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What is Anxiety? (Anxiety in 5 minutes)

women sitting against wall with anxiety

What is Anxiety in 2022?

 
anxiety, definitions of anxiety, what is anxiety
  1. Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” – Deepak Chopra

Who is at risk for anxiety disorders?

Who is at risk for anxiety disorders?

Who is at risk for anxiety disorders?

-What is a social anxiety disorder?

-What is Agoraphobia?
 
What causes anxiety disorders?
 
AND MORE…Read Below…
 
What is anxiety?
 
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition that interferes with your ability to function and focus your attention on certain things and situations in fluctuating periods of time. It could be seconds, it could be hours but it is always in some form or another, more often than not. Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders and there is an effective treatment for depression. We will go through some main types of anxiety and what the symptoms are. We will also go through what anxiety disorders are and some ways to combat them. If you need more immediate help, please visit the buttons above and select your state, then find a mental health professional in your area or call a hotline. We are not doctors. We only do our research and want to help educate people and give them some informational guidance so they can find a professional to speak with. You’re not alone. You’re cared for. Below are the definition, symptoms, and parts of what anxiety can affect. Just remember, you got this and can deal with your anxiety. If you need immediate help though, please call 1-800-273-8255. This is a 24/7 crisis support line.  
 
Who is at risk for anxiety disorders?
  • A mix of genetic and environmental factors can raise a person’s risk of developing anxiety disorders.
  • Certain personality traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition – feeling uncomfortable with, and avoiding, unfamiliar people, situations, or environments
  • Stressful or traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood
  • Family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions, including thyroid problems and heart arrhythmias (unusual heart rhythms)
  • Anxiety disorders occur more often in women
What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
  • With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension, even if there’s nothing to trigger these feelings
  • Physical symptoms of GAD include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and sleeping problems
  • Symptoms can be physical, emotional, or mental
What is a panic disorder?
  • If you have panic disorder, you get intense, sudden panic attacks. These attacks often feature stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders.
  • During a panic attack, you may experience Sweating, Heart palpitations, Heart attacks, and Feeling of choking.
What are phobias?
  • Phobias are an intense fear of certain situations or objects.
Social anxiety disorder-
  • People with a social anxiety disorder may have overwhelming worry and self-consciousness with daily social situations.
  • They may worry about others judging them or making fun of them, or they may be anxious that they will embarrass themselves or open themselves up to ridicule.
Agoraphobia-
  • This fear of being overwhelmed or unable to get help can occur in any of the following environments: Enclosed spaces, crowded areas, open spaces, places outside your house, public transportation, etc
What is separation anxiety disorder?
  • This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents.
  • A separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers.
baby crying because of anxiety or sadness
Anxiety disorders affect children-
  • Children often get “stuck” in their worries.
  • They have a hard time doing their daily activities, like going to school, playing, and falling asleep.
  • Separate the regular worries of childhood from an anxiety disorder that needs professional help.
What causes anxiety disorders?
  • Chemical imbalance: Severe or long-lasting stress can change the chemical balance that controls your mood.
  • Environmental factors: Experiencing a trauma might trigger an anxiety disorder, especially in someone who has inherited a higher risk to start.
  • Heredity: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families.
What are the symptoms of an anxiety disorder?
  • Physical symptoms: Cold or sweaty hands, Heart palpitations, Numbness or tingling in hands or feet, muscle tension
  • Mental symptoms: Feeling panic, fear, and uneasiness, Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences, Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Behavioral symptoms: Inability to be still and calm, Trouble sleeping
How do I know if my child has an anxiety disorder?
  • Anxiety-related problems in children share four common features
    • not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams
    • not eating properly
    • quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts
    • constantly worrying or having negative thoughts (source)
How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?
  • Talk to your healthcare provider for the most accurate and personal information. 
Who can diagnose anxiety disorders?
  • If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last, a Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life, and the provider’s observation of your attitude and behavior.
How are anxiety disorders treated?
  • An anxiety disorder is like any other health problem that requires treatment. You can’t will it away.

anxiety medication in the hand of someone pouring it out of a bottle

How does medication treat anxiety disorders?
  • Medications can’t cure an anxiety disorder, but they can improve symptoms and help you function better. (be wary of continued medication for anxiety, a lot of them are addicting)
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers
  • Lamictal
How does psychotherapy treat anxiety disorders?
  • Psychotherapy, or counseling, helps you deal with your emotional response to the illness. A mental health provider talks through strategies to help you better understand and manage the disorder.
  • Common psychotherapy approaches include CBT, exposure therapy, relaxation exercises, and imagery with exposure therapy.
What happens if I don’t get treatment for my child with an anxiety disorder?
  • Untreated anxiety disorders can harm family relationships, personal relationships such as romantic ones, school performance, social functioning, and more than are not listed.
Can anxiety disorders be prevented?
  • Take steps to control or reduce your symptoms. (workout, meditation, therapy)
  • Check out medications (be wary of medications that are addictive. They may be needed but please be careful and explore other options first.)
  • Limit caffeine intake. (this can increase anxiety i.e. jitters and heart rate increase)
  • Live a healthy lifestyle (work out, journal.)
  • Seek help (therapy, counseling, reading up on triggers and knowing your own)
  • Get counseling or support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event.
  • Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
What’s the outlook for people with anxiety disorders?
  • Treatment can help (this can make a huge difference in combination with healthy lifestyle choices.)
  • The right treatment can help improve your quality of life, relationships, and productivity. (speak with your healthcare provider or counselor about steps to take.)
  • If you notice symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider immediately (you can read and educate yourself but please speak to a professional.)
  • A combination of medications and counseling for anxiety can help. (it’s always a combination. Don’t rely on just one method, especially only medication if you can help it)

counselor taking notes with anxiety patient

How can I best cope with an anxiety disorder?
  • Explore stress management (speak with a counselor)
  • Learn ways to manage stress, such as through meditation
  • Join support groups (there are a ton, here is a list)
  • Get educated about the specific type of anxiety disorder you have so you feel more in control (speak with your healthcare provider.)
  • Limit or avoid caffeine (as said above, but this is important. Go to be earlier and workout so you have a better sleep time period.)
  • Talk to your healthcare provider (do this in all instances, really. It’s the best way.)
How is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to anxiety disorders?
  • The nervous system’s response to stress may affect the stomach.
  • Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment includes stress management and psychotherapy.
When should I go to the emergency room for an anxiety disorder?
  • If you’re having an anxiety attack and unsure whether you should head to an ER or not, it is better to go. (If you are unsure, go. Your life is worth more than any type of embarrassment you might feel. Trust your gut and go if you’re unsure.)
  • Healthcare professionals can make sure you’re OK and give you any necessary treatment before you leave the hospital if and when you end up going.
What else should I ask my healthcare provider?
  • What’s the best treatment for me? Do I need medication? What type? How long should I take medication, What type of psychotherapy will work best? What else can I do to manage my symptoms? What other conditions am I at risk for? Are there any counselors that you recommend? What are my next steps? Do you know providers who take my insurance or have good reviews?

anxiety mental health patient speaking with doctor about treatment

I know this is a lot. However, no mental health issue is simple and every one of them has many parts. Please, always consult with your healthcare provider when unsure or when starting your journey of learning about and discovering your own mental health. That is the best way. Do not rely on articles like this or any other ones to give you all the answers. In this way, use the brain that you have and go see your doctor. I don’t mean to sound upset or anything but too many people waste time and do not consult anyone due to them feeling a ‘type of way’ about seeing a counselor or speaking with their doctor. However, this is the best way to get back on track and address what is at stake. Hopefully, this gave you some insight but again, I am not a doctor and can only share my own education and experiences. Consult a doctor or healthcare provider if you really want to make progress in knowing what is going on with your own body.

-Jeremy

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