Anxiety disorders: When anxiety symptoms block your way
Everyone gets anxious at times. Anxiety or heightened arousal is a natural response to a stressor. But when anxiety symptoms become extreme or chronic, life can feel overwhelming, exhausting, just impossible.
Some common signs of anxiety:
- Are you worried or uneasy a lot of the time?
- Do you feel afraid or on your guard even though you know there is no unusual danger or threat?
- Is it hard to just relax, feel calm inside, have a truly quiet mind?
- Do you suffer from the physical effects of anxiety – heart palpitations, muscle weakness or tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headaches?
- Do you avoid things in life that trigger worry and distress?
You may have an anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, including social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder are some of the specific types of anxiety disorders.
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older every year – about 18% of the population. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety symptoms that last at least 6 months indicate an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders symptoms can get worse if they are not treated. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.
Kids suffer from anxiety disorders too. About 8 percent of teens ages 13-18 have an anxiety disorders, with anxiety symptoms commonly emerging around age 6. However, of these teens, only 18 percent received mental health care.
Assessment of anxiety disorders
Treatment of anxiety disorders
Even if you have suffered anxiety for years, you can find relief. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, you have many options for the treatment of anxiety, so that you can find the approach that is right for you. Individual psychotherapy, including cognitive behavior therapy and other approaches, is often effective. For kids, treatment would also involve family therapy so that parents can work with their child to help them overcome their fears and worries. Biofeedback is often helpful, including EEG biofeedback or neurofeedback. Learn more.