What is anxiety disorder?
While many people may experience feelings of anxiousness, an anxiety disorder may be present when anxiety begins to interfere with one’s day-to-day activities, disrupting relationships and career, and making it difficult to enjoy life. Anxiety disorders can range from general anxiety to specific phobias. While many people experience mild anxiety in their daily lives, anxiety may be a problem when it interferes with one’s daily life, sleep and work.
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder.
- Women are two times more likely to be affected by anxiety disorders than men.
- Other anxiety disorders often appear in addition to generalized anxiety disorder, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and social phobia.
- Anxiety is often accompanied by depression and/or substance abuse.
Signs of anxious behavior
- Constant worrying or obsession about small or large things
- Anticipating disaster
- Fixation and concern about health issues, money, family problems and work
- Circular thinking
- Trouble sleeping
- Headaches and tension
- Rapid heartbeat
Anxiety can be treated in a number of ways, including medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Both are meant to change the thinking behind anxiety, as well as to change the reactions to anxiety-producing situations.
Self-help and support groups can be effective, as a shared experience can be especially helpful in managing this disorder.
Medication is often included in the treatment of anxiety; however, it is especially important to take medications directly as prescribed as bad reactions can occur otherwise.
If an individual has been diagnosed with conditions, such as depression or substance abuse, in addition to anxiety, further treatment options may be recommended.
Tips for managing anxiety
While anxiety disorders are a medical condition that cannot be prevented, there are ways to reduce your risk and methods to manage common symptoms including:
- Reducing caffeine intake
- Regular exercise
- Healthy eating
- Keeping a regular sleep pattern
- Seeking counseling and support after a traumatic or disturbing experience
- Avoiding alcohol and other drugs, which can worsen anxiety
We’re here to help
If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please contact Peace Hospital for a no charge assessment and assistance with treatment options.