Anxiety is defined as a state of distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. The Encyclopedia of Psychology defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Anxiety is a common and normal emotional state that can arise during a challenging situation. When an individual experiences it too often, or for no reason, then they may have an anxiety disorder.
According to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, people with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder produces episodes of excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations, often with no reason. People with this condition often expect the worst, and have difficulty being at peace with everyday circumstances. Episodes of anxiety can interfere with daily activities and be difficult to control. They are usually out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time.
People with GAD sometimes avoid certain places or situations in order to prevent a flare up of anxiety. Symptoms of GAD may start during childhood or teenage years and continue into adulthood, but anxiety can affect people at any age. Nearly 4 million Americans suffer from GAD.
There are other anxiety disorders besides GAD. We list a few here, with their defining characteristics. Even if your specific condition is not listed here, don’t worry. We can probably help you with it.
As the name implies, people with this condition find that social interactions cause anxiety. Patients can feel self-conscious, embarrassed, judged, or be concerned about offending someone. Often, people with this condition can withdraw, which can lead to poor social development. This can sometimes make the symptoms worse.
This is a condition felt by children, in which the child cannot handle being apart from his or her parent(s). Most children feel clingy when presented with the chance to be away from mom and dad, especially for the first time. But children with separation anxiety become terrified when separated from parents. It can even cause nightmares.
Phobias are irrational fears, usually of one specific thing. Acrophobia is a fear of heights, for example. Just because an individual suffers from one phobia does not mean that they have other phobias. When an individual is confronted with the specific thing or situation that bothers them, they often become extremely anxious and uncomfortable, and will try to remove themselves from the situation as quickly as possible.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
Again, these are common symptoms when concern is warranted. If you happen upon a tiger in your backyard, you may well feel a sense of impending doom. But people with an anxiety disorder experience these symptoms way too much, or at the wrong times. They need help, and the professionals at Essential Care NJ are happy to educate our patients on the challenges of anxiety, and help them overcome it.
The most common methods for treating anxiety are psychotherapy and medication. Many patients benefit from both. Psychotherapy is excellent, because it gives each patient an opportunity to reason through how they respond to their triggers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a key method for therapists in treating anxiety, because it specifically explores the link between our thoughts and our emotions. Many patients benefit immensely from realizing that they can control their emotions when they simply slow down and consider how they are thinking when they face their triggers.
Selection of medication for treating anxiety should always be case-specific. Many people who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression, and thus may benefit from taking antidepressants. Anti-anxiety medications are certainly an option. Therapists may also prescribe benzodiazepines, although this should only be offered as a short-term solution. These medications resemble tranquilizers in their function, and can be quite addictive.
At Essential Care NJ, anxiety is one of the more common mental health conditions we see at our treatment centers. Fortunately, our team of dedicated mental health professionals has years of experience treating it, and we know exactly how to help. We begin by creating a safe space for you to open up about what is concerning you. To do this, we are careful to build a rapport and make you feel at home.
We proceed according to our core values, which are fairness, integrity, and honesty. These are critical for helping us pursue our purpose, which is to provide accessible, holistic, patient-centered care that enables our patients to lead stress-free, healthy lives. Your well-being is always our number one priority, and our goal is your peace of mind.
Over the last few years, our world has given people many reasons to experience anxiety, and many who suffer from it have gotten worse. Anxiety can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. Essential Care NJ is a network of clinics that specialize in mental health and addiction recovery services. If you or a loved one are currently suffering from anxiety in any form, please reach out to us. You can use our locations page to find the clinic or office most convenient to you, and call us to set up an appointment. Give us the chance to unload your worries and discover the peace you have been looking for.