At some point in our lives, most of us will experience anxiety. It’s actually a natural reaction to many stressors such as starting a new job, taking final exams, and becoming a new parent.
Now for many people, the anxiety will subside once the stressor goes away. But for others, anxiety becomes persistent and even excessive, even without obvious stressors, interfering with daily life. In these cases, the person is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly 31% of adults in this country will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. In fact, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States.
Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety can trigger symptoms such as:
- Excessive fear and worrying
- Irrational fear of danger
- Racing thoughts
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Sleep issues
- Headache and stomachache
- Pounding heart
- Muscle tension
How are Anxiety Orders Treated?
If you are suffering with an anxiety disorder, life may feel overwhelming…most of the time. There is effective help you can access. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can reduce or eliminate your uncomfortable symptoms. Evidence based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), provided by trained and registered mental health professionals, are a good place to start. Treatment may also include developing skills for breathing and relaxation as well as improving your general wellbeing via sleep, diet, exercise and pleasant events.
If you’d like to explore therapy options, please reach out to me. Life can get better.