Have you ever felt frightened or anxious about a particular event? Maybe the event in question was a job interview, or it’s the day you expect the results of a particularly challenging yet important exam. In situations like this, anxiety is totally normal after all the results or the event in question has a very important bearing on the shape or outcome of your life.
You should know that anxiety can be very helpful because it helps you pay attention to important details, and it allows for quicker brain processing. Note, however, that not all anxiety is beneficial. When the effects of anxiety become so intense and prolonged that they interfere with the ability of the affected individual to function properly, it gives rise to a condition known as an Anxiety disorder. Read on to learn more about anxiety disorders, the types of anxiety disorders, and treatment approaches for treating and managing anxiety disorders.
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental illness condition that is characterized by intense feelings of anxiousness and dread. People suffering from anxiety disorders are also likely to experience increased sweating and a marked inability to focus properly.
Although anxiety and anxiety disorders are quite similar, you should know that they most certainly do not mean the same thing. As mentioned earlier, anxiety is a normal reaction to potentially stressful situations, and it helps your brain and body “prepare” to deal with the situation in sight.
If you have experienced feelings of anxiety before, you’ll be well aware of the fact that although these anxiety symptoms can feel intense when they’re in full swing, they tend to reduce in severity or outrightly disappear after a short while or after the situation has been dealt with. This is another point of difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders. Unlike anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety disorders tend to remain present for extended periods, such that the affected individual is unable to function properly. Anxiety disorders are also characterized by fear so intense that they cripple affected individuals and keep them from doing whatever they want to.
Some individuals are under the misconception that anxiety disorders are nothing serious, and they often berate people suffering from these conditions for being “weak.” You should know that this isn’t the case at all because people suffering from anxiety disorders are usually unable to control their responses to their anxiety triggers. Anxiety disorder is a real mental illness condition, and it requires proper treatment.
At this point, it should be said that “Anxiety Disorder” is a blanket term, and there are several different conditions under this term. The types of anxiety disorders include the following:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one of the last common types of anxiety disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is often characterized by intense fearfulness and worry without a particular reason.
Panic disorder: Panic disorders are a type of anxiety disorder characterized by sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and apprehension. Panic attack episodes are usually so intense that affected individuals completely break down and remain unable to function at all till the episode passes over. Symptoms of panic attacks include chest pain, increased perspiration, and excessive fear. The chest pain accompanying panic attacks makes people feel like they’re experiencing a heart attack, but they are quite different conditions.
Social Anxiety Disorder:: Social Anxiety Disorder, also referred to as social phobia, is a type of anxiety where affected individuals find it challenging to function normally socially. These individuals constantly obsess over how others perceive them, and they live in constant fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed by people. As a result of this, they find it very difficult to interact with others and develop quality social bonds.
Specific phobias: Everyone has a fear of something, and this is absolutely okay. However, this “natural” fear becomes a problem when it causes the affected individuals to avoid carrying out routine or regular tasks for fear of exposure to their fears. Sometimes, these phobias are not backed by any significant reason, and people develop intense feelings of fear of normal situations. A typical example of a specific phobia is claustrophobia. Claustrophobic people find narrow spaces or rooms packed with people uncomfortable. A typical claustrophobic individual usually prefers to use a staircase than step into an elevator.
Medication-induced Anxiety Disorder: Although the causes of anxiety disorders are usually psychology-related, drug use can also cause an individual to develop an anxiety disorder condition. Constant, prolonged use of some medications has been known to result in the development of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder can also occur due to drug withdrawal.
There are several different symptoms of anxiety disorders, but you should note that because there are different types of anxiety disorders, symptoms also usually differ depending on the particular condition. Irrespective of the type of anxiety disorder, there are some common symptoms associated with anxiety disorder. They include:
The main treatment for anxiety disorders involves the use of medications. There are different classes of medications used for anxiety disorder treatment. They include the following:
Antidepressants: Antidepressants are usually the first line of treatment for anxiety disorder management. Examples of antidepressants include escitalopram, fluoxetine, duloxetine, and venlafaxine.
Anticonvulsants: Anticonvulsants are majorly used for treating seizures, but they have also been found to be effective in lowering anxiety levels in people with anxiety disorders.
Beta Blockers: Beta blockers are a class of medications used to effectively manage anxiety disorder symptoms like trembling and palpitations. Other medications used in treating anxiety disorders include Bupropion, Antipsychotics, Buspirone, and so on.
Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with medications. Psychotherapy helps patients identify the links between their behavior and their emotion. By doing so, they can identify anxiety triggers and develop effective coping mechanisms for taking care of them. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an example of psychotherapy used in anxiety disorder treatment.
In addition to these treatment options, there are also some alternative therapy approaches that are effective for dealing with anxiety. Psychedelics-assisted therapy is a typical example of an alternative anxiety disorder treatment. You should know that psychedelics-assisted therapy has proven to be a very effective anxiety disorder treatment option. In fact, this therapy approach is currently considered one of the best ways of treating and managing anxiety. For more information on how psychedelics-assisted therapy works, click here.