There are many types of anxiety disorders that include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a human emotion that everyone will experience at some time in his or her lifetime. A lot of individuals have feelings of anxiousness and nervousness when they are faced with issues at home, work or before making important decisions. However, just as each individual is different so is the manner in which he or she experiences anxiety. This condition can cause significant distress resulting in the interference of day-to-day activities.
Anxiety disorder is a mental illness and thereby must be treated as such. This condition can be overwhelming, with constant feelings of fear and worry.
There are a variety of recognized types of anxiety disorders, which include:
Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
There is no known exact cause for anxiety disorders. It is important that we realize anxiety disorders, as with other mental disorders are not a flaw in character or a form of weakness. While researchers continue to study mental illnesses, it has become evident that mental disorders are generally the result of a number of factors, which include environmental stresses or brain changes.
Just like a health issue such as diabetes, anxiety disorders can be the result of a chemical imbalance within the body. Research shows that long- lasting or chronic stress can alter the chemical balance in the brain that controls mood. Additionally, reports show that anxiety disorders are hereditary meaning one or even both parents passed it down just as they do hair or eye color.
If anxiety disorder symptoms are present, the physician will ask a series of questions pertaining to your medical history and will give you an examination. Although specific anxiety disorders can’t be diagnosed from a laboratory test the doctor may still check to be sure there are no physical illnesses that are causing the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, or other mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder.
Within the last 20 years, a great deal of progress has been made in regards to the treatment of mental illness including anxiety disorders. Although the approach for treatment depends highly on the specific disorder, either one or a combination of therapies can be used in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Although there is no cure for anxiety disorders, there are a few steps you can take to lessen or control your symptoms.