Everyone feels anxiety at some time or another in their life, and it’s widespread. But an anxiety disorder is something very different. People who suffer from an anxiety disorder have powerful and intense feelings of anxiety that don’t abate.
These feelings are often irrational and may have no basis in real life. These can come in episodes and can lead to panic attacks. Panic attacks are intense episodes of panic and fear that can raise blood pressure and heart rate and cause physical symptoms.
When someone has an anxiety disorder, their anxiety goes beyond the usual worries other people have. Their life is taken over by anxiety because their fears don’t match the actual dangers they face. It can cause people to avoid places or situations because they are so anxious about it or don’t want to have a panic attack.
The symptoms of anxiety disorders can start in childhood and persist into adulthood. They are commonly diagnosed in childhood. They can interfere with day to day life and make growth hard.
Some examples of common anxiety disorders include:
– Feeling nervous, restless or tense
– Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
– Having an increased heart rate
– Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
– Feeling weak or tired
– Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
– Having trouble sleeping
– Experiencing gastrointestinal problems
– Having difficulty controlling worry
– Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Treatment for anxiety disorders depends on how badly it interferes with your day to day life. The two main treatments involved are psychotherapy and medications.
When psychotherapy is used, it involves talking with a therapist and working on how to reduce symptoms and how to handle them. It is meant to help teach coping skills and mechanisms on how to manage your anxiety and recognize it. This will help you be able to get back to doing things or going places you were anxious about before.
Medications are often used to manage symptoms and help people calm down and handle life.