Anxiety disorders are serious medical conditions, and are more common than you might think. In fact, an estimated 40 million Americans experience some form of anxiety, with many developing symptoms before reaching adulthood. Between work, family obligations, bills and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s natural – even expected – to feel anxious and on edge. However, anxiety that prevents you from living your life and engaging in social activities should not be a routine element of your life. If you find that anxiety is persistent to the point of taking hold of your life or the life of someone you care about, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. The most common anxiety disorders are:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is characterized by persistent anxiety, exaggerated worry, overthinking, difficulty with uncertainty, indecisiveness, and an inability to relax – even when there is nothing that provoked the worry. Physical symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, trembling and sweating. If you find yourself excessively worrying or expressing an all-consuming concern for things beyond your control, you may have GAD.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is caused by a recurrence of unwanted thoughts or obsessions and repetitive behaviors and compulsions. You may engage in a wide range of repetitive behaviors – examples may include washing your hands, counting steps, checking the time, cleaning, or rearranging items. With OCD, it’s highly likely that you are keeping yourself occupied in an effort to drive away your obsessive thoughts; by performing these rituals, you will at least find some relief.
Panic disorder manifests in attacks that occur when you experience a sudden episode of intense fear or are overwhelmed in a terrifying, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable situation. Accompanying these attacks often are physical manifestations, to include tightness in the chest, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, cold sweats and stomach issues. There does not need to be a valid reason for a sudden sensation of panic or fear, however, some people think they are dying when experiencing these symptoms, which usually don’t last long but are terrifying nonetheless.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD develops after you’ve experienced or witnessed an intensely traumatizing event. Physical harm may or may not have occurred but you are still traumatized nonetheless. Some examples of traumatic events may rape, assault, natural disasters and accidents. Those who served in the military or as law enforcement or first responders often experience traumatic events that lead to the development of PTSD. Sometimes PTSD can present from one intense event; other times it may develop over years of exposure and present when triggered.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder also called Social Phobia, is the feeling of overwhelming anxiety when in social situations. There may be a fear of being scrutinized or judged, or simply overwhelmed by the situation. These anxieties are ever-present, even in everyday situations such as going to the grocery store or on public transportation. Extreme forms of social phobia make a person self-conscious about eating, speaking or conversing with other people. In its worst form, you experience anxiety just because there are people around.
Seeking Treatment Southbury
Anxiety disorders may be easily dismissed or downplayed because they seem as if they can be controlled with strong will. Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth. For those who have anxiety disorders, everyday events – even those that once were considered fun or mundane – can be the cause of debilitating and overwhelming concern or fear. For those who do have anxiety disorders, relief can not come fast enough and too often seems out of reach – a primary reason why only one out of three people who have symptoms of or who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders seek treatment.
The good news is that you can take back control of your anxiety – and your life. Dr. Mark Stracks of Psy-Visions offers comprehensive and individualized treatment for anxiety disorders. Dr. Stracks’ extensive experience in both psychopharmacological and therapy interventions has provided much-desired relief in children, veterans, the elderly, and anyone else seeking to overcome their conditions. Let Psy-Visions make a difference in your life; call us at (203) 405-1745 today or request an appointment online.