by Stanley Fleming, MSW
We all get worried or scared in response to certain situations in our lives. Experiencing some type of anxiety is a normal part of life. These thoughts control how we interface with others. People that have anxiety disorders frequently go through feelings of intense and persistent worry about their everyday situations. These intense feelings of anxiety, fear and or terror can eventually lead to developing panic attacks.
What is Anxiety?
On a clinical level, anxiety refers to the state of extreme worry, fear, and panic most of your day. Trivial situations — or even in the anticipation of situations that have not happened — will trigger these feelings in someone with a clinical anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a multisystem response to a perceived threat or danger. It reflects a combination of biochemical changes in the body.
Are there different types of Anxiety?
The six main types of Anxiety Disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): It is a long-term disorder that makes a person inappropriately anxious in mundane situations. People with GAD are anxious most of the time and seldom remember when they last felt relaxed. They feel constantly worried, restless and find it hard to concentrate on work.
- Panic Disorder: It manifests as sudden, intense fear associated with profuse sweating, restlessness, chest pain and a racing or pounding heartbeat (palpitations) often mimicking a heart attack. People with panic disorder may experience anxiety or panic attacks which are extreme and intense periods of restlessness or fear that affect associated with a pounding heartbeat, sweating, trembling, sensations of choking or being unable to breathe, extreme nausea, dizziness and chest tightness or pain.
- Social Phobia or Social Anxiety: Feeling of overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations plague people with social anxiety. A typical variant is selective mutism, which may be often seen in kids who are confident in front of their family, but may not speak at all in school or other places. Though many people may feel anxious about speaking in public, social anxiety involves extreme and irrational fear and anxiousness of facing people.
- Separation Anxiety: It happens when a loved one leaves. It is often seen in small children who feel scared or anxious when a parent leaves for work, for example. It can also affect adults who worry that something bad may happen to their loved ones when they are out of sight. People with separation anxiety fear being alone. They may even find it difficult to sleep when they are away from home or their loved ones.
- Phobias: They are excessive fears about a specific situation or object. The fear or anxiety is markedly disproportional to the actual threat involved. Common phobias include agoraphobia (intense fear of being in open, crowded places), acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of enclosed places). Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
What is Your Next Step?
You are not alone! Gathering information is the first step for healing. This will assist you in identifying and getting a better understanding of your situation. One Health is here to assist you with discussing your concerns and pointing out some of your options. We have a team of proven professionals to address you needs.