Stress is an inevitable part of being human. Whether it’s a temporary issue or something that changes the entire course of your personal journey, it’s natural to be anxious about what the future holds.
However, experiencing persistent fear or worry, even if you have no known causes of stress, may be a sign of an undiagnosed anxiety disorder.
Nearly 30% of people will experience an anxiety disorder during adulthood. Although anxiety is treatable, there are multiple types of disorders that have overlapping symptoms and a wide range of underlying causes, including genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors. This can make it difficult to know whether your body is reacting to stress or you unknowingly have a medical issue that requires treatment from a mental health professional.
Our providers at Rural Psychiatry Associates test, diagnose, and treat all types of anxiety disorders. To help you determine if you should consider scheduling an appointment with us, we’ve highlighted some basic information about the most common anxiety disorders below.
Common Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Excessive worrying about your job, health, relationships, or other aspects of your daily life can be a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder. Many people have this disorder without realizing it, because they are still able to leave the house, maintain relationships, socialize with others, and go to work. However, they may frequently have intrusive thoughts about real and imaginary scenarios that cause a range of physical symptoms, including:
A more severe form of anxiety is a panic disorder, which is characterized by frequent panic attacks, or debilitating episodes of overwhelming psychological distress. This disorder is often coupled with other mental health conditions like depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Panic attacks can be expected or unexpected, but are often triggered by stressful events, fearful objects, sensitivity to negative emotions, or situations in which a person feels unsafe.
Some symptoms of a panic attack include:
Some people feel anxious only when they are confronted by a specific situation, object, or activity that they fear but does not cause them any direct harm. This is called a phobia.
When a person has a phobia, they often are aware that their fear is excessive and will not put them in danger. However, they still become overwhelmed with psychological distress and will do whatever they can to avoid what they fear. There are thousands of different phobias that can affect a person’s daily functioning, but some of the most common fears include:
These are only a few examples of anxiety disorders that people may experience in their lifetime. If you resonate with any of the symptoms mentioned above, we want you to know that all types of anxiety are treatable, and that you have options to live a joyful, fulfilling life.
Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment
Since humans evolved, anxiety has been an innate bodily response to keep us alert for threats in our surroundings and safe from harm. Anxiety wears off for most people once their brains feel like they are no longer in danger. However, for millions of others, it’s difficult to fully calm down. This heightened level of persistent fear may develop into an anxiety disorder that can affect their personal and professional lives.
The only way to determine if you have an anxiety disorder (or any other psychological condition) is to schedule a screening with a mental health provider, like one of our team members at Rural Psychiatry Associates.
During your appointment, your provider will perform a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, health background, family history, personality, and more to develop a diagnosis and create a treatment plan that fits your needs.
Treatment for anxiety can include psychotherapy, medication, or other methods prescribed by your provider. They’ll discuss the benefits, risks, and potential side effects of your treatment plan with you, and schedule follow-up sessions to monitor progress and adjust your treatment, if needed. They’ll also give you advice on changes you can make to your diet, lifestyle, and daily routine that will further help you manage your anxiety and improve your quality of life.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today.