Learn More About Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences, but when the feelings of worry, tension, or fear are intense, long-lasting, or common, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, anxiety is treatable. Below you’ll find articles and resources to help you both understand and deal with feelings of anxiety.
Featured Anxiety Articles
Medication is a frontline treatment for many symptoms of anxiety and anxiety disorders. Medications for anxiety are generally safe and effective in battling anxious symptoms.
The most common anxiety therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but others are exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the key therapy techniques sued to treat anxiety. See if it’s a right fit for you.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition defined by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). People with OCD experience intense anxiety about the nature of their obsessions and engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate this distress. OCD is treatable with therapy and/or medication and can result in a decrease in the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Common symptoms of OCD include fear of contamination, fear of being harmed, sexual or violent obsessions, need for symmetry, or having a “not right” feeling and repeating behaviors until a “right feeling” is achieved.
Both anxiety and OCD involve repetitive, distressing thoughts, but with OCD, these thoughts are accompanied by rituals or compulsions that someone utilizes to try to ease their anxiety.
Panic disorder is marked by the presence of frequent panic attacks. Symptoms of a panic attack include a racing heart and shortness of breath, and can last for several minutes.
Panic attacks include a cluster of heightened physical symptoms, like a racing heartbeat, chest tightness, and intense feelings of dread. These attacks can feel frightening and confusing, especially if you haven’t experienced one before. In addition, they may leave you completely exhausted. Panic attacks sometimes have a specific trigger, but they can also appear randomly.
Panic attacks are a diagnosable, discrete burst of anxiety symptoms, and “anxiety attack” is a colloquial phrase used to describe periods of anxiety.
Specific phobias are fears about specific objects or situations. People with specific phobias experience intense anxiety in response to specific cues. They are diagnosed when this fear or the resulting avoidance causes a great deal of distress or impairment in a person’s life.
While phobias create immense distress and anxiety, they are treatable. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and medication can help reduce or eliminate symptoms of phobias.
People with agoraphobia avoid specific public places or situations because they anticipate having anxiety or a panic attack and being unable to escape or get help. In severe cases, these fears cause people to refuse to leave their homes for prolonged periods of time. Thankfully, it’s treatable with therapy.
Social anxiety disorder is the excessive fear of social situations and the negative views other people will have of them. Thankfully, social anxiety is very treatable.
Social anxiety disorder is an overwhelming fear of specific social situations and the avoidance of these situations. Treatment for social anxiety might include medication, but the primary treatment is exposure therapy.
Medication, in combination with therapy, is considered the frontline treatment for social anxiety disorder. Fortunately, prescriptions that are FDA approved for this disorder are a generally safe and effective option when addressing symptoms. However, it is recommended that you have a conversation with your prescribing practitioner about any risks, benefits, and side effects associated with any medication when considering options
Other Types of Anxiety and Related Conditions
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after stressful or traumatic life events. PTSD can leave those impacted by trauma with intrusive and upsetting thoughts and feelings long after the trauma event(s) happened. These symptoms impact the quality of life and, in some cases, the ability to maintain employment and relationships with others.
Selective mutism (SM) is a rare and severe social communication anxiety disorder, which can inhibit both a person’s verbal and nonverbal communication with others. These people can appear as frozen as a statue when they come into contact with other people.
People with separation anxiety disorder experience an excess amount of anxiety or fear when separated, or anticipate separating, from major attachment figures (parents, spouse, children, etc.). Their overwhelming level of anxiety is not developmentally appropriate, is persistent, and can cause significant distress sometimes impairing social, school, or work functioning.
More Articles About Anxiety
Exploring how our brains work can be fascinating, especially when we think about conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and how they fit into the bigger picture of neurodivergence. Neurodivergence is a term used to describe people living with conditions that are thought to cause subtle symptoms due to slight differences in how the brain functions.
Hit and run OCD is when someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) experiences obsessions directly related to hitting someone or something with a vehicle.
Depleted mother syndrome is a state of emotional and physical exhaustion experienced by mothers when the demands of motherhood exceed their ability to cope.