It’s normal for most people to be nervous sometimes, like when they’re about to speak in front of a crowd or a class. But if you have anxiety, you likely feel nervous nearly all the time, even if you’re taking part in mundane tasks or hobbies you usually love. In fact, if you have an anxiety disorder, you likely spend a lot of time feeling unnecessarily anxious about things you can’t control or events that haven’t happened yet.
Anxiety disorders vary by type and degree—for instance, some people suffer from panic disorders that cause debilitating panic or anxiety attacks when they become too stressed. However, all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: they’re generally very treatable.
If you’re looking for anxiety treatment in or near Arlington Heights, IL, visit the team at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights. Along with diagnosing anxiety, we can offer comprehensive treatment plans that conform to your individual needs.
Occasional anxiety is normal, such as feeling anxious when you have to speak in front of a large group of people or feeling panic when planning a cross-country move. However, if you find that you’re nervous almost all the time, you might have an anxiety disorder. These disorders involve feelings of intense fear or terror that culminate within minutes, almost like a panic attack. Those who experience feelings of panic or anxiety might avoid certain situations that trigger these feelings.
What Does Anxiety Feel Like?
When it comes to anxiety, there’s not one factor that can trigger it. It’s also difficult to predict when you might develop an anxiety disorder, but it can be helpful to know what some symptoms might be. Some of these common symptoms include the following:
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) issues.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Increased heart rate.
- Trouble concentrating.
What Types of Anxiety Exist?
- Agoraphobia: This anxiety disorder causes you to fear and avoid situations where you might feel trapped, embarrassed, or trapped.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: With this type of anxiety, you have persistent and excessive worry about events or activities, even those that are routine. The amount of worry you experience is disproportional to the impending circumstance, and it affects how you physically feel. You might also experience depression or other anxiety disorders combined with this one.
- Panic disorder: This type of anxiety disorder causes sudden and intense feelings of terror that reach a peak within minutes. You might experience shortness of breath, chest pain, pounding heart, or feelings of impending doom. With a panic disorder, you might worry this feeling will happen again or avoid situations where you previously experienced the panic.
- Selective mutism: More often found in children than adults, this disorder causes a failure to speak in certain situations such as school, even though they can speak freely in other areas such as at home.
- Separation anxiety disorder: Another disorder typically associated with children, separation anxiety disorder is related to the separation of children from their parents or others in authority. However, adults can experience this disorder if they have an intense fear of losing important people in their lives.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder: This disorder is characterized by panic related to taking medications, misusing drugs, or withdrawing from drugs.
Also, according to the American Psychiatric Association, several other mental health conditions have anxiety as a symptom even though they’re not technically anxiety disorders. A few of these disorders include the following:
- Acute stress disorder: With this disorder, you experience anxiety and disassociate yourself in the weeks after a traumatic event. It usually lasts less than one month after the event.
- Adjustment disorder: This disorder causes you to experience a group of symptoms including stress, anxiety, and hopelessness when you’re going through a stressful life event. The symptoms occur when you’re having difficulty coping. It’s predominantly found in children.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This mental health disorder affects people of all ages. It occurs if you are caught in a cycle of obsession and compulsion. Obsession involves unwanted and intrusive thoughts that trigger distressing feelings, while compulsion relates to ways you believe you can rid yourself of the obsession.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): You might develop PTSD after witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening event such as a vehicle accident, combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. Symptoms might include anxiety, trouble sleeping, or feeling on edge.
What Causes Anxiety?
Although researchers aren’t 100% certain what causes specific anxiety disorders, whether they involve genetic or environmental factors, each disorder has its own characteristics. However, some factors can put you at a higher risk. A few of these factors including the following:
- You’ve had a traumatic life experience.
- You have a physical condition that’s linked to anxiety, such as a thyroid disorder.
- Your biological family members have mental illnesses or anxiety disorders.
When Should You Seek Help?
Anxiety can be debilitating, and even though your worries might go away on their own, they might get worse over time. It’s often easier to treat if you get help early. Consider speaking with a licensed professional if you experience any of the following:
- Your worrying is affecting your job, relationships, or other pertinent aspects of your life.
- Your fear feels upsetting to you, and it’s becoming difficult to control.
- You believe your anxiety is directly related to a physical health issue.
- You’ve become depressed, rely on drugs or alcohol to cope, or experience other mental health issues.
- You’re experiencing suicidal behaviors or thoughts.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Anxiety?
Checking in with your primary care physician can help you determine if your anxiety is related to your physical health. The doctor can check for underlying signs that might signal a medical condition that might need immediate attention.
However, if you’re experiencing severe anxiety, you might want to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for additional treatment. This specialist can perform a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your level of anxiety as well as the type of disorder. After discussing your personal history, circumstances that cause the anxiety, and the resulting symptoms, the mental health professional will likely come up with a treatment plan that can include the following:
- Stress-management courses: These courses can help you learn how to effectively manage your anxiety and stress.
- Medication: Many different types of medication are available to help you deal with anxiety, and you might end up trying several kinds to find the right one for you.
- Cognitive-behavior therapy: This form of psychological treatment involves changing your thinking patterns. You might learn to confront your fears instead of avoiding them.
- Counseling: A counselor can help you learn coping skills for dealing with anxiety and give you an outlet.
When you visit NeuroHealth, we perform a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your level of anxiety and type of disorder. Once we understand your circumstances, personal history, and symptoms, we can come up with a treatment plan that could include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or stress-management courses or therapy sessions.
We make it our mission to help every person from every age group succeed in life. If you want to learn more about our anxiety treatment services, call (847) 754-9343.