Panic/Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders go beyond the occasional butterflies in the stomach and pounding heart rate felt before a big job interview or first date. They aren’t the same as the situational worry and stress we feel when someone we love is sick or in an accident. Anxiety disorders interfere with everyday life. They are marked by anxiety that is constant and without a circumstantial trigger.

!Types of anxiety disorder:

Generalized anxiety disorder sufferers deal with constant worries or fears and may not be able to pinpoint the source of these feelings. They may have insomnia, stomach issues, restlessness and fatigue. Obsessive compulsive disorder is the inability to control unwanted thoughts or actions. Sufferers many have a fear of being in an accident or inability to stop washing their hands. A phobia is an irrational and unusual fear of an action, object or situation. Someone may have phobia of air travel, snakes or of leaving their home. The fear becomes a phobia when it takes control of the sufferers life. Post traumatic stress disorder can occur after a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, startling easy and withdrawing from others. Social anxiety disorder is an intense fear or avoidance of social situations.

!Symptoms of anxiety disorder:

Emotional symptoms of anxiety disorder include constant worry or dread, irritability, restlessness, trouble concentrating and feeling like your mind is blank. Physical symptoms of anxiety may include jumpiness, pounding heart rate, dizziness, sweating, insomnia, upset stomach, headaches, shortness of breath, muscle tension and fatigue.

!Types of treatment available:

Your doctor will likely first run tests to rule out the possibility of a medical condition. Once a medical condition is ruled out, your doctor may either prescribe medication or refer you to a mental health professional. Anxiety treatment options include medication and behavioral therapy. A combination of the two is frequently recommended. Lifestyle changes, such as frequent exercise, reducing stress and incorporating relaxation techniques, may help reduce anxiety, especially when used with medication or therapy.

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