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 or not a person has an anxiety disorder can make the difference in getting the needed treatment or not.

To help with getting a better understanding of anxiety in its various forms, below, you'll find a wide selection of articles that provide information about the signs, causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of difference anxiety disorders.

Exercise And Anxiety: Does Exercise Help?

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Why Do I Have Anxiety After Drinking?

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Dealing With Dental Anxiety

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Does Yoga For Anxiety Work?

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Is My Child Experiencing Childhood Anxiety?

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Fidget Toys For Anxiety

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Hypnosis For Anxiety

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Best Jobs For People With Anxiety

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30 Meditation Techniques for Anxiety

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Coping With Anxiety: Tips, Techniques, And Skills

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Recognizing And Dealing With Various Types Of Anxiety

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Anxiety Chest Pain: How To Manage Without Losing Your Mind

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Anxiety

Overview

Anxiety is a natural part of life. We all feel anxious sometimes, whether it’s that you have a test
coming up or something happens at work that makes you feel nervous about the safety of your
job, or perhaps you’re worried about the status of a romantic relationship. However, when
anxiety takes over to the extent that you feel as though can no longer enjoy life, that’s when it’s
time to worry about an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders,
including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, phobias, OCD, and more.

Anxiety Can Get Out of Control

Hopefully the above articles about how, when, and why an anxiety disorder might impact an
individual were helpful. Anxiety is a normal part of life. People get anxious for all sorts of
reasons including trouble with their interpersonal relationships or problems at work. Remember
there’s a difference between feeling occasionally nervous or anxious, and having anxiety. There
are times when you might feel on edge, such as when you’re about to take a test. It’s natural to
feel anxious then. But clinical anxiety can be far more severe than having jitters. Anxiety
disorders are persistent and impact an individual’s quality of life, including their relationships,
jobs, and academic performance. People need treatment for a person’s life to feel manageable.

Different Kinds of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic
disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. Anxiety varies in severity depending on the
person who is experiencing it. Anxiety 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 symptoms are
unique, but remember that your anxiety is real.
You’re not making it up

Anxiety is real. 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. 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 and
psychiatrist. There are many coping techniques for anxiety, and there’s no 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.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive anxiety that persists on most
or all days for at least six months minimum. An individual with GAD doesn’t just experience
anxiety about one thing. You may experience extreme anxiety surrounding many different topics
such as their health, their job, or completing seemingly simple daily tasks. Here are some
symptoms of GAD: constant worry, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty focusing, irritability, feeling
out of control.

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 and have no evidence that
there’s imminent 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. Those 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, but there’s no evidence that terrible things are going to happen. GAD is
common and highly treatable with therapy, and sometimes medication can help the symptoms
of persistent worrying.

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is a condition where a person gets a feeling of dread out of the blue 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 or driving, or while
spending a day with a friend. Some people have panic attacks once in a while, while others
experience frequent episodes of panic. Those who suffer from recurring panic attacks may have
Panic Disorder, and it’s important to get evaluated by a mental health professional. If you’re
having a panic attack and feeling scared, remember that they always end. Panic typically peaks
around 20 minutes and then subsides, and even though they can be frightening, you can learn
coping skills to get through them and take medication if necessary.

Social Anxiety

People who have social anxiety are worried about interacting in a social setting, and this causes
them to have more anxiety or panic. People with social anxiety can also experience
agoraphobia, which means “fear of open spaces, using public transportation such as trains and
busses, standing in line, and being outside in general.” Social Anxiety Disorder causes people
to worry about embarrassment in public. People with Social Anxiety Disorder are fearful of social gatherings and situations. Because of their anxiety surrounding these things, they avoid
social situations. Social Anxiety Disorder can manifest in a range of cases, such as within the
workplace or the school environment. Anywhere that a person could feel anxious being around
a group of people is where social anxiety could happen.

Agoraphobia

People with agoraphobia are afraid of leaving their house, but it might not be for reasons you
think. Typically people with agoraphobia have an intense fear of two or more of the following
situations:

● Using public transportation
● Open spaces
● Enclosed spaces
● Crowds
● Standing in line
● Being outside their house alone
People with agoraphobia avoid these situations because they’re afraid of doing something
embarrassing. Sometimes a person with agoraphobia might fear to have a panic attack in
public. There is a severe form of agoraphobia where an individual can become housebound. In
that case, they’re not able to leave.

Coping Techniques

There are many different coping strategies to handle anxiety depending on what your symptoms
are. For example, a person with Panic Disorder might benefit from breathing exercises to calm
the nervous system during a panic attack. Another favorite technique for managing anxiety is
meditation. The person who is anxious lets their thoughts be there in their mind. They don’t try
to change them; they observe what they’re thinking and adopt a non-judgmental stance.
Judging yourself makes anxiety worse. They may feel guilty for having thoughts or worries they
can’t control. There’s a coping strategy for these persistent worries called mindfulness.

Separation Anxiety

Typically, separation anxiety is associated with children. One might think of a child clinging to
their mother’s leg, not wanting to go to school. However, separation anxiety can occur in people
of all ages. Separation anxiety disorder happens when people are afraid of being away from
their loved ones. It’s common in children but can occur in adults as well. People experiencing
separation anxiety have attachment issues with figures that they’re connected to, and when
they’re away from these individuals, they are afraid.

Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism is an extremely rare disorder. It’s characterized by a persistent failure of the
afflicted individual to speak. A person affected by selective mutism will typically have trouble
talking in social situations, such as in a classroom or with peers. Children who experience this
condition can be survivors of trauma. A child or adult who has selective mutism can speak in
other places but temporarily go mute in a social scenario. The mutism needs to impair the
person’s professional, social or academic efforts and achievements to make it a diagnosis.
Selective mutism isn’t related to an absence of knowledge of the language required for the
situation. It’s not due to another physiological condition.

Risk Factors

Research has shown that there are both environmental and genetic factors associated with the
development of anxiety disorders, and here are some risk factors that we need to be aware of:
shy temperament, early exposure to traumatic events in childhood or young adulthood, mental
illness within the family, other health conditions, thyroid issues, heart problems. Here are some
common risk factors for anxiety disorders:

● Trauma
● Stress
● Loss within the family
● Personality type (may be more neurotic or have a shy temperament)
● Genetic predisposition

Facts

Forty million in the United States experience an anxiety disorder each year. Around 8% of
children and teens have an anxiety disorder before age 21. One-third of people with anxiety
disorders receive treatment. However, anxiety disorders are highly treatable. According to the
World Health Organization (WHO), one in three people in the world has anxiety. It’s important to
know the facts about anxiety disorders.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of anxiety are nervousness, fear of impending danger, constant worry,
restlessness, hypervigilance, irritability, nausea, an upset stomach, frequent urination or
diarrhea, insomnia, shaking, weakness, sweating, racing thoughts, or trouble concentrating.
Common anxiety issues include agoraphobia, feeling trapped or helpless, anxiety disorder due
to a medical problem (fear regarding a physical health issue), generalized anxiety disorder
(severe and ongoing anxiety), panic disorder, fear of impending doom that seemingly comes out
of nowhere, selective mutism (an inability to speak which often affects children, especially in
academic settings, like school), and substance-induced anxiety disorders (misusing drugs,
alcohol, or medication).

When to See a Doctor

If you experience symptoms of anxiety, it’s important to see a doctor if you feel like your
worrying is interfering with your quality of life, your schooling, or your work. If you’re consistently
worried or anxious and it’s difficult for you to control those feelings, you’re feeling depressed
and abusing drugs or alcohol, you feel like anxiety could be related to a physical health issue,
and so on, seeing a doctor is vital. If you have suicidal ideation, behaviors, or thoughts, dial 911
immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

Causes

Genetics - Anxiety disorders run in families. A person may inherit an anxiety disorder from
another family member or a family history of anxiety disorders.

Trauma - When a person experiences a traumatic event they can develop an anxiety disorder.
For example, they might be a victim of child abuse, which could trigger an anxiety disorder.
They may have been a survivor of sexual assault. An individual may have just been through a
divorce. These events can trigger anxiety disorders.

Brain Structure - Depending on the way a person’s brain is structured, it may cause an anxiety
disorder. There are certain areas of the brain that are responsible for regulating and anxiety and
stress. The structure of the brain may contribute to an anxiety disorder.

Medical Problems

Some people may experience anxiety due to an underlying health problem. If you experience
anxiety that could be due to a medical illness, it’s important to see a doctor. Here are some
physical conditions that could cause, contribute, or co-occur with anxiety: heart disease,
diabetes, thyroid, chronic pain, and substance abuse disorders
Complications due to anxiety:

● Depression or other additional mental health issues
● Trouble sleeping
● Digestive problems
● Social isolation
● Chronic pain
● Substance abuse
● Poor quality of life
● Suicide

Prevention

You can’t prevent anxiety, but you can reduce its impact by doing things like this if you’re
anxious:

● Seek help immediately. Anxiety is a highly treatable condition if you seek help.
● Stay active and participate in activities that make you feel good
● Do not use drugs or alcohol because they’ll make you feel worse
● Seek the support of a doctor

Mindfulness

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 is
practicing mindfulness turns inward and focuses on their thoughts and how their body feels.
Mindfulness derives from Eastern medicine, but it’s been adopted by a Western culture, and
become quite popular in treating anxiety disorders. It was 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 an excellent treatment for anxiety.

Treatment

Different anxiety disorders have different symptoms. Each diagnosis requires a different
treatment plan. However, there are common types of treatments used for anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a prevalent form of treatment used to treat Generalized Anxiety
Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. Here are some common treatments used
for anxiety disorders:

● Psychotherapy, which includes CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
● Medications, which can consist of antidepressants or short-acting anti-anxiety medicines
● Meditation and relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness

Anxiety Disorders in Women

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Women are more than two
times as likely as men to have an anxiety disorder. The reasons behind women being more
anxious aren’t clear, however some research points to a combination of social and biological
concepts. Some research indicates that in the female brain, the amygdala, the part of the brain
that processes potential threats, could be more sensitive to negative stimuli than in a male mind
and retains a memory of these incidents for more extended periods. There’s other research that
talks about progesterone as a trigger for the fight or flight response associated with anxiety.
The debate is still out as to whether women are more anxious than men.

Get Help

If you’re living with an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone. Like the millions of people worldwide
who are coping with anxiety, you are too. You can get help. Anxiety is treatable, and there are
mental health professionals who understand what you’re going through and are ready to help.
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 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
2,000 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.
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Counselor Today
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