WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety refers to the body’s response to stress. Anxiety is a natural emotion, and it is a feeling of fear or apprehension about things that may be beyond a person’s control.
While some anxiety can be normal and even healthy, an anxiety disorder refers to extreme feelings of anxiety that persist for six months or longer. It impacts a person’s ability to enjoy life and may make it tough to go to work or school or perform various everyday tasks.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million Americans age 18 or older, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). However, ADAA reports that only 37% of people dealing with anxiety disorders receive treatment.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Leads to excess worry about everyday life.
- Panic Disorder: Results in panic attacks that can occur at any time.
- Phobia: Refers to a fear of a specific activity, object, or situation.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Causes fear of judgement by others and may lead a person to avoid social situations.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Causes irrational thoughts that lead to specific, repeated compensatory behaviors.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Refers to anxiety that follows a traumatic event.
People dealing with general anxiety may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fast breathing, and/or rapid heart rate. Some people may also experience an anxiety attack, characterized by overwhelming fear or apprehension. Anxiety attack symptoms include sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, dry mouth, and/or numbness.
There is no exact cause of anxiety, but some research shows that anxiety may be linked to a person’s genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors. To determine if a patient is dealing with anxiety, a physical exam, along with mental health assessments and psychological surveys will be obtained. Blood and urine tests may also be used to properly diagnose an anxiety disorder.
Prestige Mental Health provides evidence-based treatment elements and personalized care to treat anxiety disorders. If you believe that you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety disorder symptoms, meeting with our mental healthcare clinician is key. This allows an individual to receive anxiety disorder testing, as well as explore different therapy options.
THERAPIES FOR ANXIETY DISORDER
At Prestige Mental Health, a combination of CBT, mindfulness exercises, medications, and other therapies may be used to treat anxiety disorders. In doing so, our patients can discover the best ways to manage their anxiety symptoms.