Anxiety disorders are very common. Nearly 20% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety or depression at some point in time. While many of these cases are easily treatable, others will require the assistance of a trained mental health professional. Whichever path you choose to take remember that anxiety is not a normal part of everyday life and those suffering from it need help.
There are several types of anxiety disorders in which symptoms can resemble the same ones as obsessive-compulsive disorders. The most popular are:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety
People with these types suffer from persistent panic and anxiety attacks which are unfounded fear of public speech, eating, or drinking in front of other people.
The person is aware that the symptoms are excessive but does not feel that they need to seek help for fear of embarrassment or shame.
If you have any of these types of anxiety disorders, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice from your doctor. They can give you appropriate medications for the symptoms that you feel are out of control.
If you are not on medication, you may be referred to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or behavioral therapist to determine what is causing the behavior patterns.
Many times these types of problems can be treated through therapy combined with medication. If you choose to go to a doctor, make sure you are aware of the different types of medications available, their recommended use, their side effects, and how to come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.
Some anxiety disorders may respond to therapy combined with medication. In these cases, your primary care practitioner will likely prescribe medications for you to take, either prescription or over the counter.
Your primary care practitioner may even recommend a medication package consisting of psychological counseling, medication, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes that you can follow.
Unfortunately, anxiety disorders may also be caused by mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia. In this case, your doctor may recommend treating these issues before you attempt to treat your anxiety disorder.
Because of the nature of mental illnesses, doctors are hesitant to prescribe medication unless the person’s general health is at risk. The side effects of medication are also cause for concern so it is not a good choice for many people.
There are ways to manage your anxiety without medication if you are able to identify the cause of your stress or worry. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you how to change your thinking patterns and how to react to stressful situations.
This can be done through self-help and breathing exercises. Relaxation techniques include meditation, yoga, or relaxation tapes. Since these techniques focus on relaxing your mind, daily life becomes more relaxed and stress and worry are reduced significantly.
Anxiety and phobias can be debilitating and prevent a person from living life to its fullest. If you have excessive fear or worry about specific situations, you are more likely to experience panic attacks or an anxiety attack when these situations occur.
These fears can become an obsession and lead to extreme behaviors such as overeating or compulsive eating, extreme fear of heights or other extreme physical activities, avoidance of social settings, or avoidance of certain people or objects.
You may avoid being around people or objects that trigger your phobias or anxiety. Once you have eliminated the source of your anxiety, your behaviors will usually change as your mind no longer believes they are threatening.
Causes of Anxiety
Causes of Anxiety can be many and varied. Stress can cause anxiety in many ways such as high levels of anxiety, inability to sleep, inability to concentrate, feeling restless and/or angry, feelings of helplessness and losing control.
Anxiety can also be caused from a chemical imbalance, a mental disorder, an injury, the side effects of medications, or a combination of all of these. The initial job of the doctor is to determine if your anxiety really is a manifestation of another health related issue.
Treatment for Causes of Anxiety includes psychotherapy, exposure therapy, medication, and biofeedback and muscle relaxation therapy. One type of therapy, which has had some success is Exposure Therapy. This therapy involves having the patient remember and attempt to expose them to their fears up to a certain point where they experience an anxiety attack.
When this happens, the patient will then attempt to avoid whatever it was that caused the fear so that the memory will not lead to an anxiety attack. Exposure therapy has been successful in treating many types of anxiety disorders.
It is based on the idea that people have control over their brains. Some therapists use neurofeedback to treat patients who suffer from anxiety disorders.
By monitoring how the brain functions during various activities (such as reading, writing, driving or even eating) the therapist is able to determine which areas of the brain are underactive.
By correcting these imbalances the client is able to increase their brain function and thereby reduce their symptoms.
Medications used to treat causes of anxiety include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
These medications can have a variety of side effects, including loss of sexual desire, nausea, drowsiness, vomiting and weight gain. Alternative treatments for anxiety disorders include Yoga, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques and natural supplements.
Using medication for any condition should be the last resort. First you should consult with your doctor to rule out any serious underlying illness. Once you know for sure that anxiety isn’t caused by an underlying medical problem, you can begin to treat the symptoms.
Once you have eliminated the cause of your anxiety, you can choose to either take prescription medication Ativan 2mg or start researching other anxiety treatments that may prove to be more effective.
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