Anxiety disorders are common mental health conditions often triggered by stress and unknown precipitating factors. The term anxiety disorder encompasses numerous psychiatric disorders, all of which can cause mental trepidation, dissociative anxiety, and physical symptoms. Many people suffer from severe and debilitating symptoms unrelated to any specific circumstance or object that can cause persistent, excessive distress, worry, difficulty with falling and staying asleep, restlessness and edginess for months, and several other anxiety-related symptoms seemingly at random. Known as generalized anxiety disorder, the condition is the most common type of anxiety disorder in the United States. Other common anxiety disorders include panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, the symptoms of which can significantly interfere with daily activities, work performance, and personal relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Could I need treatment for anxiety disorder?
You should see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms of anxiety, including feelings of panic, trembling, heart palpitations, nausea, loss of appetite, feeling dizzy, and even a persistent fear of death, that affect your ability to function. If you experience symptoms for 6 months or more, then you could be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. Anxiety disorder should always be treated in order to avoid the worsening of symptoms or related disorders, including depression.
What should I expect from treatment for anxiety disorder?
You and your doctor will work together to identify triggers, including severe stress, previous trauma, lifestyle habits, or even underlying neurological conditions that might be responsible for anxiety in your life. Based on the cause of your anxiety, you will begin treatment designed to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Your treatment could include a combination of medications, as well as psychotherapy such as cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT).
Will I need to make any lifestyle changes to better manage my anxiety?
If your anxiety stems from a lifestyle habit such as excessive alcohol consumption, then you might be advised to minimize your drinking, if not to stop drinking altogether. Your doctor might also recommend that you get more exercise, reduce your stress, or avoid certain foods and drinks such as caffeinated beverages.
If you want to learn more about anxiety disorders and other common psychiatric conditions, then please call Compassion Mental Health Services today or visit our facilities to arrange a confidential mental health consultation.