What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety refers to the anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat and is more associated with a fight or flight reaction – either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger.
Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30 percent of adults at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective therapies are available. Therapies help most people lead normal productive lives.
In general, for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must:
- Be out of proportion to the situation or age-inappropriate
- Hinder your ability to function normally
Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that includes different conditions:
- Panic disorder. You feel the terror that strikes at random. During a panic attack, you may also sweat, have chest pain, and feel palpitations(unusually strong or irregular heartbeats). Sometimes you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack.
- Social anxiety disorder. Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You fixate about others judging you or on being embarrassed or ridiculed.
- Specific phobias. You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.
- Generalized anxiety disorder. You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.
For what reason is it vital to look for treatment for these disorders?
Whenever left untreated, anxiety disorders can have serious consequences. People have broken relationships, difficulties at the workplace, lack of self-confidence, lack of willingness to do anything new or live life, alcohol dependence, depression, panic attacks, suicidal tendencies and so on.
Therapy or Counselling for Anxiety
People suffering from anxiety need to seek professional help from a Psychologist and talk to them in detail about all that they face and are uncomfortable with. Let the professional counselor decide with proper testing the intensity of anxiety and if required, refer you to a psychiatrist for medication, along with therapy. Early intervention is important.
It is also important to complete the full course of therapy with the psychologist and be consistent with it for the best results. Counseling requires sincere commitment from clients to help them overcome anxiety disorder in its best capacity. Varied counseling techniques have proven quite beneficial in overcoming anxiety disorder like CBT, Mindfulness, REBT, and others.
Please remember that every individual is unique and hence the course of therapy will be very specific to the anxiety issues that you are going through. Hence a professional in the field is the best person to go to instead of relying on unauthentic resources for your wellbeing.