Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps you deal with a tense situation on the job, study harder for an exam, or keep focused on an important speech. It can help a person cope. An anxiety disorder, however, is different. It can cause so much distress that it may lead to impairment in one's ability to carry out a "normal" life. Anxiety Disorders can affect both youth and adults. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns and may avoid certain situations because of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat.
There are several types of anxiety disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive worry about a number of events and activities on more days than not for at least 6 months.One may find it difficult to control the worry, which may lead to restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or sleep disturbances. It may cause impairment in other areas of your life.
Panic Disorders are characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a surge of intense fear that peaks within minutes, causing sweating, shaking, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness to name a few. You may fear additional panic attacks or start avoiding situations that cause them.
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by fear or anxiety about social situations in which you are exposed to possible scrutiny by others, such as social interactions, being observed, or performing in front of others. these situations are often avoided, and the anxiety may be out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation. It causes distress or impairment in several areas of functioning.
Separation Anxiety is developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear of separation from someone they are attached to, evidenced by persistent worry about losing them, refusal to leave home, sleep alone, and distress when anticipating separation from attachment figures.
Agoraphobia may be anxiety related to using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, being in crowds, or outside of the home.
Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack:
- Sudden terror
- Pounding heart
- Sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness
- Feeling flushed or chilled
- Limbs may tingle or feel numb
- Nausea, chest pain, or smothering sensations
- Sense of unreality, fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control
- A fear of one's own unexplained physical symptoms is also a symptom of a panic disorder
If you believe you may have an anxiety disorder, call us for an assessment.