How to Know if You Need Treatment for Anxiety

How to Know if You Need Treatment for Anxiety

Living with anxiety can be debilitating. Anxiety has a way of making you want to hide from the world. If you struggle with anxious thoughts and feelings, you may avoid social settings or worry excessively about everything.

Almost everyone experiences anxiety at some point in life; however, it becomes an issue when those feelings linger and interfere with their daily lives. If this is the case for you, you may struggle with an anxiety disorder.

Types of Anxiety

There are various anxiety disorders; here are the five major types:

#1 Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is a condition that causes a person to worry excessively about everyday issues and situations. It’s estimated that nearly six percent of adults in the U.S. experience generalized anxiety disorder at some point.

People with generalized anxiety disorder worry a lot, even when there’s no reason to. The worrying often feels uncontrollable and can impact daily life.

Other symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Headaches or stomach pain
  • Sleep disturbances

#2 Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is characterized by an intense fear of being watched or judged by other people. For individuals with social anxiety, social interactions often cause irrational anxiety, fear, and self-consciousness. The excess fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated may cause a person with social anxiety disorder to avoid certain social interactions.

Other symptoms an individual with social anxiety may experience are:

  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling
  • Stomachaches
  • Difficulty making eye contact or being around strangers
  • Feeling self-conscious or fear that others will judge them negatively

#3 Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur when a person experiences or witnesses a terrifying event or is exposed to prolonged trauma. Trauma can happen to anyone. It’s estimated that about 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD per year.

Symptoms associated with PTSD include:

  • Nightmares
  • Vivid flashbacks
  • Intrusive or unwanted thoughts
  • Angry outbursts
  • Changes in mood
  • Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event
  • Anxiety or feeling tense
  • Difficulty sleeping

#4 Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where you have frequent panic attacks. A panic attack is an episode of intense fear and anxiety that triggers physical symptoms. They can happen even when there is no imminent danger or apparent cause.

If you have panic attacks, you may experience the following:

  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Trembling or shaking
  • A sense of approaching danger
  • Shortness of breath or feeling smothered
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or stomach pain
  • Feeling detached
  • Fear of losing control
  • Throat tightness or choking feeling
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • A fear of dying

#5 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental health disorder that involves excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Some of these repetitive actions are hand washing, counting, cleaning, or checking. These behaviors are done with the hope of making the obsessive thoughts disappear. Compulsions aren’t enjoyable, feel uncontrollable, and affect daily life.

When to Consider Treatment for Anxiety

If anxiety is interrupting your daily routine or you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, it may be time to seek treatment.

Treatment begins with finding a qualified mental health professional who will assess you, make a diagnosis, and determine which form of psychotherapy best meets your needs. Therapy modalities — such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) — can uncover the root cause of anxiety and help manage the condition.

There are a few other signs that it’s time to consider therapy:

You Experience Physical Symptoms

Persistent anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, or muscle tension. You may also experience heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or a change in appetite.

You’re Constantly Nervous or on Edge

If you constantly feel restless or on edge, it’s a sign that something is wrong. These feelings of restlessness can lead to panic attacks or excessive worrying.

You Have Trouble Sleeping

Sleep is essential to managing your mental health. A lack of sleep can impact every area of your life. However, if you have anxiety, you may struggle to get a good night’s rest. Receiving treatment can help you get to the underlying cause of anxiety and sleep issues.

Your Relationships Are Impacted

Having an anxiety disorder can affect your relationships in many ways. If you have trouble managing your symptoms, it may spill over into your relationships. Therapy can help you with balancing these symptoms.

You Avoid Certain Situations

Having an anxiety disorder can make you feel immobilized by fear surrounding specific situations. If your anxiety is holding you back or making you avoid certain interactions, a therapist can help.

Anxiety Doesn’t Have to Rule Your Life

If you live with an anxiety disorder, you know that quieting your mind is not as simple as just shutting your thoughts off. When you’re riddled with anxiety, it often overpowers you making it difficult to do your daily activities.

Working with a therapist can help you get to the cause of anxiety as well as manage the condition. By choosing to seek mental health treatment, you’re taking back your power and giving yourself a chance to live a more peaceful life.

Having an anxiety disorder can interfere with your daily life. Certain types of anxiety disorders can make day-to-day functioning challenging and affect things like your social life, work, and school. Anxious thoughts and feelings can hinder you, which impacts your ability to live a quality life. Some anxiety is normal; however, if it’s persistent, it’s time to get help. Located in Laguna Beach, California, Alter Wellness Care is an outpatient mental health program. Our primary focus is ensuring clients receive quality mental health care. We do this by providing both intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs that are created to treat your specific symptoms. Our programs are personalized so that you get the help you need. We offer various holistic and therapeutic modalities, such as yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction which are effective at treating anxiety. If you’re struggling, reach out for help today by calling us at (866) 311-3510.

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