One subject people overlook when thinking about mental health issues is anxiety disorders. Most people get anxious from time to time, and indeed we often thrive on nervous energy given a pressure situation at work or through an action activity such as playing sports. However, anxiety disorders can have a serious impact on people’s lives, and in some cases, it can be debilitating for sufferers.
Anxiety disorders can be placed into different categories so let’s take a look at each one.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder may have chronic anxiety, extreme worry, and tension for no apparent reason. Some find it difficult to break from these feelings while others experience physical ailments. It might include headaches, tiredness, muscle tension, trembling, irritability, sweating and difficulty swallowing.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Onlookers may regard OCD as something of irritation for sufferers, but it can take over people’s lives. The disorder is characterized by obsessions and compulsions, which can take the form of repetitive hand-washing, counting, checking or cleaning amongst other things. Performing these tasks only provides temporary relief and the anxiety, and obsessive behavior soon returns. Hoarding items is another example.
This form of panic attack can strike without warning with a real feeling of terror and lack of control overcoming the sufferer. During a panic attack, the sufferer will most likely feel sweaty, faint, weak or dizzy with a tingling feeling in the hands. Some symptoms are so severe that they can be mistaken for a heart attack as there may be chest pains involved.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can occur as a result of being involved in or witnessing a terrifying incident that may have resulted in physical harm, the threat of injury or another person’s death. Such events can include wars, personal physical assaults or natural disasters. As a result of PTSD, a person’s behavior can change dramatically either straight after the event or a few months later. Sufferers can have bad dreams and flashbacks with simple things causing them to be overly startled.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
SAD is surprisingly common being characterized by extreme anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in common day to day situations. There are many forms of social anxiety such as a fear of speaking in public, eating in front of others or meeting new people. The fear of being watched and judged negatively by others can prevent sufferers from leading a normal life and can lead to blushing, sweating, trembling and nausea.
Ongoing research into anxiety disorders continues to create and enhance therapy options to improve the livelihood of sufferers. As a result, these disorders can be treated successfully by a mental health professional with specified training in cognitive behavioral therapy. Talking about anxiety is an important step to helping people cope.