Common Symptoms of and Treatments for Anxiety Disorders
Nearly everyone has felt nervous at some point in their lives. Even seasoned singers and performers admit to still getting butterflies before they step onto the stage. But have you ever had overwhelming, racing thoughts for days before a big event? Have you ever left your shopping in the middle of a store because you suddenly felt like you weren’t able to breathe? Or have you ever felt physically ill or exhausted just trying to get through each and every day?
If yes, you know the true meaning of anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety disorder go beyond simply feeling nervous. There is a complex interplay between physical and mental symptoms when anxiety takes hold.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
The phrase “anxiety disorder” actually encompasses several individual diagnoses, which include:
- General Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia
While there are multiple types of anxiety disorder, many symptoms overlap. Causes or particular symptoms help to separate and distinguish each diagnosis. For example, social phobia specifically refers to an apprehension of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of other people. Agoraphobia is an anxiety attached to certain places, which can ultimately make it difficult for a sufferer to leave the house at all.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Doctors have identified over 100 possible symptoms of anxiety, but the most common symptoms of anxiety disorder include:
- Upset stomach
- Shallow breathing / shortness of breath
- Hyperventilation (rapid breathing)
- Irregular heart beat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Flushed skin
- A feeling of “impending doom”
- Feeling a weakness, either in entire body or just in the legs
- Difficulty concentrating
Common Anxiety Disorder Treatments
Anxiety disorder can be managed with the use of prescription medications, and therapeutic modalities are also helpful when used in conjunction with these.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the most successful treatment. Through CBT, individuals can learn to recognize anxious thoughts and actively change them.
Talk therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are other therapies commonly used in the treatment of anxiety. Stress-reducing techniques like meditation or yoga are also encouraged, as is an overall healthy lifestyle with emphasis on exercise, rest and nutrition.
If you are concerned that anxiety or a phobia is holding you or a loved one back, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
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