Anxiety Articles

The different anxiety disorders that are most common today can leave an individual constantly overwhelmed, uneasy, and nervous. Although some temporary anxiousness can be considered "normal," understanding whether a person has an anxiety disorder can make the difference in getting the needed treatment or not. Anxiety affects your psychology, biology, and your social world.

To better understand anxiety in its various forms, below you will find a wide selection of articles that provide information about the signs, causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of different anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Cures: How To Treat And Lessen Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. This is nothing to be concerned about. Anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to change your routine and keeps you from doing the...

10 Coping Strategies For Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. While some people only experience anxiety when there is an anticipated change in life circumstances, others feel anxious much...

Types Of Anxiety Disorders And How You Can Treat Them

Anxiety is a very serious problem that many people deal with every single day. Being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is very common, and if you’re struggling with anxiety...

Anxiety During Pregnancy: Causes And Coping Mechanisms

Pregnancy is an exciting time for most mothers and expectant parents, but it also comes with its share of worries, anxieties, and a host of wild symptoms that cause all kinds...

How To Know If You Have Social Anxiety Disorder: DSM 5 Criteria

Do you have social anxiety? We all have moments when we feel shy or awkward in public. It’s normal to feel nervous about a job interview or a public speaking engagement. And...

5-HTP And Anxiety: Uses, Benefits, And Side Effects

What Is 5-HTP? 5-Hyrdroxytryptophan, otherwise known as 5-HTP, or Oxitriptan, is an amino acid building block for the brain’s production of serotonin, which is a neurotrans-...

Unsure About Your Anxiety? How To Get Diagnosed With Anxiety By A Health Professional

Although we tend to think of mental health issues as easily identifiable, the truth is that many mental health disorders have the potential to go unnoticed as not all of the...

Neurontin For Anxiety: Exploring Alternate Treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder then you’re probably looking for any way get relief. Anxiety disorders can have a severe impact on our ability to function...

What Is Tapping For Anxiety?

Many people have anxiety, and for some of them, it is more severe than with others. In all cases where your anxiety has gotten out of control, it can be a significant burden for...

Learning How To Deal With Stress And Anxiety

Understanding Stress and Anxiety Are you wondering how to deal with stress? Look no further. Stress and anxiety are your body’s natural reaction to changes in the environment...

How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In 10 Steps

We all experience stress and anxiety at one time or another. For some, it may be more severe than others, but one thing is for sure: we can all agree that a stress-free life is...

Waking Up With Anxiety? 5 Helpful Tips And Tricks

Anxiety is something that affects many people throughout the day, making it much more stressful to complete basic tasks and causing the individual to constantly worry about...

Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA

Anxiety Can Get Out of Control

Hopefully the above articles about how an anxiety disorder might impact an individual were helpful. Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. People get anxious for all sorts of reasons including trouble with their relationships or problems at work. Remember there is a difference between feeling occasionally nervous and having an anxiety disorder. 

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There are times when you may experience the symptoms of anxiety, such as when you’re about to take a test. It’s natural to feel anxious then. However if you’re regularly experiencing high levels of intense anxiety that are out of proportion to the actual events that are occurring in your daily life - there may be an issue. It’s not normal to experience excessive anxiety with no apparent cause for extended periods of time.  

Anxiety disorder symptoms include experiencing intense anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual situation at hand - on a regular basis. 

Different Kinds of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders. Common forms of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. Anxiety disorder symptoms can vary in severity depending on the person who is experiencing it. Anxiety disorder can be a severe condition that impacts your body and mind. It can be challenging to explain it to others who aren’t feeling it. Everyone’s signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder are unique, but remember that your anxiety is real. 

Clinical anxiety is one type of anxiety that is far more severe than having jitters. Intense anxiety disorders are persistent and impact an individual’s quality of life, including their relationships, jobs, and physical health. People with a specific phobia and intense anxiety disorders need treatment to manage the symptoms and to develop healthy living routines. 

Anxiety disorders can aggravate other existing mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety. Social anxiety can interfere with your daily functioning and can lead to a medical illness if left untreated.

Exposure therapy is one of the best treatments for managing social anxiety. This specific object based therapy helps patients overcome anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety by introducing the anxiety causing stimulus in small doses during exposure therapy sessions. 

The purpose of exposure therapy is to mitigate the common anxiety symptoms that keep people from living normal lives. Common anxiety symptoms include - rapid heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, and digestive issues. 

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You’re Not Making It Up

Anxiety is real. It is a close relative to our natural Fight or Flight mechanism. When you have anxiety, there will be people that don’t understand what you’re going through and make judgments. They might believe you’re making your symptoms up or that you just need to “push through” it. But what you’re feeling is real. People living with anxiety can have a variety of different conditions such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder or Social Anxiety. 

These are all diagnosed conditions that you can get more information about from your therapist or counselor. There are many coping techniques for anxiety, and there’s no one right way to manage it. One of the most important things to remember is that you’re allowed to feel your feelings, and your anxiety is valid and real.

As levels of anxiety rise, physical symptoms of anxiety begin to present themselves in the form of increasing muscle tension, increased heart rate, and chest pain from what appear to be everyday situations. Family members may not recognize that you’re experiencing anxiety until they notice physical symptoms of anxiety and panic in response to everyday life events. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

With Generalized Anxiety Disorder, worrying is a common symptom. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) impacts a person’s mind to the point where they’re consistently preoccupied with worries. They might fixate on something terrible happening even though they have no evidence that there is danger. People with GAD prepare themselves for the worst case scenario and tend to believe that these adverse outcomes are probable. They worry about a variety of issues such as their health, relationships, money problems or psychological state. People with GAD find it challenging to manage their worries and spend a lot of time in their heads. Even though they don’t want to worry, they can’t seem to stop the behavior. They prepare themselves for a devastating outcome. GAD is a common and highly treatable disorder. Many of our therapist specialize in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. 

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is a condition where a person gets a feeling of heaviness or dread and experiences a panic attack. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, shaking, sweating and a sense of impending disaster or doom. Panic attacks come on without warning and can happen anywhere. They might occur on the job, while taking public transportation, driving, or while spending a day with a friend. Some people have panic attacks occasionally, while others experience frequent episodes of panic. Those who suffer from recurring panic attacks may have Panic Disorder. It’s important to get evaluated by a mental health professional to find out the severity of your panic attacks. If you’re having a panic attack and feeling scared, remember that they always end. Panic typically peaks around 20 minutes and then the feelings subside. The old adage “take a deep breath” can help break the attack and offer you a quick and easy solution.  

Coping Techniques for Anxiety

There are many different coping strategies and treatment methods for managing the symptoms of anxiety disorders. This is where CBT can help. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the more common treatments used for anxiety disorders. It teaches you methods of balancing the logical side of your brain with the emotional side. By logically thinking through your situation, you can better control your behaviors. 

The anxious person often lets their feelings be in control of their mind. For example, a person with Panic Disorder might feel like their friends don’t really like them and react when they are in a group. When they take the time to examine the evidence, they might realize that they have several good friends but that they are subtly pushing them away by their behaviors.  This can cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

One of the more common treatment options for managing anxiety is meditation or mindfulness.

Mindfulness

People who have a history of anxiety may have trouble staying in the present moment even when they aren’t in actual danger. Trouble concentrating on the here and now can aggravate underlying medical issues related to anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, feelings of anxiety can wreak havoc on mental and physical health. 

Mindfulness meditation is about practicing awareness in your mind and body. It helps the individual to stay in the present, rather than focusing on the past or the future. A person who practices mindfulness turns inward and focuses on how their body feels. Mindfulness derives from Eastern medicine, but it’s been adopted by Western culture, and become quite popular in treating anxiety disorders. It was first introduced to The United States by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., who works at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It’s gained recognition over the past 30 years. Kabat-Zinn founded a stress reduction clinic, and because of his efforts, mindfulness is recognized as a very effective treatment for anxiety.

Get Help for Anxiety

Anxiety is treatable, and there are mental health professionals who understand what you’re going through. You don’t have to suffer alone with your anxious thoughts and feelings. Anxiety can amplify your feelings, and make you believe that your problems are insurmountable. That’s not true, and you CAN get support and you CAN feel better. You’re entitled to live a fulfilling life, and part of that is learning to cope with anxiety. Online counseling is an excellent option for people who are struggling with anxiety. If you would like more personalized assistance, you might want to speak with one of our licensed counselors that can help you today. Not only do we have a growing list of more than 8,000 online mental health therapists, but we've had more than 500,000 sign up to use our online counseling services. Get the help you need to manage anxiety.

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Symptoms of Anxiety 

  • Selective mutism
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Unexplained weight gain/loss 
  • Irrational fear

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there is more than one type of anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder 
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
  • Social Phobia 
  • Clinical Anxiety 

Research conducted by the American Psychiatric Association suggests that there are a few easily identifiable risk factors for developing anxiety. One of these risk factors is experiencing excessive anxiety inducing situations as a child. A common example would be child abuse. Another risk factor is a predisposition to mental illness and genetically related mental disorders that runs in the family. 

Rule out the possibility that another underlying medical condition (including other mental health disorders) is aggravating or causing your anxiety disorder as a component of seeking treatment. 

Anxiety Treatment options 

Behavioral therapy helps people suffering from anxiety disorders to identify the object or situation that is triggering symptoms of anxiety. This behavior based therapy Introduces stress management techniques that help mitigate the physical symptoms of anxiety. Behavioral therapy sessions can be conducted as individual or group sessions. Support group sessions with others who have an anxiety disorder can provide real-life coping strategies. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the treatment of mental health disorders including substance abuse and anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy provides behavior modification treatments for anxiety disorders by reframing thoughts and behaviors 

Stress management is one of the most important treatments for anxiety and is a component of cognitive-behavioral therapy. People with anxiety disorders can discuss important health topics and learn how to manage the symptoms of anxiety by joining a support group where they can discuss stress management techniques for specific phobias. For example, support groups can act as a forum for members who share a common phobia to learn new ways to interact with their environment. Since there are other people who share this common trait, you can learn from each other and share a common wealth of knowledge.

Clinical trials operate like a support group and focus on finding new treatments, talk therapy, and medication for treating anxiety disorders and related medical conditions. Patients who agree to participate in clinical trials have agreed to help doctors find new treatments for anxiety disorders. Participants in clinical trials are made aware of any potential side-effects of treatments provided during the trial. 

Developing an Anxiety Disorder 

Developing an anxiety disorder is normally an unconscious process. Having flashbacks of past traumatic events can trigger high levels of anxiety and contribute to mental illness. These thoughts can trigger our Fight or Flight system and result in the release of adrenalin. Adrenalin is the body’s natural way to defend ourselves and prepare for a fight. It causes our capillaries to constrict, our digestion to slow down, our heart rate to increase and our breathing to quicken.

Children who have witnessed or experienced abuse are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Left untreated, bouts of intense anxiety can develop into an even more severe mental illness or medical illness. Some adults have even developed thyroid problems as a side effect of untreated anxiety. 

Lack of proper health care and not taking care of your physical health can be a component of developing an anxiety disorder. Lack of healthy diet, exercise, and sleeping habits can make you more susceptible to mental and physical health issues. 

Combat anxiety and panic attacks by introducing components of healthy living into your everyday routine. Activities like practicing mindfulness, meditation, and eating fresh foods are great ways to introduce new healthy living strategies into your life.

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