What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an issue for millions of people nationwide. Those who experience anxiety or who have a disorder such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, know that the feelings associated with anxiety can be overwhelming. Anxiety is another word for excessive worry. These feelings of worry are excessive and persistent. One can experience anxiety about most anything; however, most feel anxious about money, health, work, or their family. Often, the person does not understand where the anxiety is coming from and might even think it is irrational.
There are many types of anxiety disorders including panic attacks, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. Each of these disorders share common characteristics such as excessive fear and worry. It is a good idea to discuss your specific symptoms with a professional so that a treatment plan can be developed.
Most of us at one time or another have worried about something–an upcoming vacation or starting a new job. The difference with anxiety is that it can become excessive to the point where one might worry about everything. Some people wake up and are not able to get past thinking about the day and all that needs to be accomplished. Some may not think they are in control of their worried thoughts and begin to feel out of control with worry. Others may feel nervous about something where the outcome is unknown.
If you think you might have an issue with anxiety, you might want to speak with a mental health professional. Anxiety can become overwhelming to the point where it interferes with normal functioning. Some people might miss work or school or be unable to perform regular tasks. Symptoms of a problem with anxiety where treatment might be needed include restlessness, getting tired easily, irritability, sleep problems, and certain physical problems such as muscle tension or gastrointestinal distress.
Treatment for anxiety might include medication and individual therapy. Medications such as benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety medicines can be helpful but one should exercise great care in taking this type of medication. Anti-anxiety medications can be addictive so it is a good idea to discuss with a physician before starting any anti-anxiety medication treatment. Some antidepressants are used to treat anxiety symptoms and have shown to be quite useful.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the preferred mental health intervention for anxiety. This type of therapy can help to recognize and change thought patterns that may trigger the anxiety. There are some things one can do themselves to help alleviate anxiety including getting regular and restful sleep, avoiding drinks with caffeine, eating right, and getting some exercise.