Types of Anxiety and Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Therapy

A study that was done by the Anxiety Disorder Resource Center found that approximately one-third of American adults have at least one anxiety or panic attack in their lifetimes.  This startling data means that an anxiety disorder is the most common emotional disorder and is more common than alcohol abuse or depression.  Anxiety is the unpleasant feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, fear or worry that the body naturally feels as a reaction to stress. When anxiety becomes excessive, it is perceived as uncontrollable or unavoidable by the client and interferes with functioning, this level of anxiety may be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. The term "anxiety disorders" encompasses several clinical conditions.

Some specific anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Specific Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The Causes of Anxiety Disorder

Scientists believe that there are four main factors that lead to the development of anxiety disorders. These include heredity (genetic factor), personality (low self-esteem and poor coping skills), brain chemistry (medications show relief by altering chemicals in the brain) and life experiences (a long-term exposure to abuse, violence and poverty lead to susceptibility). Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause people to suffer from excessive worry and abnormal feelings of nervousness without particular causes.

General Emotional and Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders can create a wide variety of feelings and emotions that can effect daily activities, social connections and decrease one’s quality of life. These feelings may be both mental and physical and can vary distinctly from person to person. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Anxiety Disorder Emotional And Physical Symptoms May Include:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
  • Paralyzing Fear
  • Nervousness
  • Panic, fear, apprehension
  • Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated flashbacks (intrusive memories) of traumatic experiences

Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

By seeking diagnosis from a professional anxiety disorder therapist a client can begin to understand and treat their disorder. Evidence-based techniques are utilized to teach relaxation and decrease the anxious symptoms. Psychological Testing is an evaluation that may be useful to clarify or provide additional information related to diagnoses. Symptoms of anxiety disorders often occur for no apparent reason and are persistent. The continuing anxiety or panic is often unrelated to any actual substantial cause. An anxiety disorder may coexist with other anxiety disorders, depression, other medical illnesses, or other conditions such as alcoholism or drug abuse. Anxiety Therapy may be highly effective for several anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder, PTSD and social phobia. Anxiety therapy can include anxiety management training, which may include techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises. Therapy can help clients to achieve a higher self-esteem, learn to manage stress more effectively, eliminate problem behaviors and learn more about their triggers in order to gain insight into root causes, leading to improved personal mental health and well being.

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