What is Anxiety: Symptoms and Treatment
Anxiety is a normal emotion. One may feel nervous when facing a problem at work, before appearing for an exam, or while making some important decision.
However, Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses and totally different. The distress caused in such disorder can keep you from carrying on with life normally.
It can be of four types:
PANIC DISORDER: A terror that strikes at random, making you sweat, feel palpitations and have chest pain.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER: Also called social phobia, this makes you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations.
SPECIFIC PHOBIAS: Intense fear of a specific object or situation, which may go beyond appropriate and avoidable level.
GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER: Extreme, unrealistic worry and tension for no reason, or for things that are negligible.
All kinds of anxiety disorders involve some similar symptoms. These include:
- Fear, panic and restlessness
- Sleeping problems
- Unable to stay calm and still
- Cold and numb, sometimes sweaty and tingling hands or feet
- Dyspnea or shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
Similar to all psychological disorders, anxiety is also treated via medication and therapy. This include:
- MEDICATION: Anxiety disorders can be treated with drugs like antidepressants including escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluoxetine (Prozac). Drugs like anxiolytics can also help lower anxiety like alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin). Low-dose anti psychotic drugs and certain anti convulsant medicines can also help in treatments to work better.
- PSYCHOTHERAPY: It is a counselling that addresses the emotional response to mental illness. Under this, a mental health specialist helps you understand and deal with your anxiety disorder by talking. A type of psychotherapy Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, helps you identify and alter the thoughts and behaviors that trigger deep anxiety.
Most patients try different combinations of these treatments to control or treat anxiety disorders.