Anxiety is an emotion felt by all of us as a result of facing stressful, unfamiliar or dangerous situations. For example, a person might feel it before appearing for an interview or after talking to a doctor about a serious health complication. Anxiety can be helpful by making us take necessary action against the problem that is causing it. It is one of our body’s defense mechanisms which helps us survive adversities. Anxiety disorders are very common (according to the WHO, 1 in 13 suffer from anxiety globally) but fortunately, they are treatable.
When does anxiety become a problem?
It is perfectly normal to feel anxiety every now and then. However, feeling anxious regularly could be a sign of an anxiety disorder which is different and more serious than a normal feeling of nervousness or anxiousness. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause an overwhelming feeling of fear and/or anxiety. Unlike mild anxiety, which usually goes away after a brief period of time, anxiety disorders are persistent.
Types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder involves excessive worry and anxiety about daily activities and events with little or no reason at all, on most days for at least 6 months. Symptoms of (GAD) include:
Feeling of restless and irritable
Difficulty in concentration
2. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by sudden feelings of intense anxiety or fear that reach its peak within minutes. Victims might experience:
Heart palpitations, increased heart rate and pounding heartbeat
Shortness of breath
A feeling of impending doom
Constant worry about when the next attack might happen and try to avoid situations that might lead to them.
3. Phobia Related Disorders
A phobia is an intense feeling of fear towards a specific thing or a situation such as - fear of heights or fear of spiders. An individual having a phobia to a specific object or situation will often fail to overcome the fear caused by that object or situation. Some phobias can cause difficulties in day-to-day lives of people. A few phobia related disorders are:
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is when a person feels high levels of anxiety and fear while dealing with everyday social situations. People with social anxiety disorder believe that social interactions will lead to judgement and embarrassment of themselves; so they will often try to avoid these situations altogether.
Agoraphobia is an intense fear of being a place or a situation from which the person cannot escape. An agoraphobic will feel trapped in an unideal situation and will panic as a result; they will try to avoid such situations at all costs. A person with agoraphobia might have a fear of leaving their home, using public transport, using the elevator or being in a crowd.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by an intense fear of losing or being separated from a person. Although, mostly seen in kids, some adults are also affected by separation anxiety disorder.
Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder experienced by some children where they speak normally with their family members but are unable to speak to other people. This can lead them to avoid social interactions at school or in public.
Many people don’t realize that they have an anxiety disorder and that is a big problem. Delaying treatment can make anxiety disorders worse. If you have one or more of the symptoms we mentioned above it might be time to go see a doctor. The first step is to make sure that these symptoms are not caused by a physical problem. A doctor can do that for you and diagnose any possible anxiety disorders, if present. In case you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you can get in touch with a mental health expert for consultation.
Mindport can help with psychotherapy and medications, which is the general approach when it comes to treating anxiety disorders. Not every anxiety disorder can be treated in the same way. Some of them require cognitive behavioral therapy, some of them require medication such as anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants, whereas more severe cases require a combination of both therapy and medication. Mindport offers different programmes designed to treat each anxiety disorder in the best possible manner. You can book an appointment with one of our experts by calling us or by sending an email.