Introduction to Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety itself is actually a symptom- it is the uncontrollable feeling of worry- and anxiety can be a symptom of many other conditions.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
Most people feel anxious or worried in their lifetime, especially during stressful periods. However for some people, they do not feel like they can escape these feelings of anxiety and feel like their emotions are out of control. Anxiety itself is actually a symptom- it is the uncontrollable feeling of worry- and anxiety can be a symptom of many other conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, social anxiety disorder or even severe phobias.
What causes an Anxiety Disorder?
Due to the complex hormone and neurological processes that happen in our bodies it is not fully understood why some people feel anxious and some don’t. Sometimes anxiety disorder is caused by over activity of the chemicals in the brain. Often having anxiety disorder can manifest after a particularly stressful or traumatic experience, from excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs and can even be inherited from your parents.
What are the symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety can have both physical and psychological symptoms. So you may experience things like feeling sweaty, heart palpitations, dizziness, loss of concentration or trouble sleeping. Similarly the psychological symptoms are things like an inescapable feeling of worry, dread, sadness, fear and many other strong emotions. You may also experience these symptoms in response to a stimulus, for instance if you have claustrophobia and are put in a small space.
How are Anxiety Disorders treated?
Anxiety disorder is a long term condition, but there are several treatment options available to help you feel as though your symptoms are under control. Firstly your doctor may recommend a self-help course, this can either be done by seeing a therapist, in a group setting or even as an online course. These courses help you identify when and why you feel anxious and help you understand and control your emotions. If you do not find this helpful your doctor may recommend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This is a therapy where you talk to a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist to work through your behaviours and how you react to certain events. Sometimes you may be prescribed medication alongside any of these treatments, medication can help control the hormones that make you feel anxious.