Affecting nearly 40 million Americans, the fear and excessive worry that accompanies anxiety disorders can have a serious impact on daily life. While everyone experiences normal anxiety when preparing for a job interview or a speech, when that anxiety begins to permeate everyday life, it is a good indication that an anxiety disorder is present.
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
The anxiety definition varies from one person to the next, depending on the anxiety disorder he or she has. However, one thing that remains constant across different anxiety disorders is the intense and persistent fear and worry that those suffering from these conditions have.
The signs of anxiety are frequent, and are marked by sudden feelings of fear, worry and intense anxiety that can’t be controlled, even when there is no immediate danger or threat. These feelings become so intense that they begin interfering with normal daily activities, and if left untreated, the condition can make participating in daily life difficult.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Social Anxiety Disorder – Causes feelings of intense self-consciousness and overwhelming anxiety in everyday social activities.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Marked by excessive worry and anxiety that occur frequently, even when no danger is present.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Sufferers have uncontrollable and unreasonable fears and thoughts that result in repetitive behaviors, such as uncontrollable hand washing, constant rechecking of appliances or incessant cleaning.
- Panic Disorder – Sudden fear that occurs when no danger is present, which can lead to feelings of being unable to breathe, or even as if you are having a heart attack.
- Phobias – Irrational fear of specific things, such as open spaces, crowds of people or even spiders or clowns.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Occurs in some people who have witnessed or experienced a terrifying or traumatic event.
The symptoms of anxiety in each of these disorders can differ, but each can become debilitating to the point that normal life is difficult or impossible due to fear and anxiety.
Those suffering from these disorders often wonder how to deal with anxiety and how to overcome anxiety. One of the most beneficial parts of treatment is psychotherapy, which involves both speaking with a mental health provider and learning about your condition and the potential causes. Relaxation, stress management techniques, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy are other forms of treatment that complement counseling.
Discover how you can overcome anxiety and learn effective, proven treatments with a Bellevue Counselor & Hypnotherapist.
Anxiety & Depression Association of America