It is normal for people to experience occasional anxiety in their lives. But, those who struggle with anxiety disorders will often experience excessive, intense, and persistent fear and worry about everyday situations. Frequently, people with anxiety disorders will experience repeated episodes of intense anxiety and terror or fear that come on suddenly and reach a peak within minutes. These episodes are known as panic attacks.
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People tend to avoid situations or places to prevent experiencing these feelings. People may start experiencing symptoms during their childhood or teenage years and continue experiencing them into adulthood.
There are various types of anxiety. Whatever form of anxiety an individual experiences, there are anxiety treatment centers like California Care Recovery that can provide effective treatment to help improve their symptoms and quality of life.
What to Expect:
One of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Typically, CBT is used as a short-term treatment in which participants are taught specific skills to improve their symptoms and slowly return to the activities they've been avoiding due to their anxiety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is included in CBT, where the person gradually encounters the situation or object that triggers their anxiety to build confidence that they can manage the anxiety symptoms and the situation.
Anxiety disorder treatments can be incredibly effective at helping people manage their anxiety symptoms. People learn how to incorporate healthy coping skills into their daily activities. As a result, they are able to live fuller and healthier lives.
For instance, they may prescribe:
- An anti-anxiety medication
- Certain antidepressants used to treat anxiety disorders
- Other types of medications like benzodiazepines (sedatives), or beta-blockers, in limited circumstances and for short-term relief only
Can Anxiety Harm the Body?
Chronic anxiety causes physical stress on a person's body, particularly to their immune, digestive, cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems. It can increase a person's heart rate and breathing in the short term, concentrating blood flow to their brain when they need it. This is a physical response that prepares people to face intense situations.
Anyone at any stage of their life can develop an anxiety disorder, but typically anxiety disorders begin around 21 years of age. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), women are more likely to develop anxiety disorders than men.
Stressful situations and negative life experiences can increase a person's risk for an anxiety disorder. They may begin experiencing symptoms right away or years later. Having a substance use disorder or serious medical condition can also result in the individual developing an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is marked by intense worry about day-to-day things, which typically aren't a source of continuous dread for most other individuals. For instance, an individual may worry that while they are walking to work, another person may knock a heavy object out of the above window accidentally and knock them unconscious. Even though it's highly unlikely that this event will occur, it is possible and that's all the individual needs to know to start excessively worrying about it.
In individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, this type of excessive worrying isn't uncommon. Along with this excessive worrying, they may also experience frequent worrisome, unwanted thoughts or heart palpitations.
This type of anxiety disorder is marked by panic attacks which are sudden waves of terror that cause a person to experience difficulty breathing. Their body may convulse as well, and the individual may think they're dying. Panic attacks typically subside after around 30 minutes, but they can leave the person feeling fatigued and unable to move forward with their day.
While it's not out of the ordinary for individuals to experience a panic attack once or a couple of times in their lifetime, repeated weekly or monthly attacks are a sign of Panic Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This condition develops after an individual experiences or witnesses something traumatic. They can begin experiencing symptoms immediately or their symptoms may be delayed for years. Common PTSD triggers include natural disasters, war, or a physical attack. Episodes of PTSD can also be triggered without warning.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This condition involves an individual experiencing a fear of social situations that is so bad it's paralyzing. They fear being humiliated or judged by other people. It's a severe social phobia that can leave people alone and ashamed.
Around 12.1% of American adults experience this type of anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime. Over a third of individuals with social anxiety disorder wait years (even over a decade) before they seek help.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD leads to repeated, unwanted rituals and thoughts that disrupt day-to-day living. For instance, if a person has OCD, they may leave their home worried that they left their oven on. Even after they return home three or four times, it will still not convince them that their oven is, in fact, off.
Certain coping mechanisms of OCD are rituals that will keep something "bad" from occurring. For example, a person will repeatedly wash their hands to prevent disease.
Learn More About Anxiety With
We provide our patients with all the tools and resources they require to recover from their anxiety and move on to living a life of happiness. Our comprehensive treatment program is designed to help people who suffer from anxiety.
Contact us to learn about our Orange County anxiety treatment center and how we can help you recover from your anxiety.