Worry, stress or fear are a part of life. It is absolutely normal to feel anxious and worried while going through a traumatic event or any other stressful situations. It involves short-term fear, panic, stress or worries, along with a series of physical and emotional distortions. But, anxiety disorder is a broader term which refers to excessive and intense feelings associated with a particular incident, and whose symptoms mimic various physical illnesses. The overwhelming thoughts in the mind keep producing significant distress, which eventually causes problems in everyday activities of life.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million adults, 18 years and older suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States. People suffering from such disorders are prone to experience various other disabilities, including a higher risk for substance abuse or suicide.
Types of anxiety disorders
Despite the fact that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, there are many who still do not receive proper care and treatment. Sometimes, it gets difficult to differentiate the symptoms of anxiety from a general malaise, especially in children, and hence, it is often left untreated. The most common anxiety disorders are:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): GAD affects 3.1 percent, or 6.8 million people, in America, highlights ADAA. GAD is characterized by excessive worry and nervousness for no apparent reason. Women are two times more likely to be affected by this disorder. Although the effect of GAD is less than a panic attack, it can paralyze a person’s normal life.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition that occurs due to past traumatic events such as a natural disaster, accident, war, sudden death of a loved one, rape, etc. With nearly 7.7 million Americans suffering from PTSD, as highlighted by ADAA, a large number of people are being exposed to substance abuse, depression or other mental disorders.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive disorders. The uncontrollable and unwanted thoughts repetitively create compulsions that are annoying and often disturbing. It has a debilitating effect on an individual’s day-to-day functioning.
- Phobias: A phobia is an intense irrational fear. People with phobias get very anxious when they confront the source. Their fear can be related to anything, be it relationships, height, insects, water, etc. Unlike GAD or other anxiety disorders, where patients have no idea about the cause of their distress, phobias, on the other hand, have a specified source.
- Panic disorders: A panic attack is a sudden surge of the body’s normal reaction to fear, excitement or anxiety. Panic attacks often occur out of the blue. During a panic attack, a person may feel that he or she is dying or losing control over life. It is a quick occurrence that builds up several emotional, mental and physical sensations such as:
- nausea and vomiting
- rapid heart beat
- chest pain
- shaky limbs
Treatment is possible
People suffering from anxiety disorders struggle to lead a normal life. The overwhelming exposure to anxiety can affect an individual’s physical and mental health. If you are struggling with overwhelming and irrational thoughts that repetitively dig your mind with worries and stress, it is important to talk to your physician. There are several evidence-based treatment programs that can help you in managing your anxiety disorders.
You can contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to know about various anxiety disorders treatment centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online with our counselors to seek guidance on the best anxiety treatment centers in California.