Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition where you experience uneasy feelings of worry, anxiety, and fear that do not go away and can worsen over time. It can heavily affect your life to the extent that it interferes with daily activities like school, work, and relationships.
Fear and stress are normal feelings and experiences. However, it’s a different story if you experience them frequently, especially if it causes long-term suffering.
Anxiety disorders reflect disorders that share a general feature of excessive fear (i.e., emotional response to perceived threat) and anxiety (i.e., the anticipation of future threat), resulting in behavioral and functional disturbances. Panic attacks are one of the most common features that can occur in the context of many anxiety disorders and reflect a type of fear response.
Anxiety Disorder Causes
Anxiety isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of multiple things. Some factors, including personality factors, difficult life experiences, and physical health, play a role.
Some people who experience anxiety conditions may have a genetic susceptibility towards anxiety, and these conditions can sometimes run in the family. However, if someone blood-related experiences anxiety or other mental health conditions, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have or develop anxiety.
Research says that some people with certain personality traits are more likely to have anxiety. For example, children who are perfectionists, easily worried, nervous, shy, lack self-esteem, or controlling in nature, sometimes develop anxiety during the stages of their life.
Stressful Events or Environments
Anxiety conditions may develop because of one or more stressful events or surroundings. Common triggers include:
Physical health problems
A chronic physical ailment can also contribute to anxiety or impact the treatment of either the anxiety condition or the physical illness itself. Common serious conditions associated with anxiety conditions include:
Some physical conditions can mimic anxiety conditions, like an overactive thyroid. It can be helpful to see a doctor and be assessed to determine whether there may be a medical cause for your feelings of anxiety.
Other Mental Health Conditions
While some people may experience an anxiety condition on its own, others may experience it with other mental health conditions. Depression and anxiety conditions often occur together. If you feel depressed or paranoid while experiencing anxiety, please seek medical assistance immediately.
Some people who experience anxiety may use alcohol or other drugs to help them manage their condition. In some cases, this may lead to people developing a substance use problem along with their anxiety condition. Alcohol and substance use can aggravate anxiety conditions, particularly as the effects of the substance wear off.
If you feel you have an anxiety condition, the only right action is to seek medical assistance. Please set an appointment with us to get the support and professional care you need.
Feeling anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking an exam is normal. This type of anxiety is unpleasant, but it may motivate you to work harder and do a better job. Ordinary anxiety comes and goes but does not interfere with your everyday life. This type helps you grow.
On the other hand, with Anxiety Disorder, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and sometimes debilitating and does not go away. Anxiety disorder will affect your day-to-day life and will interfere with basic functions such as sleep, focus, and decision-making.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
The core difference between the two:
Anxiety Disorder treatments will consist of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication. Depending on the severity or type of Anxiety Disorder, you may have to take one of the three treatments mentioned or all three together.
Alcohol dependence, depression, or other conditions can sometimes have such a strong effect on mental well-being that treating an anxiety disorder must wait until any underlying conditions are brought under control.
In some cases, a person can treat an anxiety disorder at home without clinical supervision. However, this may not be effective for severe or long-term anxiety disorders.
There are several exercises and actions to help a person cope with milder, more focused, or shorter-term anxiety disorders, including:
Yoga for Anxiety
Yoga can reduce the effects of an anxiety disorder.
Stress management: Learning to manage stress can help limit potential triggers. Organize any upcoming pressures and deadlines, compile lists to make daunting tasks more manageable, and commit to taking time off from study or work.
Relaxation techniques: Simple activities can help soothe the mental and physical signs of anxiety. These techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, long baths, resting in the dark, and yoga.
Exercises to replace negative thoughts with positive ones: Make a list of the negative thoughts that might be cycling as a result of anxiety, and write down another list next to it containing positive, believable thoughts to replace them. Creating a mental image of successfully facing and conquering a specific fear can also provide benefits if anxiety symptoms relate to a specific cause, such as a phobia.
Support network: Talk with familiar people who are supportive, such as a family member or friend. Support group services may also be available in the local area and online.
Exercise: Physical exertion can improve self-image and release chemicals in the brain that trigger positive feelings.
A standard way of treating anxiety is psychological counseling. This can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or a combination of therapies.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that aims to recognize and change harmful thought patterns that form the foundation of anxious and troublesome feelings. In the process, practitioners of CBT hope to limit distorted thinking and change how people react to objects or situations that trigger anxiety.
For example, a psychotherapist providing CBT for panic disorder will try to reinforce the fact that panic attacks are not really heart attacks. Exposure to fears and triggers can be a part of CBT. This method encourages people to confront their fears and helps reduce sensitivity to their usual triggers of anxiety.
A person can support anxiety management with several types of medication. Medicines that might control some physical and mental symptoms include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers.
Benzodiazepines: A family doctor may prescribe these for certain people with anxiety, but they can be highly addictive. These drugs tend to have few side effects except for drowsiness and possible dependence.
Antidepressants: These commonly help with anxiety, even though they also target depression. People often use serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which have fewer side effects than older antidepressants but are likely to cause jitters, nausea, and sexual dysfunction when treatment begins.
Tricyclics: This class of drugs older than SSRIs provides benefits for most anxiety disorders other than OCD. These drugs might cause side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and weight gain.
Seek medical advice if the adverse effects of any prescribed medications become severe.
Highland Family Medicine doctors take Anxiety Disorders very seriously. We believe everyone has the right to live a happy and healthy life. Anxiety Disorder impedes that and makes you reluctant to do anything you want, to the point of abandoning your aspirations.
If you have been feeling nervous for no apparent reason or that it has lingered for days without any sign of relief, accompanied by restlessness, trembling, and an increased heart rate, do not hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment below. Dr. Helton and his team in Murfreesboro, TN, are here to help and offer treatment for anxiety.
Highland Family Medicine and its doctors, Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin, have been serving and treating the community of Murfreesboro, TN, and surrounding areas for over two decades.
Collectively, they have treated more than 20,000 patients. Highland Family Medicine specializes in comprehensive health care for people of all ages, treating most ailments and non-emergencies.
Please don’t hesitate to call the Highland Family Medicine doctor’s office. Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin are professionals and ready to serve.