Understanding Anxiety: More Than Just Feeling Worried
Anxiety, you’ve probably heard the term many times, but understanding how it truly feels isn’t as common. Symptoms, such as persistent worry or ongoing dread are all too familiar for those plagued with anxiety. Everybody experiences worries from time to time, however, when anxiety steps in, it intensifies your concerns making them significantly intrusive into your daily life and routines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety affects approximately 1 in 13 individuals globally. This statistic makes anxiety the leading mental health disorder worldwide. If you’re wrestling with anxiety, remember, you’re not alone. Know that numerous evidence-based treatment strategies are available to alleviate anxiety and its impact.
Experiencing anxiety can exhibit as a variety of symptoms, both mentally and physically. While some may encounter just a few symptoms, individuals suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) commonly experience the following:
Tension and Irritability
A Depressed Mood
Expecting the Worst
Disassociation to World and Self
Dizziness or Disorientation
Restlessness or Sweating
Digestive System Disturbances
Faster Breathing or Hyperventilation
Nausea or Stomach Pain
Body Aches and Weakness
Changes in Sexual Desire
Understanding the Types of Anxiety
Identifying the specific type of anxiety you’re experiencing can assist in charting the most effective course of action. An array of anxiety types exists, some of which include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Being the most common form of anxiety disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder manifests as worry and anxiety even in the absence of stress-triggering factors. Individuals with GAD anticipate worst-case scenarios and struggle to manage these negative sensations. Such persistent, uncontrollable worries can disrupt daily life, making it difficult to concentrate on tasks, leading to trouble with sleep, eating, maintaining relationships, and fulfilling work commitments.
This type of anxiety features heightened fear of social situations and public speaking. Those with social anxiety worry excessively about being ridiculed, criticized, or judged by others. Encounters with unfamiliar people or sizable crowds can induce intense discomfort. Everyday situations like meeting new people, going on dates, striking up conversations, delivering speeches, and eating in public could trigger social anxiety. Although these situations might be mundane for some, they could be harrowing experiences for those with social anxiety.
You might have heard of panic attacks but may not be aware that they can be part of a recognized mental health condition known as panic disorder. Manifesting as repeated, unexpected panic attacks, panic disorder is notably disruptive to daily life. Accompanied symptoms can include heart palpitations, uncontrollable shaking, hyperventilation, and disorientation. While panic attacks can be frightening and give a sense of impending doom, it’s crucial to remember that they are not life-threatening.
Exploring Treatments for Anxiety
Various treatment options exist for handling anxiety, particularly as individual responses to treatments differ. Combinations of treatments may often be required to effectively manage symptoms. The primary treatments for anxiety typically revolve around therapeutic interventions and medications. Here are some techniques:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
One of the more effective therapeutic models, CBT is commonly utilized in treating conditions like depression and anxiety. It aims to identify and break down negative thought patterns, therefore transforming your thoughts, behaviors, and consequent emotions.
Applied Relaxation Therapy
This treatment targets the physical symptoms of anxiety. It involves identifying potential panic-inducing scenarios and learning to use muscle relaxation techniques to alleviate anxiety.
In certain conditions, therapy alone might not produce desired results. For those experiencing severe symptoms or seeing limited progress with therapy alone, anxiety medications may be effective. They could be used temporarily until symptoms lessen or for long-term management. Do remember that reaction to medication differs among individuals and potential side effects can occur. It’s recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to understand if medication intervention is suitable for you, or if adjustments are needed to your current medications.
Obtaining comprehensive knowledge about your mental health and available treatment options is an essential step towards self-care.
If you’re brave enough to journey towards overcoming your anxiety, we’re here to help! New Vision Counseling and Consulting houses a team of compassionate therapists trained to aid you in navigating through anxiety-related challenges, ensuring you lead a fulfilling life. To progress towards anxiety-free living, contact us at (405) 921-7776. We look forward to meeting you soon!