Worrying to a degree is normal and a part of making decisions in one’s life. Yet if your life seems to be overwhelmed with worry, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders have a wide variety of symptoms including; headaches, trouble sleeping, and irritable stomach. An anxiety disorder that is left untreated can result in one’s life feeling unmanageable and difficulty leading a normal healthy life. There are many types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder. With the right treatments all of which can be managed successfully. If you feel as though your anxiety is preventing you from living a healthy life you should seek medical assistance in order to get the right diagnosis and correct treatment.
Not everyone suffers from anxiety and for those that do there is a wide variety of factors that can contribute. Experts believe that anxiety may be due to both one’s genetics and environment. Another popular theory is that people found to have lower levels of serotonin in their brains are more likely to develop anxiety problems or disorders.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are consumed with worry about everything. Although GAD can affect anyone, women are twice as likely to suffer from GAD then men. One can be afflicted with GAD as early as childhood, although many symptoms may not be apparent until middle age or later in life.
Everyone has felt that unsettling feeling of panic, but those who suffer from a panic disorder are unable to calm themselves down by thinking rationally. Those who suffer from a panic disorder feelings of anxiety become very intense. People with panic disorder often think that they are going crazy, having a heart attack or dying. These physical symptoms associated with panic disorders can often be confused with very serious health problems.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Many people are unsatisfied with their physical appearance and wish that they could change it. Yet those who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) are consumed with obsessing about how they look. It can overtake their lives until they can not think about anything else. Body dysmorphic disorder can develop into anxiety problems, negativity.and depression.
Coping With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
People who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors (extreme routines), or both. They may wash their hands over and over- never feeling as though they are clean, or check repeatedly that they have locked the door. Although someone who has OCD may recognize that their thoughts and behaviors are extreme, they may feel incapable of stopping them and therefore should seek medical assistance.
An Overview of Common Anxiety Disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People who have this anxiety disorder constantly feel anxious and worried. People with GAD often tend to worry about nothing in particular and their worries can seem unprovoked, but they remain anxious about things that may happen. In order to warrant a diagnosis of GAD, the daily worrying must continue for a duration of at least six months. Although anyone can be diagnosed with GAD, women are more likely to deal with this anxiety disorder than men. Generalized anxiety disorder can be treated with a variety of different methods including; medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy (which helps individuals learn how to cope with their fears), or more commonly a combination of both methods.
Social anxiety disorder (social phobia). People who suffer from social phobia can feel anxious and stressed in many social situations. These situations can range from public speaking to an intimate get together with just a few friends. Social situations can become a source of fear because of the possibility of feeling judged or embarrassed. Women and men are both equally as likely to suffer from a social anxiety disorder, although some people may be genetically predisposed to the condition.Social anxiety disorders can also be treated with medication, therapy or a combination of the two.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People with OCD tend to obsess about certain thoughts or concerns, like tragedy striking or forgetting something. In order to deal with these concerns many people create a particular routine in order to feel more in charge of their thoughts. Repetitive behavior, like constantly checking an alarm clock or locks, adhering to strict routines, like putting things away in a particular order, or excessively washing one's hands are signs of OCD. OCD does not afflict a certain age or gender for men, women and children can all develop the disorder. In order to help treat Obsessive-compulsive disorder,therapeutic treatments such as psychotherapy which involves dealing with the specific fears and medications can help treat the disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event including rape, violence, war, abuse and natural disasters can be afflicted with Post-traumatic stress disorder. A common symptom of those who have PTSD are flashbacks to the traumatizing event in their past. In order to deal with this, many people may tend to avoid the people and situations that they associate with the traumatic event. People with PTSD may feel uneasy and can be easily alarmed. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be treated a variety of ways including therapy which gives the individual the opportunity to work through their traumatic experience, medications, or a combination of both.
Panic disorder. People with panic disorder can experience sudden extreme episodes of anxiety that are accompanied by intense physical symptoms. Panic attacks can seem so intense that the individual may feel as though they are having a heart attack or are dying. There are many physical symptoms that may accompany a panic attack including; heart palpitations, chest pain, increased sweating, feeling dizzy and shortness of breath. Panic attacks occur randomly and can be out of the blue, anytime and anywhere. Panic disorders are much more common in women than men. There are many ways to manage panic disorders including cognitive therapy, medications or a combination of both.
Some worry and stress in life is normal, but if you feel as though your anxiety level and worry may be taking over your life, you should seek medical help in order to take back control. Recognizing one’s symptoms and seeking the right treatment is necessary in order to treat anxiety disorders effectively.