6 types of anxiety disorders and how to treat them
You are anxious. You may be nervous before giving a speech or worried about the results of a medical exam. Anxiety is a part of life. It’s a normal human emotion. For most people, stress is short-lived.
But for others, these feelings are more than a stressful moment at work or fleeting worries. Your anxiety can last for weeks or even months. It can persist over time and interfere with your routine.
Such a condition is known as an anxiety disorder. When left untreated, anxiety disorders can make you depressed due to constant and prolonged worry and fear. Identifying your disorder is an essential part of treatment.
Here are 6 common types of anxiety disorders and how to treat them.
Generalized anxiety disorder
In most cases, people feel concerned when faced with stressful situations such as speaking in public, taking an exam, or going to an interview. This type of anxiety can make you feel focused and therefore help you perform at your best.
However, when you have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), you won’t just feel anxious in specific stressful situations. The worries are persistent, intense, and can even interfere with your lifestyle.
Even minor things, like being late for a date, can make you anxious. It can lead to an uncontrollable feeling that something terrible could happen.
So how do you do that?
When it comes to treatment, seeking professional assistance is your first step towards recovery. Generally, there are two types of treatments for GAD. The first line of treatment is psychological, and in severe cases, medication may also be applied.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
This is a type of disorder in which patients have recurring ideas or obsessions that cause them to feel pressured to do something over and over. Repetitive behaviors, such as checking things, washing your hands, can interfere with your daily life and social interactions.
For people with OCD, not taking these steps can cause significant distress. They often feel intense from having to perform these compulsions. Feeling ashamed can make the problem worse, and the secrecy associated with OCD can lead to late diagnosis and delayed treatment.
It can also lead to a social handicap, for example when adults are confined to the house or children do not go to school. This type of disorder arises from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Social factors, family history, and psychological factors can also increase your risk for OCD.
If a subject is struggling with OCD, receiving the appropriate anti-anxiety treatment in New York City can improve their quality of life. Also, it can improve your ability to function at work or school, participate in leisure activities, and enjoy relationships.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatment options. During the treatment sessions, you are exposed to images that primarily focus on the obsessions that initially led to increased anxiety.
Then the therapists tell you not to adopt your usual compulsive behaviors. This way you learn that your scary thoughts are just thoughts rather than reality. Taking an antidepressant such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) can also help reduce compulsions and obsessive behaviors.
Most people have a panic attack at least once in their life. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 75 people may have panic disorder. This type of anxiety disorder consists of two main characteristics:
- Experiencing unexpected and recurring panic attacks
- Showing periods of excessive worry about having another stroke
Panic attacks are extreme times of fear that can affect your physical functioning, such as sweating, and emotional functioning, such as feeling like you’re going crazy. It is essential to note that various mental and physical conditions can be associated with these attacks.
If you suffer from repeated panic attacks, you should have a physical evaluation as they could be a sign of an endocrine problem such as a cardiovascular problem.
How to deal with panic disorder
The main focus here is on getting rid of your symptoms. You will need a trained professional to guide you through therapy and, in some cases, medication. Therapy usually involves CBT, which helps you shift your thoughts to control your fear.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in people who have already been traumatized or who have experienced life-threatening events. It could be a physical or sexual assault, a car accident, or torture. As a result, these people may experience feelings of helplessness, intense fear, or horror.
Symptoms can include disturbing dreams of the horrific event, difficulty relaxing or avoiding things associated with the event. To be diagnosed with these anxiety disorders, you must have experienced such symptoms for at least a month.
It is also common for people with PTSD to have other mental health issues. These can develop in response to the distressing event. Keep in mind that these problems are more likely to occur if the condition has persisted for too long.
Effective treatment for anxiety in New York City primarily involves therapy, but your health care provider may also recommend medication in some cases. In general, it is advisable to start with psychological treatment rather than focusing on medicine as the only solution.
Read also: 5 tips to manage depression naturally
Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
Social phobia is when you have excessive anxiety about a social situation in which other people are scrutinizing you. Such conditions can include being observed while eating, speaking in public, or interacting with unfamiliar people.
You will often feel as though you are being humiliated by these interactions; that’s why I prefer to avoid them completely. If you are forced to act, you can do it under extreme pressure.
How is social phobia treated?
The treatment you receive primarily depends on the extent to which social phobia affects your routine and your ability to function in everyday life. The most effective treatment options include counseling, medication, or both.
In therapy, you learn to identify and change negative thoughts and develop confidence-building skills. You can also participate in role plays to improve your social skills and become more confident in your relationships with others.
Unlike the short-term anxiety you experience before taking a test or speaking in public, specific phobias cause intense psychological and physical reactions. You may be very afraid of a particular situation and do your best to avoid it. For example, boarding an airplane or receiving an injection.
Fear or worry for animals, objects, or a particular situation is not uncommon. Fear is a rational response that anyone can feel because of conditions that threaten their safety. However, other people react to situations by irrationally exaggerating the threat.
His feelings of terror are totally out of proportion to the danger that awaits him. In some cases, just thinking about activities is more than enough to cause a reaction.
These overreactions can indicate a specific phobia. This condition is often associated with panic attacks.
Like other types of disorders, a mental health professional can treat the specific phobia. There are several treatment options you can choose from, drugs, treatment techniques, or a combination of both.
Remember that anxiety is common and treatable. You should also know that it takes time before you start to see the results of the treatment. So be patient and follow your doctor’s instructions for the best result.
But you can always seek treatment elsewhere if you’re not making enough progress or if you’re uncomfortable with your healthcare provider. Quick recovery!