While it’s normal for each of us to experience bouts of anxiety from time to time, there are many who experience such intense anxiety symptoms that it disrupts their daily life. Anxiety disorder can stem from death, divorce, poor sleep habits, crowded areas and workplace pressures, and symptoms can range from panic attacks to fear of everyday places and people. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to meet with a medical professional so that your symptoms and triggers can be understood and a treatment plan can be created for you. Find out how a functional medicine visit can help you overcome your anxiety and find peace in your life again with this guide!
Types of Anxiety
One of the most common mood disorders is anxiety, which is characterized by feelings of nervousness or worry that distract you from everyday life and living. Anxiety often occurs before a big event or when participating in something with an outcome that is uncertain. Anxiety can develop after the death of a loved one, divorce and job loss, plus it can increase during stressful social situations, crowded areas and while working. There are a multitude of anxiety disorders that a person can experience, and approximately 40 million of the U.S. population (18%) have at least one of them. The most common forms of anxiety include generalized anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder and phobia-related disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder experience excessive anxiety symptoms nearly every day for at least six months, with worries including work, health and everyday social interactions. Their excessive symptoms impede their ability to function during normal events and experiences as they have higher feelings of restlessness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and muscle tension. Panic disorder describes those who experience frequent panic attacks brought on by a stressful or fearful situation. During a panic attack, one might suffer from heart palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, sweating and feeling out of control. Lastly, phobia-related disorders focus on an intense fear or aversion of an object or situation. Some phobias include a fear of heights, blood, needles or animals, while other phobias deal with social situations or separation anxiety. Agoraphobia is a common phobia-related disorder that involves having a fear of being in open or enclosed spaces, being outside or using public transportation. These phobias often push people to avoid their fears, experience excessive or irrational feelings towards said object or situation and feel intense anxiety when confronted with the thing that they fear. Each of these types of anxiety are debilitating in nature and can cause serious harm to a person’s social and familial relationships, their ability to work and even how they function day-to-day.
Signs and Risk Factors
How you feel when living with anxiety will entirely depend on which form you are experiencing. Those with separation anxiety will feel intense feelings that something will happen to the person they are attached to if they are not with them 24/7, while those with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) feel compelled to act or perform in a certain way to ease their anxiety, such as excessive cleaning, checking and arranging things around them. However, most people that deal with anxiety disorder in some form typically experience bouts of sleep disturbances, testiness, dizziness, impaired concentration, breathing difficulty, trembling and drowsiness. Some people experience only one of these symptoms while others deal with multiple on a daily basis. The frequency and intensity of symptoms are often determined by the level of anxiety the person experiences and whether or not they are being treated for their disorder. However, there are certain risk factors that one can have that increases their likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. Genetic and environmental risks influence one’s anxiety levels, such as family history of mental illness or anxiety disorders, exposure to stressful events during childhood, shyness and even physical health conditions, like heart arrhythmias and thyroid problems. Caffeine and certain medications also increase anxiety symptoms and should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor and with your knowledge of their potential side effects.
How You Can Find Peace Again
Now that we understand the different types of anxiety, how they present themselves and the risk factors that influence their development, it’s time to learn how to overcome your symptoms. Of course, there are different anti-anxiety medications that you can be prescribed, depending on your situation, but medication only covers the symptoms instead of resolving them. Anti-anxiety medications can cause dependency and withdrawal when stopped, but they are effective for many people as they ease feelings of fear, worry and panic attacks. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people how to think, feel and react around triggering objects and situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps the patient identify the distorted thoughts that form their anxiety and eventually challenge and neutralize them. Ultimately, though, the best way to treat your anxiety and find peace again is through a medical evaluation with a medical professional. Doctors and their counterparts are trained in identifying and treating anxiety disorders and can direct you to the best form of therapy for your specific situation. Our bodies have intricate webs of biochemical, hormonal, biological, metabolic and psychological relationships, which make it difficult to prescribe one treatment or medication over another for your circumstances. That’s why it’s imperative that you meet with your doctor for an in-depth evaluation to determine what makes you tick through a holistic approach.
De-Stress Your Life With Our Help!
At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, we care about your mental health and want to help you overcome your anxiety to live a happy, fulfilling life. If you’re sick of being a prisoner to your anxiety, call our office at (970) 631-8286 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alessi and her staff. We put your needs and wants at the center of your treatment plan to ensure that you feel comfortable throughout the entire process. Don’t wait to find peace in your life-call today to get your health back on track!