Anxiety - Types, Symptoms & Treatment
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Symptoms & Treatment
Anxiety can be present in many of us. The study of the human brain confirms that we have physical structures to have human emotions such as panic, worry, fear, agitation, anger, sadness and elation. While we all are suppose to worry about important issues in our everyday lives, sometimes we are constantly worrying over the important and relatively unimportant and the littlest in the daily life. The symptoms come with increasing degree of nervousness, sleeplessness, circular thinking, chest discomfort, palpitations and muscle tension. Tension headaches or flare up of migraine headache is common. Eventually in a few weeks the whole body gets involved and creates chicken or egg type of health issues. A lot of patients may under go workup of their gastrointestinal or cardiovascular system because eventually the stress hormones are circulating through the whole body in the spheres of physical social emotional and spiritual health in addition there might be more health conditions to contend with such as migraines, irritable bowel syndromes, heart burns or menstrual irregularities to name a few.
If you always feeling nervous or anxious, have trouble concentrating or relaxing, then, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD is a common anxiety disorder that affects about 4 million people in the US each year. This condition could be since childhood or develop at some point later in life. There may be identifiable reason or just seemingly unknown change in the body. The vast majority of people would have a few medical or psychological reasons for the change for the anxiety systems in our limbic area of the brain to get imbalanced.
The precise understanding of the GAD is evolving. It is believable that a combination of physical and psychological factors are at play. Just about any thing can be a potential cause or aggravating factor in the exacerbation of the normal anxiety system that we are suppose to have. So the findings may be in the genetics, psychological conditioning, behavioral conditioning, medical, physical, upperend of normal or abnormal scales of these factors. The symptoms generally appear gradually and most commonly begin during childhood or adolescence, although it can begin in adulthood as well. People with GAD may experience:
- Excessive and constant worrying
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Hot flashes
Your doctor can diagnose the GAD by evaluating your symptoms and medical history and performing a physical examination and doing a through metabolic workup depending upon your health risks and in general. The GAD can be effectively treated or managed through medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for short or long term depending upon individual health history. The medications can be conventional e.g. Fluoxetine or Sertraline or Naturopathic, Vitamins, Hormones or Minerals depending upon medical assessment and individual preferences. There are non-medicinal options such as short or long term CBT or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) depending upon doctors recommendation.
Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is the most common anxiety disorder and affects over 19 million people in the US. People with social anxiety have excessive and unreasonable fears of different social situations. They may feel overly anxious and nervous in everyday situations which may be due to generalized anxiety or coexisting physical conditions such as high thyroid level, side effects of medications e.g. thyroid or Parkinson’s’ disease, or alcohol withdrawal.
Social anxiety affects people emotionally and physically. The emotional fear of being judged, watched or embarrassed can lead to:
- Profuse sweating
- Nausea/upset stomach
Like other mental health conditions, the causes of social anxiety disorder are believed to be a result of genetics, biochemistry and environment. This condition most likely begins during adolescence and early adulthood. Although minor social phobias are common among most people, these phobias should not affect your daily life. If they do, you should see a doctor who may diagnose social anxiety disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for social anxiety because it guides patients to have more rational thoughts about social situations. Medication is also available to help treat symptoms.
Panic Disorder Treatment
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which patients suffer from sudden and unexplained panic attacks of extreme fear and nervousness. Unlike other anxiety disorders, panic attacks are often unprovoked and can be disabling. People may develop irrational fears of certain situations in which panic attacks have previously occurred. People having a panic attack may experience:
- Racing or pounding heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Hot flashes
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling or numbness
- Fear of dying
These attacks usually last several minutes and are similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. If a person has repeated panic attacks with no other physical or emotional cause, they may be diagnosed with panic disorder. Panic attacks can be emotionally disabling and should be treated through medication or psychotherapy to help reduce the risk of future attacks.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves repetitive thoughts and controlling rituals. OCD affects over 3 million Americans and is often accompanied with eating disorders, depression or other anxiety disorders.
People with OCD are overwhelmed by constant fears and distressing thoughts, known as obsessions, which they cannot control. These obsessions can include fear of dirt or germs, harming others, making a mistake or being embarrassed. In order to counteract these obsessions, people with OCD will perform certain rituals, known as compulsions. Common compulsions include:
- Repeated bathing or washing hands
- Counting while performing routine tasks
- Arranging things in a certain way
- Performing tasks a certain number of times
- Touching things in a certain order
The true cause of OCD is not known, but certain biological and environmental factors play a role. Most cases develop in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. OCD treatment focuses on cognitive-behavioral therapy which teaches patients to confront their fears and reduce anxiety without the use of rituals. Severe cases of OCD may require electroconvulsive therapy or psychosurgery to release neurotransmitters in the brain.