Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. Anxiety can mean nervousness, worry, or self-doubt. Sometimes, the cause of anxiety is easy to spot, while other times it may not be. Everyone feels some level of anxiety once in a while. But overwhelming, recurring, or “out of nowhere” dread can deeply impact people.
Signs and Symptoms:
Anxiety can cause intrusive or obsessive thoughts. A person with anxiety may feel confused or find it hard to concentrate. Feeling restless or frustrated can also be a sign of anxiety. Other people with anxiety may feel depressed.
Symptoms of anxiety can also be physical:
- overly tense muscles, or
- high blood pressure.
- a racing heartbeat,
- dizziness, and
- insomnia can also come from anxiety.
- digestive problems,
- difficulty breathing, and nausea.
TYPES OF ANXIETY
Anxiety is at the root of many mental health conditions, including panic attacks and phobias. It is often directly related to other conditions, like obsessions and compulsions, PTSD, and depression. In addition to generalized anxiety, the DSM-5 lists the following mental health issues as anxiety disorders:
- Separation anxiety: Can be characterized by reluctance to leave home or be apart from parents and anxiety when separated from parents.
- Selective mutism: Selective mutism means not speaking at all in only some situations. This may cause issues with academic, work, or social success.
- Panic: Panic disorder is diagnosed by recurring panic attacks, including physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Specific phobias: Phobias are fear surrounding a certain object or situation, that the person avoids.
- Social anxiety: People with social anxiety feel fear or anxiety in social situations. The fear is often out of proportion to the threat, and people with social anxiety may avoid social situations.
- Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia can include fear of being in open or enclosed spaces, leaving one’s house, and being in crowds or using public transportation.
- Medication/substance-induced anxiety: This condition is diagnosed by anxiety that seems to be directly caused by exposure to certain substances, like caffeine or alcohol. The anxiety could also be caused by medication.
Therapies for Anxiety
Types of therapy that are often used to treat anxiety include:
- Biofeedback: This type of therapy uses bodily awareness to treat anxiety. It can help people understand how they react to anxiety physically.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): MBCT brings mindfulness practices to cognitive behavioral therapy. It has been shown to reduce anxiety by helping people increase their self-awareness in therapy.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): This type of therapy is often used for “difficult to treat” conditions. It may help people with severe anxiety stabilize, explore their anxiety, improve their quality of life, and maintain a sense of well-being.
- Psychodynamic therapy: Psychodynamic therapy can help people with anxiety by bringing their attention to their own thought patterns and habits. It may also encourage delving into the subconscious to get to the root cause of the anxiety.
- Eye movement desensitization resolution (EMDR): EMDR uses eye movement techniques to help people access difficult memories and can be helpful in treating anxiety.
- Support groups
- Stress Management techniques