Most of us feel anxious in anticipation of certain events, such as exams or job interviews. Worries in these situations are completely natural – and can even help us to focus on the task at hand. But when the dreaded event is over, the worries usually pass.
Anxiety disorders however are different. The worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling.
APPOTEK can help you if you suffer from anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions or mental illnesses, each having unique symptoms. The main types are:
Phobias. A phobia is the persistent fear of a situation, activity, or thing that causes the sufferer to want to avoid it. The three main types of phobias are social phobia (fear of public speaking, meeting new people or other social situations), agoraphobia (fear of being outside), and specific phobias (fear of other items or situations)
These give intense fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. For example, a certain animal, confined spaces or fear of injections.
Generalized anxiety disorder. GAD causes excessive worry and fear around multiple, everyday situations. A typical symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is excessive worry about the future and an expectation of imminent disaster.
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, fear of new attacks, and changes in behavior during the attacks.
Social anxiety disorder is an excessive fear of how one is perceived by others. Fear often leads to avoiding social situations which, in turn, means an inability to function effectively at work or in everyday situations.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out these behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts.
All anxiety disorders share some general symptoms: Panic, fear, and uneasiness. Often, the anxiety is so great that it causes physical symptoms as well, including:
- dry mouth
- pressure in the chest area.
Prevention and protection
Lifestyle changes can be an effective way to relieve some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Most of these natural “remedies” consist of caring for your body, participating in healthy activities, and eliminating unhealthy habits. For example:
- getting enough sleep
- staying active and exercising
- eating a healthy diet
- avoiding alcohol
- avoiding caffeine
- quitting smoking cigarettes
Once you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, you can explore treatment options with your doctor. For some, medical treatment isn’t necessary. Lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms. In more severe cases however, medical treatment may be necessary to lead a more manageable day-to-day life.
Treatment for anxiety falls into two categories: psychotherapy and medication. Meeting with a therapist or psychologist can give you tools and strategies to cope with anxiety as it occurs. Medications typically used to treat anxiety include antidepressants and sedatives. They work to balance brain chemistry, prevent episodes of anxiety, and ward off the most severe symptoms of the disorder.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is very effective for anxiety disorders and is a first line treatment.
Based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle, CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts, so you can change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
When to consult a doctor
If you feel severely stressed and have anxiety, heart palpitations or problems with sleep, or feel that stress affects your work and everyday life, you should seek help.
How APPOTEK can help
- Psychological treatment
- Individual assessment and prescription of medicines if needed.