Anxiety can be a normal emotion, and sometimes can even be healthy, but when a person feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, they may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is defined as an emotion that is often characterized by worried thoughts and feelings of tension. There are physical changes that are associated with anxiety, such as increased blood pressure. Mild anxiety can be unsettling, but severe anxiety can affect your day-to-day life. Anxiety disorders are common and can affect 40 million people in the country, and it’s the most common group of mental illness. However, less than half the people that have an anxiety disorder receive any treatment.
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include restlessness and feeling on edge, feelings of worry that are uncontrollable, difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, difficulty with concentration, and increased irritability. These are all symptoms that can be experienced in daily life, but people with an anxiety disorder experience more persistent levels and these symptoms can disrupt everyday life.
There are different types of anxiety disorders. A generalized anxiety disorder involves long lasting worries and anxiety about non-specific events and situations. This is one of the most common types, and people aren’t always able to figure out the cause of the anxiety. A panic disorder occurs when there are sudden attacks of terror, and these attacks can lead to nausea, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Panic disorders can occur without a trigger and individuals can even interpret this as a life-threatening illness. Selective mutism occurs in some children with anxiety and they aren’t able to speak in certain contexts, such as at school. Social anxiety disorder occurs because of a fear of negative judgment in social situations. Those with social anxiety may experience different feelings, including stage fright and anxiety around rejection or humiliation. Agoraphobia is a fear and avoidance of certain situations, events, or places where it can be difficult to escape. This disorder can be hard to explain and people who suffer can have a fear of using public transport or leaving the home.
Many people can experience feelings of sadness or depression, which can be a normal reaction to struggles in life or loss. However, when the sadness feeling lasts for weeks and keeps individuals from living everyday life, depression may be the cause.
Individuals have to experience at least five symptoms for more than two weeks to be diagnosed with depression. Some of these symptoms include experiencing a depressed mood for most of the day, feeling tired and lacking energy, feeling worthless or guilt, having a hard time remembering specific details, difficulty with making decisions or focusing, sleeping too much or too little, thinking about death or suicide, having a lack of interest in many activities, feeling slowed down or restless, or gaining or losing weight. Other feelings can include restlessness, feeling irritable, or having aches and pains, cramps, or digestive problems that don’t get better with any treatment. Not everyone will have the same symptoms and symptoms can happen in patterns, such as with a change in seasons.
Treatment for anxiety and depression is often done at the same time because the conditions are treated similarly. Therapy should be tailored to an individual, so that it can help reduce the symptoms. Psychotherapy is often effective. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps replace negative thought patterns with more useful ones. Therapy can help an individual focus on taking specific steps to overcome depression and anxiety, and often involves facing the fears directly.
Medication can also be an effective treatment. Medications can include serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
It’s important to find treatment that will cater to individual needs. Treatment should include a combination of therapy and medication. Medication maintenance is important, in order to avoid relapses and to ensure lifelong treatment. 2nd Chance Treatment offers a combination of treatment for mental health conditions that include medical management and follow up sessions. We have depression and anxiety treatment locations convenient to Mesa, as well as other cities around Arizona.