What is Anxiety?
We all experience fear, stress, and anxiety occasionally, but these are different than suffering from an anxiety disorder. When you have an anxiety disorder, worries don’t go away and over time, can even get worse. Anxiety becomes difficult to control and can greatly impact daily tasks.
“Don’t assume I’m weak because I have anxiety attacks. You’ll never know the amount of strength It takes to face the world every day.”
There are five main types of anxiety disorders.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called "rituals," however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
- Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation - such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others - or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.
Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety disorders typically develop gradually and begin in teens or young adults. Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of energy
- Lack of interest in activities
- Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
- Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)
- Physical aches and pains
- Suicidal thoughts
- Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering or choking
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feelings of being out of control
- Irrational or excessive worry about encountering an object or situation
- Avoidance of the feared object or situation
- Immediate intense distress upon encountering the feared object or situation
(Source: National Institutes of Mental Health)
When to get help
We can all feel scared or anxious every now and then, so how do we know when to get professional help? When anxiety begins to get in the way of your ability to maintain work, school and or relationships, it is time to get professional helpWe can all feel scared or anxious every now and then, so how do we know when to get professional help? When anxiety begins to get in the way of your ability to maintain work, school and or relationships, it is time to get professional help.
If you are feeling suicidal and/or feeling not safe, then bypass making an appointment, and call 911 NOW.
How we can help
At The Woodlands psychiatry and counseling, we are committed to providing support for individuals with anxiety by providing the most comprehensive whole body mental health rehabilitation services available.
Our inpatient program offers a safe and compassionate environment for individuals in need of immediate care, with a focus individualized holistic mental health services and, upon discharge, an ongoing wellness plan and follow up.
Please call (281) 383-9366 today for more information.
“Asking for help isn’t weak. It’s a great example of how to take care of yourself.”