Occasional anxiety is common. However, when temporary worrying and fear turn into unshakeable anxiety that only grows worse with time, it can become a source of profound concern. An anxiety disorder can interfere with daily life and is sometimes crippling to the person dealing with it, so taking help from a professional behavioral health treatment center is highly advised.
Anxiety disorders affect around 18% of people in the United States in a given year. Anxiety disorders refer to a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear that can trigger physical responses such as tremors and elevated heartbeat. Anxiety disorders can show up in the following forms:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by a constant worry about small things and anticipation of doom without any reason. Such individuals are unable to relax and may have issues sleeping.
Panic disorders cause a person to experience several panic attacks within a certain period of time. These attacks affect individuals physically, causing them to experience physical complications like heart palpitations, hot or cold flashes, pain, sweating, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness, and more.
Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia
Most people fear being judged by others, but those who deal with social anxiety disorder have profound fears of even doing simple things in front of others. This inhibits their social interaction as they deal with physical symptoms such as sweating, blushing, trembling, and feeling nauseous when talking to others.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
A person feeling the need to repeatedly check things or perform actions compulsively is dealing with underlying anxiety or fear, normally obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Such anxiety can control someone’s life and disrupt relationships, work, and daily activities. Those with OCD often are unable to control their behaviors, thoughts, or the rituals they follow, even though they don’t enjoy the rituals.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD affects people who have gone through a traumatic experience. After the initial experience, people will remain stressed and fearful anywhere from months to years later and will often relive the event or feel the associated emotions when something in their daily life acts as a trigger.
Though each anxiety disorder has its own signs and symptoms, they are all focused on excessive fear or dread. Commonly, those with an anxiety disorder have other mental conditions and, in some cases, may have a substance abuse problem.
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of panic
- Partial or full insomnia
- Abnormal routine behaviors
- Cold and sweaty hands
- Dry mouth
- A rapid heart rate
- Inability to stay calm
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Tension in the muscles
Anxiety disorder has no singular cause but rather several. Elements like genetics, biology, alterations in brain functioning, environment, trauma, and life experiences can all play vital roles in a person who develops the disorder. Those with a family history of anxiety disorders often have a higher risk of developing the condition, and women are more prone to anxiety disorders than men.
Anxiety disorders are treatable and manageable despite the possible damage they can cause in a person’s life. Professional behavioral health treatment centers offer programs that can effectively help a person suffering from anxiety disorders.