Do You Have An Anxiety Disorder?

Don't Suffer From An Anxiety Disorder | Miami Center of Excellence

Every person experiences anxiety now and again. Going through a huge life change, public speaking, and financial issues can all bring on hints of nervousness and distress. But for some people, the feeling of anxiety can be so overpowering that it can take over their everyday life. How can you tell if your anxiety is normal, or if you have an anxiety disorder? This week, we’ll talk about some of the ways severe anxiety can manifest, and when it may be time to speak with a doctor.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses, all of which cause people to feel excessive, continuous anxiety. Some of these illnesses include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder. It involves chronic and severe worry about normal, everyday events and activities. It can be extremely debilitating and can affect the way a person carries out their daily activities.
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): This condition is when the sufferer feels the need to engage in irrational and unwanted thoughts. Many times this manifests in repetitive compulsions and excessive perfectionism. These compulsions function as a temporary release of anxiety.
  • Panic Disorder: Sudden and extreme bouts of terror that come on suddenly and often. A panic attack has been known to feel like chest pain and heart palpitations, gastrointestinal issues, and can sometimes feel fearful of dying.
  • Phobias: A phobia is an irrational fear of something that poses no threat in most realistic situations. Phobias are very person-specific and can manifest without warning. A person with excessive phobias will usually avoid people and places for fear of running into their phobia.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can sometimes be a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is characterized by feelings of distress for weeks, months, and years following the traumatic event. These sufferers may have symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, or night terrors.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: This is an intense fear of all types of social situations and interactions. Most people with this disorder often have irrational and overwhelming fears of public humiliation and rejection.

The Common Signs of an Anxiety Disorder

As stated, anxiety presents itself in many different forms. Having a variant of these symptoms is normal. But, it can be hard to distinguish between “normal” anxiety, and getting an official diagnosis. But, if you’re feeling an excess of these symptoms, you might consider speaking with a medical professional.

  • Excessive worry about everyday activities.
  • Physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, and constant muscle tension.
  • Problems with sleep including excessive fatigue or insomnia.
  • Avoidance of social situations because of anxiety.
  • Are prone to having extremely negative and worrying thoughts.
  • There is no explanation for the anxiety.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Like is any disease or disorder, treatment can vary from person to person. Anxiety disorders can be very treatable. Most people find symptom relief and can improve their quality of life through professional care. Some find that speaking with a professional psychologist or counselor can relive their symptoms to the point of living a normal and productive life. Others may find relief of symptoms through prescribed medication. On very rare occasions, one may need to receive in-patient treatment through a mental health facility.

Your provider will give you an individualized treatment plan after conducting a comprehensive assessment. Treatment can take anywhere from days to months to become successful. If you are suffering from more than one anxiety disorder, meaningful treatment may take longer. It’s important to be patient and remain hopeful while receiving treatment. If your symptoms become worse, consult your provider immediately.

Support Is Out There

If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, getting support is an essential part of a healthy recovery. Seek out others that are successfully getting treated and are thriving, despite their disorder. Confide in a trusted friend or family member. Also, organizations such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America have comprehensive information about the various disorders and a list of support groups in your area.

Are you concerned you may have an anxiety disorder? The medical professionals at Miami Center of Excellence are here to help. Give us a call today, or make an appointment online.