Mental health awareness month: anxiety disorder.

Remember this: People diagnosed with Anxiety have high levels of empathy and they’re able to understand others pain and joy easier. They understand things on deeper level and they doubly strong levels of intuition accuracy.

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Feeling anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision is normal, but anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders like  generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

 

Symptoms and signs.

People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms. We have:

  • being easily fatigued;
  • difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank;
  • irritability;
  • muscle tension;
  • difficulty controlling the worry;
  • sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep).

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Panic Disorder.

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate,  shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or choking. There could be intense worry about when the next attack will happen, fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past and feelings of being out of control during a panic attacks.

Social anxiety.

People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected or fearful of offending others. People can feel highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them, feel very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others or they can be afraid that other people will judge them. They stay away from places where there can be a lot of people, they have hard times at keeping in touch with someone, they feel sick or their hands shake when they’re around groups of people. Some physical health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid or low blood sugar, as well as taking certain medications, can imitate or worsen an anxiety disorder.

 

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Researchers are finding that genetic and environmental factors, frequently in interaction with one another, are risk factors for anxiety disorders. Specific factors include:

  • shyness, or behavioral inhibition, in childhood;
  • having few econmic resources;
  • being divorced or widowed;
  • exposure to stressful life events in childhood and adulthood;
  • anxiety disorders in close biological relatives;
  • parental history of mental disorders.

 

Treatments.

Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties. A typical “side effect” of psychotherapy is temporary discomfort involved with thinking about confronting feared situations. We have CBT here too. CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder. Two specific components of CBT used to treat social anxiety disorder are cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying, challenging, and  neutralizing unhelpful thoughts. There can be useful support group or you can practice self-help. Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. Anti-anxiety medications help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks, or extreme fear and worry. The most common anti-anxiety medications are called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety disorders are:

  • alprazolam;
  • lorazepam.

Buspirone (it is unrelated to the benzodiazepines) is sometimes used for the long-term treatment of chronic anxiety. Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they also are helpful for treating anxiety disorders. But be careful, reader, antidepressants can be risky because they can cause some people to have suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts.

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STOP THE STIGMA.

Stefania

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