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Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Everyone experiences anxiety. It is a natural human emotion. However this feeling can grow out of proportion to life and its events. It can begin to disrupt everyday life. If anxiety feels like it is taking over, you may have an anxiety disorder. If you have an anxiety disorder, you aren’t alone. The American Psychiatric Association[1] (APA) shares, “Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30 percent of adults at some point in their lives.” Many people face anxiety concerns. Many options exist for addressing this anxiety and moving forward in life. How you take these steps forward? Begin by understanding how anxiety affects your life. Look for anxiety disorder symptoms.

What Does an Anxiety Disorder Look Like?

anxiety disorder symptomsThere are several types of anxiety disorders. Each of these has slightly different symptoms. Your personal experience will vary from any list of symptoms. You don’t have to have all the symptoms listed. You may have some that aren’t on the list. There is no right or wrong way to have an anxiety disorder. Symptoms help you understand what you may or may not be facing. They give you an idea of questions to ask a professional. An assessment from a mental health professional will give you the most accurate diagnosis. This assessment will help you understand your options. Learn the symptoms of anxiety disorders. See how they affect your life. Take steps towards ending the influence these symptoms have on your life, your decisions, your health and your loved ones.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) involves persistent, disproportionate worry. It may even include spending significant amounts of time worrying about worrying. GAD makes it difficult to focus on concentrate. You may lose hours agonizing over decisions or simply thinking about what can go wrong. This form of anxiety disorder can even culminate in physical symptoms such as the following:

  • Headaches
  • Tension
  • Nausea
  • Exhaustion

You may not be able to identify one cause or worry. The focus of your anxiety may change frequently or over time. Your worries may vary in intensity. Generalized anxiety disorder is most easily recognized by its long-term presence in your life.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorders are marked by periods of intense fear. These periods include feelings of impending doom and loss of control. Like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders have intense physical symptoms as well. These include feeling like you are choking or having a heart attack. They include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations/pounding heart
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest pain

Panic disorder may cause you to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have happened in the past. They may limit where you go and what you do.

Other Anxiety Disorders

An anxiety disorder may take the form of a specific phobia. This involves intense, disproportionate fear specific objects, actions, or situations. You may go out of your way to avoid the source of your phobia. Social anxiety disorder involves fear of embarrassment in public and extreme self-consciousness in social situations. Separation anxiety disorder leads to extreme, persistent worry about being apart from someone. Anxiety takes many shapes and forms. The defining features of most anxiety disorders involve their impact on your life, choices, and actions and the presence of these symptoms for extended periods of time.

Shared Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorders share some symptoms. When anxiety disorders go untreated, they begin to impact every aspect of daily life. The APA shares, “Anxiety disorders can cause people into try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, school work and personal relationships can be affected.” Anxiety disorder symptoms begin to creep into all areas of life. Worry that once seemed “under control” or not a problem becomes problematic.

Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to or worsen other mental or physical health problems.

Co-occurring mental health issues and substance abuse are often a symptom of anxiety disorders. When anxiety is treated, these issues do not go away on their own. They need to be identified and addressed along with anxiety. The American Society of Addiction Medicine[2] explains, “In the past, dual diagnosis patients often received different treatment, depending on the setting in which they received services…The co-occurring disorder was expected to disappear when the ‘primary’ disorder was successfully treated.  This often failed to happen. If the patient became abstinent in addiction treatment without treatment of the patient’s psychiatric disorder, relapse of the psychiatric disorder often resulted in relapse of the substance dependence. If the psychiatric disorder was treated without attention to the substance use disorder, the patient often failed to respond to psychiatric treatment.” Co-occurring mental health concerns are a symptom of anxiety. They are also a cause. The complex relationships between mental health, addiction and physical health means treatment needs to take an integrated, holistic approach to recovery.

Anxiety disorder treatment begins with understanding symptoms. It begins with a professional assessment to identify where and how anxiety is affecting your life. Call The Canyon to learn more about your personal struggles and your options for moving past them. We specialize in treating co-occurring mental health and addiction issues. We are here to help you take steps towards a balanced, healthy life.


Sources

[1] https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders. “What Are Anxiety Disorders?” American Psychiatric Association. Jan 2017. Web. 21 Feb 2017.

[2] http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/16/co-occurring-addictive-and-psychiatric-disorders. “Co-Occurring Addictive and Psychiatric Disorders.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 1 Dec 2000. Web. 21 Feb 2017.


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