Anxiety Disorders Explained

Occasional anxiety is a part of most people’s lives. You may feel anxious about facing an issue at work, get worried about a health problem or even dread a big presentation. The once-in-awhile feeling of dread, worry, and stress is familiar for most people and usually goes away once the stressful issues are resolved. However, when one suffers from an anxiety disorder, those exhausting feelings are consistent and actually can get worse over time. The term “Anxiety” is a general one and actually encompasses multiple disorders that vary in complexity and severity. Despite anxiety being a widespread issue, it can be treated and managed successfully with the help of talk therapy, stress reduction, and the thoughtful use of medication.

Anxiety is defined by a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. This term is a general one and encompasses multiple disorders with varying degrees of severity and complexity. Some of the most common anxiety disorders include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Defined by excessive anxiety or worry for long periods of time coupled with many anxiety-related symptoms such as:

Feeling fatigued
Muscle tension
Inability to concentrate
Feeling on edge
Sleep issues

Panic Disorder:
Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and recurrent panic attacks that trigger episodes of intense fear, sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and the feeling of impending doom.

Social Anxiety:
Social anxiety encompasses a specific fear of social situations in which the sufferer expects to feel embarrassed, rejected, or made fun of. Sufferers of social anxiety disorder typically feel anxious about being in social situations and avoid social interaction when possible.

Do you or a loved one suffer from any of the above anxiety disorders? They’re common in a world that’s faced paced and ruled by technology. Despite the ubiquitous nature of these disorders, there are proven ways to rise above anxiety and live a worry-free life. Consider the following therapies to help cope with your anxiety:

Stress management: If your anxiety seems to rear its ugly head when you’re feeling most stressed, stress management techniques may be a significant first step to help you cope with an anxiety disorder. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises or positive thinking can help melt stress away and curb your issues with anxiety at the same time.

Talk therapy: Talk therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy are useful ways to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety disorders. A licensed therapist will guide you through exercises used to strengthen your mind and help reduce stress.

Medication: If you’ve tried talk therapy and stress management but still have issues with any of the above anxiety disorders, medication may be a good avenue to explore. The thoughtful use of medication prescribed by your therapist is a great way to get your anxiety under control when other methods are ineffective.

No matter what option you want to try to help cope with your anxiety, talking to your therapist is the first step to leading an anxiety free life.

Couples Counseling Boulder by Therapist Christy Weller, Psy.D. Also specializing in Psychotherapy and Psychological Assessment Services.

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