Anxiety. Behind this one small word lies a complex and common mental health diagnosis. In fact, about 40 million adults (nearly one in five) in the United States are affected by an anxiety disorder, and many kids struggle with excessive worry, too.
To give you an idea about everything that anxiety encompasses, the team of mental health experts at Live Life Wellness Clinic in Houston, Texas, focuses on three of the more common forms of this mental health issue here.
In general terms, anxiety is a condition in which the body’s natural fight-or-flight (stress) response has gone haywire. With GAD, this response gets stuck in the “On” position for the better part of six months, or more.
This anxiety goes far beyond excessive worrying and can manifest itself mentally and physically. On the mental side of GAD, you feel an overwhelming sense of worry or fear that’s often accompanied by a sense of impending doom. You might also be especially fearful and jumpy.
On the physical side of GAD, you could experience one or more of the following:
As if any combination of these symptoms wasn’t bad enough, GAD can also affect your cognitive function. You might struggle with concentration, focus, and memory.
Anxiety can manifest itself in amore severe way than the generalized form outlined above, which is the case with panic disorder. Instead of ongoing nervousness and unease, you experience acute bouts of anxiety and fear that cross over into panic.
These attacks can last for many minutes and bring on:
Panic attacks are so severe that they send scores of people to emergency rooms each year as they’re often mistaken for heart attacks.
There’s no timeline when it comes to panic attacks. They can occur many times a week or only several times a year.
This type of anxiety is one that’s more targeted and situational. Also called social phobia, this condition affects about 15 million adults, making it highly common.
As the name implies, social anxiety disorder is a condition in which you feel excessive worry about social situations, whether it’s a party or a job interview. You overworry about how people think of you, and you’re convinced they assume the worst. Fear of judgment, fear of being watched, fear of humiliation — these are all common with social anxiety disorder.
If you’ve experienced such feelings for more than six months and it’s affecting your ability to function, you likely have clinical social anxiety disorder.
No matter which type of anxiety has you in its grips, the good news is that we can help. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for anxiety, but most people respond well to a combination of approaches, including:
We also want to emphasize that it’s very important that you do seek help for your anxiety so you don’t develop bigger problems, such as a substance use disorder in an attempt to self-medicate.
For expert and compassionate help for your anxiety disorder, contact our team at Life Life Wellness to schedule a consultation. You can call our Houston office or click the “Book online” link on this website.