Intense Feelings Of Anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiety or stress during their lives. Some anxiety is actually helpful. It moves us to action. It can make us study more for an exam or intensify practice prior to an important presentation.
If you have an anxiety disorder, this normally helpful emotion can do just the opposite. It can prevent coping and disrupt lives.
Anxiety disorders are not just a bunch of nerves. They are illnesses, often related to the biological makeup and life experiences of the person. The disorder appears to run in families. There are several types of anxiety disorders each with its own features.
Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias related to anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder are the most prevalent anxiety disorders documented by the National Institute of Mental Health. It appears with recent research that the anxiety may occur due to the increased sensitivity in a part of the brain called the locus ceruleus.
Many people misunderstand these illnesses and think that they can be overcome by sheer willpower. Wishing away the symptoms would be great but does not work. There are treatments that can help. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more than the normal day-to-day stress we usually experience. It is chronic, exaggerated tension with no obvious reason creating such an intense response.
Experiencing GAD means anticipating the worst, often worrying excessively about health, money, family, or work. Individuals with GAD cannot relax, or shake the sense of constant worry even when they realize it is unwarranted.
Often, there is difficulty sleeping and physical symptoms develop. Trembling, muscle tension, irritability, headaches, sweating, nausea or feeling out of breath can be associated with the disorder.
Usually impairment related to GAD is mild in comparison to the other anxiety disorders, although this is not always the situation. When severe, the anxiety makes it very difficult to carry out routine activities. GAD develops gradually and often during childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood. It is more common in women.
Successful treatment may involve medication such as buspirone, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback for muscle tension.
If you or someone you know has intense symptoms of anxiety, a visit to the family physician can help evaluate if symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder or other medical conditions or both. Once the diagnosis is determined, appropriate treatment or referral to a mental health professional can be made for additional healthcare.
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