Anxiety is a normal emotion that most people experience at some time or another as a response to stress or fear. However, excessive and disproportionate anxiety is not normal. An anxiety disorder is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged and unwarranted anxiousness that significantly hinders functioning, happiness, and/or sociality. It is sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, fatigue, and muscle tension. If your anxiety is affecting your ability to function on a daily basis, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Common Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are many types of anxiety disorders. One of the most common types is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), in which the sufferer has a pervasive sense of worry, even when there is little or no real cause for concern. Other types of anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Experts tend to agree that anxiety disorders are caused by a combination of biological, physical, social, and environmental factors.
Managing and Recovering from Anxiety
Recovering from anxiety begins with acknowledging the problem and seeking help. You can be formally diagnosed by a doctor, who will also be able to guide you to the most effective treatment plans. Some people will require anti-anxiety medication, and others will not. In either case, however, clinical experts agree that persons suffering from anxiety disorders should seek the help of a qualified counselor. In counseling, you can discern the particular sources of your anxiety and learn strategies to manage and break the cycle of anxious thoughts.
Maintaining healthy relationships while suffering from anxiety can be difficult, and the particular challenges will depend on the type and severity of your anxiety. Relational anxiety can often be expressed as jealousy, clinginess, or impulsivity. Persons suffering from social anxiety disorder often find it difficult to build relationships at all. But for all anxiety sufferers, relationships are a crucial part of healing and growing.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment Options
By Taylor Henderson,
Posted February 14th, 2019
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Most of us are familiar with various symptoms of anxiety, such as a nervous stomach, racing pulse, restlessness, or worrying thoughts in response to a stressor. Almost everyone can think of a new experience, challenging conversation, or scary situation that elicited these reactions.
At times, anxiety is highly beneficial; it alerts us to harm, protects us from potential danger, and heightens our ability to react as needed to specific situations. However, anxiety is problematic when it occurs excessively and gets in the way of living the life we want.
If you or a loved one has experienced an anxiety disorder, you may know firsthand the way anxiety can take over your life and consume your thoughts. Or, you may be experiencing anxiety symptoms acutely for the first time and wondering what you can do to get your life back. The good news is, there is hope and there are a number of effective treatments available.
First, it is helpful to distinguish anxiety from fear, and to distinguish anxiety as a diagnosable disorder from anxiety as a typical part of the human experience.
Anxiety Compared to Fear
Fear and anxiety have similarities as well as important distinctions. Looking at similarities, both fear and anxiety can elicit similar physiological responses geared toward protecting us from danger. In terms of differences, according to the DSM-5, fear is an “emotional response to real or perceived imminent threat” while anxiety is “anticipation of a future threat.”
How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety Symptoms? What Should I Do?
By Maryann Stigen,
Posted February 6th, 2019
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Why are so many Americans plagued with anxiety symptoms? Why are the statistics of anxiety so much higher in America compared to worldwide figures?
My hypothesis is that here in America, we glamorize busyness. We put such an emphasis on living to work instead of working to live. It is completely countercultural to many other places in the world, where they value time spent with friends and family over time spent at work making money.
Americans are famous for vacationing far less than our global counterparts, and allowing millions of dollars per year in vacation time to go unused. Additionally, we are a very fast-paced culture in which we value on-demand services, fast food, same-day delivery, etc. The idea of waiting or being still is just not in our nature.
Could this be one of the reasons why we are more prone to anxiety than other people throughout the world?
Consequences of Anxiety Symptoms
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has this to say about the “Functional Consequences of Generalized Anxiety Disorder”:
“Excessive worrying impairs the individual’s capacity to do things quickly and efficiently, whether at home or at work. The worrying takes time and energy; the associated symptoms of muscle tension and feeling keyed up or on edge, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep contribute to the impairment.
Importantly, the excessive worrying may impair the ability of individuals with generalized anxiety disorder to encourage confidence in their children. Generalized Anxiety Disorder accounts for
By Dr Gary Bell,
Posted January 18th, 2019
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Depression is one of the most solvable diagnoses in Mental Health. Primarily, it is driven by the thought disorder of having expectations that are far too high and unreasonable for yourself or others. However, it has genetic components that can be overwhelming also.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can show itself as:
having a lack of contact with self
feelings of apathy
a constant nagging feeling
seeking comfort (through something like food or shopping)
being frequently moody
experiencing chronic sleepiness
having a lack of concentration
. . . and so many other symptoms. In young children, depression is usually manifested in the form of regular irritability.
Preferences Versus Expectations
To get a handle on what drives depression, we need to make our expectations conscious by writing them down and challenging them. Expectations come with a lot of weighted emotions that get in our way. (For example, if I expect a kiss goodbye when my wife is preoccupied, then I will probably dwell on the hurt and question her love.) If a prefer a kiss, then no harm done.
Preferences let loose of our need to control outcomes. They accept the basic concept of life that we are not perfect and cannot control others. We influence through preferences, which is all we are entitled. We no longer have to make decisions by how we feel.
The other key is to be a good listener and validate others. “I understand,”