Occasionally, we all experience anxiety as part of our everyday lives. It can be a result of a very normal response to stressful events, such as changing jobs or dealing with financial issues.
However, for some of us, anxiety becomes a disorder where we frequently worry and fear about everyday situations for no apparent reason. It happens out of proportion to any actual danger and can last a long time. Even more for some, these anxiety disorders will result in repeated panic attacks, where sudden feelings of intense anxiety or fear or terror reach peak levels within minutes.
Several Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. Left untreated, these disorders can dramatically reduce productivity and significantly diminish an individual’s quality of life.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
- Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
- Being irritable
- Having muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
Panic Disorder Symptoms
People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation.
During a panic attack, people may experience:
- Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heartrate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feelings of being out of control
Phobia-related Disorders Symptoms
A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.
People with a phobia:
- May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
- Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
- Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
- Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety
When an Anxiety Disorder Begins To Impact Your Life
When an anxiety disorder begins to interfere with your life, it is time to seek professional help so that it can be properly managed. The good news is there are many ways to treat anxiety disorders. A Yang Institute doctor can help you choose the treatment that is best for you.