It is estimated that at least 30% of adults experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. That’s nearly one-third of all adults! In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue in America.
But, what is anxiety?
Anxiety can be an acute experience that a person experiences from time to time, or it can be an overwhelming and possibly frequent experience for others.
adults in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder
of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety is characterized by excessive and persistent worry. Chronic anxiety is formally known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but there are other forms of anxiety.
Excessive and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity that is generally not harmful.
Social Anxiety Disorders
In addition to constant worry, anxiety can present in a number of physical symptoms:
feeling on edge or easily fatigued
Have you ever wondered what causes anxiety and why some people struggle with this condition more than others? While anyone can develop an anxiety disorder, some are at a greater risk than others due to various risk factors. For instance, individuals who were shy or fearful in new situations throughout childhood are at a greater risk of experiencing an anxiety disorder. Other risk factors include experiencing a stressful life event or a family history of mental health disorders.
Thyroid problems, heart arrhythmia, heavy caffeine use, and substance abuse are also risk factors that can cause or amplify anxiety disorders.
Diagnosis & Treatment
As one of the most common mental struggles humans experience, anxiety is often accepted as “normal.” While occasional, acute anxiety is a normal physiological experience, chronic and/or debilitating anxiety is a serious medical condition that should not go untreated. Speak with your doctor if you experience symptoms of anxiety. By answering simple questions your doctor may be able to provide you with an appropriate diagnosis.
Treatment of anxiety disorders varies based on the type of anxiety and severity. Most often, anxiety treatment includes a combination of talk therapy and medication such as:
Both one-on-one and group therapy help identify triggers and develop coping skills to manage daily stressors. Common psychotherapy techniques used to treat anxiety include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Exposure Response Prevention
Medication is not needed in every case, but options such as SSRIs have been proven to be effective for those who do not show improvement with therapy alone. Medication used may include:
- Anti-anxiety medication
Alternative Therapies & Lifestyle Changes
A number of other interventions can help improve anxiety symptoms, including:
- Self-management strategies
- Mindfulness & relaxation techniques
- Diet changes
Living with Anxiety
We all encounter anxiety in our daily lives, and it is important to understand how to manage anxiety and bring yourself back into a state of relaxation. Learn to identify your own personal anxiety triggers, develop coping skills for when anxiety does hit, and incorporate healthy lifestyle habits like yoga and meditation to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Diet is another factor that can influence our stress levels and overall mental health, so be conscious about what you consume and do your best to limit consuming things you know are not healthy for you. Even with therapy and medication, incorporating these types of changes into your life can make a significant impact on how you feel.
Overcome Anxiety at Onyx
If you or a loved one is struggling with debilitating anxiety, we can help! Learn how to overcome these feelings and develop tools and strategies for living a better, happier life. Call us today at 888-242-5716 to begin your journey.
Discover Healing with Onyx Behavioral Health
At Onyx Behavioral Health, we work to empower our residents to become productive citizens and stable individuals in their respective environments. We hope to guide and ground you in repairing your mind, body, and soul.
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