Despite the fact that many people are taking anxiety for granted, its occurrence is as common as the common flu. Stress affects a good number of individuals day in and day out. Though many people can balance and manage their anxiety attacks with positive coping mechanisms, there are some who have problems dealing with it. Symptoms of anxiety may differ from one person to another and may also lead to people adopting varying means to deal with their anxieties.
Anxiety Disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States (approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54) – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
We all understand that getting nervous and anxious can happen to anyone at any time. However, the problem starts when it becomes too frequent making your life very miserable. It is better to have yourself checked right away. Once anxiety crosses the line and becomes a disorder, it will make your life a living hell… literally.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder?
Symptoms may differ from one type of anxiety disorder to another. But all of them experience general symptoms which include:
- Feeling nervous, tense, and restless
- Sense of uneasiness, fear, and panic
- Sleeping problems
- Cold and sweaty hands or feet
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty staying still and relaxed
- Dry mouth
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
- Nausea, trembling, and dizziness
- Tension in the muscles
- Having a sense that danger, panic or doom is inevitable
- Feeling weak
- Difficulty concentrating on a task because the mind focuses on worrying
- Gastrointestinal problems may occur
- Uncontrollable worry over something
- Urges to avoid things that may cause anxiety
Take note of these symptoms and observe if they frequently occur to you.
People experiencing anxiety seldom consult a physician because of the fear of being criticized for their worries and problems. However, this should not be the case. If you do not seek help immediately, chances of your condition worsening are great. You must see your doctor if:
- Feelings of anxiety cause problems at the workplace, in your relationships and other aspects of your life and daily routines.
- A sense of fear, anxiety and worry are tough to control and become upsetting or uncomfortable.
- Depression is present, or you have suicidal tendencies and other means of self-inflicting injuries. If suicidal tendencies are present, do not delay treatment. Seek emergency treatment immediately to prevent grave consequences.
- Drug and other substance abuse.
- Other mental health conditions occur along with your anxiety concerns.
- Anxiety is caused by some physical health problem.
If you have an anxiety disorder, it does not only make you worry, but it also leads to other mental and physical conditions which may worsen your case and make treatment more complicated.
- Bowel or digestive problems
- Chronic pain and headaches
- Poor life quality
- Problems at school, work, and social gatherings
- Social isolation
- Suicidal tendencies
The symptoms of anxiety are very helpful in diagnosing your anxiety condition. Proper diagnosis will start by seeing your primary care doctor first and see if your anxiety attacks may be related to an underlying condition that may require treatment.
Consulting a psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions is often the best way to diagnose the disorder and get proper treatment. Having a psychologist on your medical team is also highly advisable because they help diagnose anxiety and provide psychotherapy or counseling services.
Just like most of the mental health conditions, the treatment for anxiety disorders comprises two key components: medication and psychotherapy. You and your doctor may choose either one of these two, but the most efficient treatment lies in combining both.
Do not be surprised if your doctor changes your treatment plan several times until he finds the perfect treatment for you. These treatments are usually trial and error where a course of treatment is effective for someone yet ineffective for another. Rest assured, however, that once the perfect treatment is identified for you, it will result in the improvement of your condition.
There are different medications used to treat anxiety depending on the type of anxiety disorder that you are suffering from, and if any other mental and physical health conditions occur alongside it.Drugs that can are used to treat symptoms of anxiety include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, low-dose antipsychotics, sedatives, and other anxiety-reducing drugs.
Psychotherapy helps alleviate anxiety symptoms through psychological counseling or talk therapy. People who experience anxiety attacks need someone to hear them out and assure them that everything is fine.The most effective form of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy where patients are taught specific skills to help reduce symptoms and gradually return to normal activities which have been avoided due to anxiety attacks.
3. Alternative Medicines
Some people depend on herbal and natural remedies for treating anxiety attacks. Surprising as it may be, there are different herbs which you can locate in your backyard (if you grow them) that help reduce anxiety symptoms. There are also some companies that produce ready-made capsules containing extracts of these herbal and dietary supplements that you can take daily. However, it is important to note that these are not always monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. It is also important to let your doctor know if you are taking or will take such alternative medicines because they can interfere with the other prescribed medications.