What Does Anxiety Looks Like

What Does Anxiety Looks Like

Unquestionably, the term “anxiety” has been commonly heard before but truly understanding what it entails to experience this condition is a different matter. Anxiety generally manifests as a persistent feeling of worry or an unusually heightened sense of dread. While it’s entirely normal to feel worry or stress occasionally, classified anxiety disorder is differentiated as it significantly disrupts your everyday routine and lifestyle.

In fact, this isn’t an uncommon condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) places the number of global anxiety sufferers at approximately 1 in 13 people, this makes it the leading mental health issue globally. If you think you might be dealing with anxiety, there is some comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone; there are also numerous clinically-proven treatments for dealing with anxiety.

The perception and manifestation of anxiety can differ significantly among individuals. However, certain symptoms are popularly seen among people experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD):

Mental Symptoms include:

Persistent tension and irritability
A continued state of depression
Routine expectation of the worst outcomes
Constant worrying
The need for reassurance from others
Disassociation from reality (The perception of the world or situations being unreal)
Feeling disconnected from oneself

Physical Symptoms:

Frequent fainting spells or disorientation
Feeling too warm or excessive sweating
Elevated heart rate
Experiencing panic attacks
Digestive problems
Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
Nausea or stomach pain
Constant body aches
Chronic fatigue or weakness.
Sleep disturbances like insomnia
Changes in sexual desire

Understanding Your Specific Anxiety Type:

Anxiety comes in numerous forms and it’s crucial to pinpoint exactly what type you might be experiencing in order to correctly tackle and treat it.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is widely considered as the most frequently encountered form of anxiety disorder and is typically what individuals associate with when they state they “have anxiety.” People enduring GAD typically grapple with worry and anxiety, even in the absence of stressful stimuli. Worst-case outlooks are often anticipated and controlling these pessimistic thoughts and emotions often proves challenging. GAD can be extremely detrimental to daily life as its inherent and boundless worry might render focusing on tasks or goals almost impossible, inhibit relationships, disrupt sleeping patterns and dietary habits, and hinder everyday tasks and responsibilities.

Social Anxiety is defined as an extreme fear of interacting in social circumstances and public speaking. Those with social anxiety often worry about becoming targets of ridicule, criticism, or judgement by others. Particularly stressful situations can involve interacting with new people or being in large crowd environments. Individuals with social anxiety might find it very daunting to meet new people, go on dates, give public speeches, initiate spontaneous conversations, or eat in public. Many might find such situations non-threatening, yet for a social anxiety sufferer, they could be overwhelmingly distressing.

Panic Disorder as the name suggests, is characterized by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. Even if you’ve heard of panic attacks, it’s important to know that they can constitute part of a clinically diagnosable mental health disorder if recurrently experienced. Panic attacks can be terrifying events that can severely disrupt daily life. Associated symptoms might involve palpitations, uncontrollable trembling, hyperventilation, and a feeling of being disoriented. These symptoms can strike abruptly and induce overwhelming anxiety and intense fear. However frightening these episodes may be, remember that a panic attack in itself is not fatal.

Treatment:

Multi-pronged treatment approaches are often necessary for managing anxiety as every individual responds uniquely to various treatment methods. Therapy and medication are most commonly used for treating anxiety, though these are not the only solutions.

Therapy for Anxiety:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as a very effective therapy and is often used for treating conditions of depression and anxiety. The objective is to identify and disrupt recurrent negative thought cycles, thereby initiating change in feelings, behaviors, and emotional state.

Applied Relaxation Therapy:

This therapeutic technique is effective for addressing the physical symptoms linked with anxiety by teaching how to recognize anxiety-triggering situations and apply muscle relaxation practices.

Anxiety Medications:

For some, therapy by itself might not offer sufficient relief. In such cases, medication could be an effective approach for those with severe symptoms or where therapeutic interventions haven’t led to notable improvement. Medication-based treatment duration can vary from short term (until symptoms reduce) to longer term, spanning several years. Considering that medication has a different effect on every individual and can also lead to a range of side effects, professional medical consultation is essential before starting or discontinuing any medication.

Having a good understanding of your own mental health and available treatment options is vital for effective self-care.

If you’re prepared to tackle your anxiety, we’re with you all the way! Our professional therapists at New Vision Counseling and Consulting, highly trained in helping manage anxiety, are here to assist you in overcoming your anxiety and creating the life you envision. Take the next step by calling us at (405) 921-7776. We’re looking forward to working with you and helping improve your mental health soon. We hope to meet you soon!

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