical symptoms like a beta blocker.

A form of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is one type of treatment that is helpful for those with an anxiety disorder. This therapy helps them find a new way of thinking that may make them feel less anxious.

At Transformations, we tailor treatment plans for each individual. We also treat dual diagnosis patients. We work with clients to understand their specific needs and determine how we can make the greatest impact in improving their quality of life.

Along with cognitive behavioral therapy, we also provide medication-assisted programs, experiential therapies, holistic therapies, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and more. If you or a loved one is dealing with an anxiety disorder, talk to us so we can help.

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