With the routine stresses and strains of modern living, everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life. It’s when anxiety about everyday situations become intense, excessive, and persistent that it’s time to seek professional mental help.
Anxiety disorders often manifest themselves in repeated episodes of intense fear or terror that escalate to panic attacks within minutes. Despite being out of proportion to actual danger, these hypersensitive feelings of panic and anxiety can be difficult to control and can interfere with daily activities and quality of life.
Often, anxiety disorders start during one’s childhood or teenage years and continue well into adulthood. In any case, anxiety disorders require professional mental health care. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder, so you know when to seek care.
Examples of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders come in many forms, including generalized anxiety disorder, social and other phobias, and separation anxiety. Common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder include:
- Feeling tense, nervous, or restless
- Feeling a sense of impending danger, or panicking
- A sudden, increased heart rate
- Feeling weak or tired
- Having trouble concentrating
- Being unable to think about anything other than what is worrying you
- Having trouble sleeping
- Suffering gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- An inability to control your worrying
- Feeling compelled to avoid the things that trigger your anxiety
The causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood, but may be the result of a traumatic experience, an inherited trait, or an underlying health issue such as heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, a respiratory disorder, chronic pain, or misuse or withdrawal from alcohol, anti-anxiety medication, or other drugs. It can also be a side effect of certain prescription medication.
The problem is that an anxiety disorder can lead to, or worsen, other mental or physical condition, such as depression, substance abuse, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, social isolation, a poorer quality of life, and – in extreme cases – suicide. As such, it should not be ignored or go untreated.
How Anxiety Disorders Are Treated
There are two principal types of treatment for anxiety disorders that mental healthcare professionals often combine:
- Psychotherapy – Also known as talk therapy, this involves working with a therapist to address anxiety symptoms. The most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on learning specific skills to improve your symptoms and enable you to gradually return to the activities you’ve been avoiding due to anxiety. As a part of CBT, exposure therapy is used to have you gradually face the object or situation that is triggering your anxiety in order to build confidence and manage the situation and your anxiety symptoms.
- Medications – There are several types of medications that are designed to help relieve anxiety symptoms, depending on your specific disorder. These include certain antidepressants, buspirone (an anti-anxiety medication), and, in limited circumstances, sedatives, also known as beta blockers, that provide short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. If you seek treatment for an anxiety disorder, speak with your doctor about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of medications.
Anxiety Treatment in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado
At Denver Wellness Associates, our highly skilled team of board-certified mental health professionals provide the highest quality treatment for anxiety disorders, as well as other mental health issues.
For more information, contact us today by calling or texting us at (720) 724-3668, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by simply requesting an appointment now using our interactive online form. We look forward to improving your quality of life by providing the behavioral health psychiatric care you need.