Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide, and in the United States, Anxiety itself is a normal bodily response to stress. Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to hinder daily activities and functioning. People with anxiety disorders struggle with feeling a high state of panic or worry almost all the time, even when there is no real threat posed.
There is no one or even multiple specific causes or genetic markers that cause anxiety. Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed in adolescence through late adulthood. They may develop at different stages of life. Experiencing a traumatic event could cause anxiety in response to the emotional pain and lingering fear and discomfort caused by the event. Another risk factor could be having an illness or taking care of someone who does. When someone has a lot of consistent stress in their life, anxiety may continue to build up until it becomes unmanageable. Another cause of developing an anxiety disorder could be having another co-occurring mental health or substance use disorder. Having chemical imbalances in the brain and body can manifest as anxiety and become more severe over time.
Adapted from NCPG/SOGS and DSM-5
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Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways. Listed below are the seven types of anxiety disorders. The symptoms commonly seen in all diagnosed anxiety disorders include high levels of anxiety that interfere with daily activities, overreaction to emotions, and lack of control in response to stressful situations.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Individuals with GAD often feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even when there is nothing present to trigger those emotions. Worry and rapid thoughts occur frequently, and daily functioning and activities related to health, work, school, and relationships become unmanageable due to copious amounts of stress and fear.
Panic Disorder: panic disorders are characterized by episodes of overwhelming and uncontrollable feelings of terror.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Individuals experience this type of anxiety disorder after experiencing a traumatic event
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): This is characterized by an unreasonable or heightened fear of interacting with others and being in social situations.
Specific Phobias: demonstrated by a debilitating fear of a particular object, citation, animal, or people.
Separation Anxiety: This appears in those who have had traumatic experiences with abandonment or trauma.
Drug-Induced Anxiety Disorder: The persistent misuse of substances, including drugs and alcohol and other medications, can trigger an anxiety disorder.
If left untreated, anxiety can continue to cause or worsen other health conditions such as:
If you or a loved one is suffering from anxiety and the disorder is causing interruptions in daily functioning and the quality of your life, it may be time to seek help. Heather Fisher Recovery Services is here to help you find the right kind of treatment and resources to best help you and the ones you care about. Being closely connected to someone who is struggling can be so hard to stand by and witness. But helping them find the pathway to recovery can change and save their life. Call us today for more information and let us know how we can help you.