Depending on what kind of anxiety you have, you will experience different symptoms. Some symptoms of anxiety are feelings of fear, uneasiness or panic; problems falling asleep or staying asleep; sweaty hands and feet; breathing difficulty and shortness of breath; and an inability to be calm or still. Dizziness, muscle tension, nausea and tingling or numbness in the feet or hands can also be symptoms of anxiety.
There are several different forms of anxiety. There is General Anxiety, fears, PTSD, Social Phobia, Panic attacks and others. Other types of anxiety can lead to self-harm. People will cut themselves or pull out their hair in order to get relief from their emotional pain.
Who is at Risk for an Anxiety Disorder?
There are several factors that people more at risk for an Anxiety Disorder.
- Having few economic resources
- Being divorced or widowed
- Going through stressful life events in childhood and adulthood
- When close biological relatives have Anxiety disorders
- Parental history of mental disorders
- Elevated afternoon cortisol levels in the saliva (specifically for social anxiety disorder).
What is a Panic Attack?
People experiencing extreme episodes of anxiety may also experience what is referred to as “panic attacks.” These can be terrifying episodes in which you may experience symptoms similar to those of a cardiac arrest. If you get a panic attack, your heart and respiratory rates increase, you may have difficulty breathing and feel as though a heavy weight is on your chest. You may break out in a sweat. Medical tests will prove negative when individuals are in fact experiencing a panic attack. Some people with anxiety will experience flashbacks of a past event which produced severe anxiety for them. In cases of extreme trauma another condition called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may develop.
How to Treat Anxiety:
Anxiety disorders are generally treated with
- Psychotherapy or talk therapy
- Or both Psychotherapy and medicine
“Talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and tailored to his or her needs. A typical “side effect” of psychotherapy is temporary discomfort involved with thinking about confronting feared situations. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help people with anxiety disorders. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying, challenging, and then neutralizing unhelpful thoughts underlying anxiety disorders. It teaches a person different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful situations.
CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder. CBT may be conducted individually or with a group of people who have similar problems. Group therapy is particularly effective for social anxiety disorder.
Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, avoiding them should be considered. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medications.
Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but often relieves symptoms, they can only be prescribed by a medical doctor (such as a psychiatrist or a primary care provider). Prescription drugs are sometimes used as the initial treatment of an anxiety disorder, or are used only if there is insufficient response to a course of psychotherapy. In research studies, it is common for patients treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication to have better outcomes than those treated with only one or the other.
Get the Help You Need!
Not everyone with anxiety disorder will struggle with the same issues. At Revisions Counseling, we have trained therapists that can help you or your loved one with assistance and immediate results. Anxiety does not have to rob or steal your joy and happiness…relief is one phone call away!