All of us experience occasional anxiety every now and then. Problems at work, an impending interview, meeting someone important for the first time, venturing in an unknown place, etc., are some of the situations that might cause anxiety. However, persistent anxiety may indicate a mental disorder.
Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses which are more than temporary fear or worry. When a person is struggling with an anxiety disorder, their anxiety does not go away easily and can worsen over time. The symptoms can get so serious that they may start interfering in one’s day-to-day activities and relationships.
Symptoms of Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are of different types like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobia-related disorders, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and selective mutism. The symptoms for these disorders are mentioned below.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
People grappling with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) exhibit excessive worry or anxiety on an everyday basis for a period of at least six months. They obsess over multiple things like social interactions, personal health, life circumstances, and so on. They feel restless, fatigued, have difficulty in concentrating, feel irritable, have tensed muscles, and struggle with sleep abnormalities.
People struggling with panic disorder experience unexpected and recurrent panic attacks which are sudden phases of extreme fear that come rapidly and peak within a couple of minutes. These attacks can develop unexpectedly or manifest due to a trigger like a feared place or a situation. A panic attack may cause heart palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, and feeling of being disoriented. People affected by panic disorders often keep stressing over their next attack and try their best to avoid triggers that may fuel the attack. This excessive worrying about the impending panic attack may greatly affect their quality of life.
An intense fear of something or an aversion to a situation or certain object is known as a phobia. Oftentimes, the fear experienced due to a phobia is way more in proportion to the actual danger posed by an object or a situation. There are several types of phobias. People have a fear of flying, heights, specific animals, blood, and sometimes even receiving injections.
Social anxiety disorder
People grappling with social anxiety disorder have extreme fear of performance or social situations. They avoid people and social situations because they feel they may be judged because of their anxiety and associated behaviors. People can suffer from this mental illness even at school or at workplaces.
Separation anxiety disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is experienced by children as well as adults. People struggling with this kind of anxiety are often insecure of getting separated from someone to whom they are attached. They fear that something will happen to their loved ones if they get separated. Upon separation, they may experience nightmares and even adverse physical symptoms.
This is a rare disorder in which people fail to speak despite possessing normal language skills in certain social gatherings. It sets in before the age of 5 and is linked with excessive shyness, compulsive traits, clinging behavior, etc. Usually, people screened with selective mutism are also diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.
Risk Factors Associated with Anxiety Disorders
Some of the general risk factors predisposing an individual to an anxiety disorder are:
A history of mental illness or anxiety in family members
Behavioral inhibition and shyness during childhood
Exposure to stressful situations in early childhood or adulthood
Further, physical problems like thyroid and heart arrhythmia can exacerbate anxiety. Caffeine and certain substances can also aggravate anxiety.
Management of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are well managed by medication, psychotherapy, and sometimes, both at reputable mental health rehabs. There are multiple ways for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and it is important that people talk to their health care provider to find the best possible cure.
Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is directed at specific anxieties and tailored as per an individual’s needs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This can greatly help people deal with anxiety. It empowers people with unique ways of behaving, thinking, and reacting to stressful situations and objects. It can also teach different social skills to people which can be helpful while navigating through social situations. Two of the CBT methods used for managing social anxiety disorders are exposure therapy and cognitive therapy, administered in both individual or group sessions. Cognitive therapy aims at recognizing, challenging, and ultimately neutralizing distorted thoughts. On the other hand, exposure therapy helps confront the underlying fears of an anxiety disorder. It is also sometimes used with relaxation techniques.
Medication: Medication cannot cure anxiety disorders, however, it can help manage the symptoms. Medications are prescribed by our psychiatric team. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications include anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and antidepressants.
Support groups and stress management techniques: It is always worthwhile to join support groups as these provide one an opportunity to meet people who share the same set of problems. It can be therapeutic to share problems with them. In addition, one can also manage stress by devoting time to regular exercise, meditation, and mindfulness by joining such groups.
Anxiety Treatment at Medical Concierge
The anxiety disorder treatment center of Medical Concierge has a skilled team of mental health professionals who leave no stone unturned to ensure that the patients achieve lifelong mental health recovery. We focus on providing quality mental health treatment by offering the best-in-class treatment options, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, individual and group therapy, and experiential therapy like meditation.
For those looking for professional treatment at a licensed mental health treatment center, get in touch with the Medical Concierge of California. Call our 24/7 admissions helpline number (877) 636-0042 to learn more about your disorder and the treatment plan best suited to your requirements. You may also chat online with a representative for further assistance.
Medical Concierge offers quality, innovative and compassionate care for mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. We also offer alumni services and continuing care to ensure sustained recovery.