Anxious for Anything?
I’m sure you’re familiar with the statistic that more people are afraid of public speaking than dying, meaning that they’d rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy. Public speaking brings out the best in some of us and the worst in others, causing extreme feelings of vulnerability and the need to captivate and perform. Sometimes a simple PRN (you only take it when you need it) medication along with breathing techniques can help in front of a crowd.
However, if you or a loved one suffers from extreme anxiety, regardless of the circumstance, getting more education can be the first step in moving forward. According to the National Institute of Mental Illness, anxiety disorders affect about 18% of adults and 8% of teenagers in the US. Building regular, healthy habits and coping skills, even if they are unrelated to the anxiety-producing event itself, can help produce more stable moods and control over your mind and emotions.
Types of Anxiety
There are several major categories of anxiety listed in the DSM V, which is a manual used to classify and help diagnose different mental illnesses. Different anxiety disorders include the following*:
Generalized Anxiety: leads to heightened worry and fear about normal day to day events or activities. Typically, the anxiety is difficult or impossible to overcome and can manifest in physical symptoms such as hot flashes, muscle tension, headaches, or tiredness.
Obsessive-Compulsive: a person feels compelled to perform certain routines over and over again to deal with irrational fear surrounding thoughts or images.
Panic Attacks: characterized by feelings of extreme fear and unease, normally coming to a peak within 10 minutes. These panic attacks typically happen frequently and can come out of the blue, although they can also be linked with a trigger event.
Post Traumatic Stress: a cluster of symptoms experienced long after a traumatic event has been experienced. PTS is often characterized by flashbacks, numbness, and a regular interruption of daily life.
Phobias: irrational and uncontrollable fear regarding specific situations with an object or in the context of social settings. This category can include social phobia and agoraphobia, which applies to social settings and being in large groups.
What’s the difference between being afraid of large groups and having agoraphobia? Does the anxiety prohibit normal life from happening or is it something that you deal with and move on? If there is no “moving on” past the anxious thoughts and feelings then you may be dealing with some form of anxiety that can be alleviated with treatment. If you or a loved one are suffering from any form of anxiety that prohibits normal day to day life, we’d love to partner with you in finding the best and least intrusive treatment so that you can overcome and achieve!