What is Anxiety Disorder?
- Everyone experiences anxiety; however anxiety disorders have the ability to cause enough tension, worry, and distress in one’s life that they affect a person’s quality of life
- Worries and fear seem constantly overwhelming
- No control about their thoughts or emotion
- Chronic, intrusive, distressing thoughts of a worrying nature
Anxiety disorders can be classified as a medical condition because:
- Genetics are involved in the disease’s progression
- The anatomy and physiology of the body are affected
- Medicine must be used to treat it
Four major types of anxiety
- Panic Disorder – A person with this condition will experience panic attacks, fear, and flashes of terror that strike suddenly and constantly for no particular reason. Excessive swearing, chest pains, feelings of choking, and palpitations (strong or irregular heartbeats) are all associated with panic attacks. The person experiencing a panic attack may feel as though they are having a heart attack.
- Social Anxiety Disorder – This is also known as social phobia; people with this form of anxiety experience extreme self-consciousness and overwhelming worry about daily social situations. Commonly, there is also a strong fear of being judged, embarrassed, or ridiculed.
- Specific Phobia – This is an intense, uncontrollable fear of a specific object, situation, or belief, such as spiders, heights, open spaces, or even cultural beliefs. A phobia may cause a person to avoid common, everyday situations.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – This form of anxiety is characterized by excessive, irrational worry and tension regardless of a presence of a stressor or a reason to trigger the anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect millions of Americans, with women having slightly higher rates of anxiety than men. Most cases of anxiety begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Anxiety is diagnosed by a medical evaluation and a physical exam. Psychologists and psychiatrists conduct their specially designed interviews and use separate assessment tools to examine a person for anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder affects not only the person with anxiety, but also those around that person. If you or a loved one feels that conventional medicine is not working and have not been able to get to the quality of life desired, it may be time to turn to medical research. If you are looking for a personalized and expert evaluation, feel free to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential appointment at the Institute for Advanced Medical Research at Mercer University.
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