Man reading newspaper

Anxiety

Anxiety is the number one mental health complaint in America. In fact, over 20 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some type of it. The good news is that people who seek help have a very high success rate in regaining control over their lives. To begin your path to wellness, contact us today!

Everybody worries or gets anxious from time to time – and the right amount of anxiety can even improve performance and focus; but when the worry becomes excessive, it may be a sign of a disorder. Anxiety can get much worse if it goes untreated. The great news is that the sooner you get help for managing it, the easier it is to obtain relief. Anxiety can be the result of negative events or trauma, but it can also develop without incident or warning.

Symptoms:

Physical symptoms can include sleeplessness, tight muscles, nausea, a constant sense of feeling tired, shortness of breath, sweating, rapid heart rate, feeling warm all over or red in the face, or panic attacks. Other symptoms include apprehension, irritability, restlessness, bad dreams, and problems concentrating. Some people find themselves imagining worst possible scenarios about situations and focusing on fears.

Types of Anxiety:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experience a chronic level of frequent anxious feelings and excessive worry with little or no cause.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and try to use rituals to control the anxiety related to the upsetting thoughts. OCD often occurs with depression or eating disorders.

Panic Disorder

People with Panic Disorder get feelings of terror or danger without any warning, called panic attacks. They feel unreal, afraid they will lose control, or are in danger. They may be convinced they are having a heart attack, going crazy, or about to die. People with repeated panic attacks can lead very restricted lives, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as signs and symptoms develop.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after one event or multiple events that result in psychological trauma, such as disasters, military combat, threat of death, physical harm, or sexual and emotional abuse. The trauma may be re-experienced with nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive memories. Hyper vigilance and anger occur easily. PTSD severely affects ability to cope with life, and may interfere with relationships or career.

Social Anxiety

People with Social Anxiety Disorder have overwhelming anxiety about everyday social situations fear they will be harshly judged by others or do something embarrassing. Symptoms can occur with only one type of situation or may be so severe that symptoms pop up any time they are around other people. Many athletes, musicians, and actors who perform well during practice can suffer from Performance Anxiety; afraid that they will fail in front of others, freeze up, or have stage fright.

Treatment:

The psychologist, counselors, and therapists at Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy frequently use Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety, which has been the most reliable and efficient treatment to date. In this type of therapy, patients identify negative patterns of thinking, and learn to develop more realistic and empowering thoughts. Other treatments include:

  • Mindfulness and relaxation training
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Social skills training
  • Stress management techniques
  • Medication, and
  • Natural remedies such as nutrition and exercise

It’s important to address other disorders that commonly occur with anxiety, such as depression, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse.

Resources:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety disorders.

Freedom from Fear
Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association who seek to impact the lives of people affected by anxiety, depression, and related disorders.

National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders. NIMH works to improve mental health through biomedical research on mind, brain, and behavior.

If you are ready to make your mental health a priority, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Better Mental Health Starts Here