13 Symptoms And Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms And Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety or panic is our body’s psychological response to challenging and stressful situations that we normally face in our lives. This response presents in the form of worrying, feeling of restlessness and doubt. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it begins to affect our day-to-day life and becomes recurrent and uncontrollable. According to some statistics, nearly 30% of the adult population in the US alone is believed to be suffering from some type of anxiety disorder, of which only 18.1 % receive treatment. The likelihood of women to develop such disorders is almost double when compared to men. Most panic disorders often co-exist with or, in some cases, arise due to conditions like hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, thyroid problems and respiratory diseases which again have a negative impact on the quality of life. Anxiety disorders have been classified into several categories; Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. A person suffering from extreme anxiety is vulnerable to one or all of these anxiety disorders.

Here Are 13 Symptoms And Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety brings with it a series of emotional and physical symptoms which help in making a diagnosis about the type of anxiety disorder a person is suffering from. Since these symptoms closely resemble symptoms of a heart problem and other respiratory illnesses it becomes necessary to help your doctor make a correct diagnosis by explaining your symptoms honestly.


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Excessive Worrying

Constantly worrying about menial things on a daily basis for a period of six months is a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This pattern of worrying worsens overtime and results in the person becoming restless and keeps him from leading a normal life.

Excessive Worrying

Fear

In many phobias, a person develops a fear of things like spiders, snakes, people and situations like crowds, closed spaces, open spaces, tall buildings and hence starts avoiding such things and situations so as to protect himself from the uneasiness that follows when he is confronted with such situations. Likewise, in Social Anxiety disorder a person develops a fear of social situations which is due to the person’s inability to deal with the people’s criticism and judgement about himself.

Fear

Palpitations

Another symptom of anxiety disorder is heart palpitations. There can be many reasons that lead to that fluttering feeling in your chest. Palpitations that arise due to anxiety are always accompanied by a hoard of other symptoms of anxiety disorder like sweating and upset stomach.

Palpitations

Sleep Problems

People suffering from chronic anxiety experience disrupted sleep patterns. This is because when a person is extremely anxious, he becomes so engaged in the worrying process that it begins to affect his sleep and results in insomnia.

Sleep Disorders

Irritability

Irritability is another characteristic trait of people who suffer from anxiety disorders. Such people have a tendency to fume over minor things and issues. This is because chronic anxiety trains the mind to anticipate negative outcomes and makes a person irritable.

Irritability

Frequent Headaches

Anxiety disorder patients display frequent headaches as a symptom. Also known as tension headaches, these headaches are caused due to the tightening of muscles that takes place when a person is under stress.

Frequent Headaches

Tremors

Anxiety often accompanies involuntary muscle movements known as tremors in the body. Tremors are triggered by a rush of adrenaline, caused by a rise in body’s stress levels, which narrows the blood vessels and leads to involuntary movements.

tremors

Impaired Digestion

Our emotional health impacts our digestive health and thus adds up to the woes of anxiety disorder patients as they have to deal with a hoard of digestive issues ranging from mild cramping, nausea, flatulence, bloating to more serious problems like Irritable bowel Syndrome which constitute as symptoms of severe anxiety.

Nausea and Vomiting

Treatments

There are a number of strategies that are adopted by a psychologist to treat anxiety disorders. It’s only after a patient is thoroughly examined for his particular symptoms and other underlying diseases that he charts out a treatment plan which includes psychotherapy, relaxation procedures, lifestyle changes and in extreme cases, medication. The treatment may take a couple of weeks to an year to show improvement depending on the severity of the disorder. Here’s a list of treatments that are used to manage anxiety disorders:

Psychotherapy

Most cases of panic disorders can be effectively managed by therapy alone. The two main approaches adopted by psychologists are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works by effecting a change in the way a person thinks and responds to a stressful situation. It also equips the patient with skills that help him overcome anxious feelings in a peaceful manner. Exposure Therapy, on the other hand, involves exposing the patients to a falsely created threatening situation repeatedly so that the person becomes used to the stress overtime and is able to ignore such threats in future.

Psychotherapy

Relaxation Procedures

Severity of anxiety symptoms can be lessened by incorporating relaxation techniques like deep belly breathing,and guided imagery in which the patient has to focus on the fine details of a given image in order to relax his mind during periods of extreme stress. These procedures cannot treat anxiety disorders on their own and are used in conjunction with other treatment options.

Relaxation Procedures

Lifestyle Changes

Anxiety has a strong connection with our lifestyle. People who experience intense panic episodes greatly benefit if they increase their daily physical activity by means of regular exercising. In addition to building self confidence and social awareness, exercising helps our brain in releasing ‘happiness hormones’ known as serotonin and endorphins which play a role in reducing symptoms of stress.

exercising

Diet

A diet loaded with junk food, carbonated drinks, alcohol and caffeine is guaranteed to worsen anxiety symptoms. Hence, people suffering from anxiety disorders should completely avoid all such food items. They should rather consume fresh and unprocessed food items which are free
from excess sugar, salt and caffeine.

Diet

Medication

Taking into consideration the intensity of the disorder a psychiatrist may prescribe anxiety relieving medication ranging from a period of few months to some years. The medications prescribed have been divided into three different classes; Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRI),
Benzodiazepines and tricyclic Anti-Depressants. All these medicines may come with side effects which vary from person to person. It is therefore necessary to remain in touch with your health practitioner/ psychiatrist while taking these medicines and report any side effects you experience upon which your doctor will alter the dosage or switch to a different medicine.

Medication

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