Identifying Anxiety Disorders
Most people feel worried or scared when faced with a dangerous or stressful situation, but some people feel an excessive sense of worry or fear on a daily basis.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders often feel fearful and anxious about the world around them, and may experience extreme effects of anxiety that turn into an anxiety attack of panic disorder from everyday situations.
Understanding the root cause of an anxiety problem can take time, but there are several common characteristics and symptoms that indicate that an anxiety disorder is present, and may need to be addressed.
Identifying anxiety disorder symptoms and effects is the first step to getting better and finding a suitable treatment plan.
Here are some of the key signs that you or someone you know is suffering from an anxiety disorder:
1. Constantly plagued by irrational fears. Everyone experiences fear in dangerous or potentially risky situation, but people with anxiety disorders tend to be plagued by irrational fears that consist of excessive worry or anxiousness over a situation that cannot be classified as harmful or dangerous.
2. Sensing danger in a safe environment. People with anxiety disorders often feel a constant sense of fear or danger in their surroundings, even if they have been in a certain place countless times, or the environment has been deemed safe by others. Anxiety disorder sufferers often have a heightened sense of awareness that can contribute to this problem.
3. Avoidance of certain social activities or situations. Those who are suffering from anxiety disorders often feel uncomfortable in social situations where they may be judged or ridiculed, and will avoid certain activities or social situations altogether. This can make it very difficult for them to have a healthy social life and sustain meaningful relationships.
4. Belief that something bad will happen if a ritual or routine is broken. Many people with anxiety disorders are superstitious, or develop behaviors that lead to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
According to HelpGuide.org, people with anxiety disorder often hold a “belief that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way… [they] may also suffer from compulsions such as washing hands over and over.”
5. Feelings of loss of control that trigger an anxiety attack. Many people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety attacks have an intense fear of losing control of the situation.
This can trigger a condition known as agoraphobia, where the person is afraid that they will have an anxiety attack in a public setting, and may be judged or ridiculed as a result. This cycle can continue to perpetuate itself, leaving the sufferer homebound or socially withdrawn over time.
6. Sudden, unexpected feelings of panic and overwhelm. Some of the characteristics of a panic attack are short, frequent episodes of overwhelm, intense fear and an elevated heart rate. Many people suffering from anxiety disorders experience panic or anxiety attacks on a regular basis, and these can also interfere with daily life.
Identifying the effects and characteristics of anxiety disorders can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan, and even identify a root cause. There are several medical and non-medical treatments available for anxiety disorders and symptoms, so there are ways to overcome anxiety-related problems that may be affecting emotional health and well-being.
Ways to Recognize Unhealthy Panic Disorders
Panic disorder is one of several anxiety disorders that involve an intense, abrupt and oftentimes debilitating period of discomfort and fear. Panic disorders affect millions of men and women of all ages, and can be triggered by several situations or circumstances, real or imagined.
Gerald Klerman of the World Psychiatric Association and author of the book, “Panic Anxiety and Its Treatments” points out that there are several DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria that must be fulfilled in order to classify someone as having panic disorder.
First, one or more of the panic attacks must have occurred when the person was exposed to a situation that doesn’t typically cause anxiety. This could be anything from going to the grocery store, watching a movie they’ve already seen, or washing the dishes. The panic attack must also not be triggered by a situation where the person was the center of attention, such as a public speaking event, a birthday party, or other situation where they were the focus of a crowd.
Secondly, four attacks must have occurred within a four-week period, or the person must have experienced persistent fear after having an attack. Symptoms of fear after a panic attack may include difficulty sleeping, extreme paranoia and restlessness.
Third, during a panic attack the person must also have experienced at least four of the following symptoms: trembling or shaking; sweating; shortness of breath; dizziness; depersonalization; numbness or tingling; hot flashes; fear of dying; chest pain or discomfort; accelerated heart rate; nausea; choking; and fear of going crazy.
Fourth, the person must have experienced at least four of the symptoms in increased intensity within 10 minutes of the beginning of the first symptom they noticed they were having during the panic attack. In many cases, this means the person was feeling very out of control, unbalanced, and even confused.
Finally, the possibility that the attack was triggered by caffeine, amphetamines or hyper-thyroidism must be ruled out. Many people experience the symptoms of panic disorder because they have become dependent on over-the-counter stimulants, or have an unaddressed medical condition. If the person is taking supplements or stimulants, they may not fulfill the criteria for panic disorder by a psychiatrist.
Panic disorder is just one of several anxiety disorders that affect millions of people every year. Panic disorder can become a problem in someone’s life if it interferes with social relationships, or limits the person’s ability to work or live a fulfilling life.
If you or someone you know is suffering from panic disorder, there are several treatment options available. Nobody has to suffer from the effects of extreme anxiety and panic attacks for the rest of their lives.
Panic disorder treatments may require medical intervention only in extreme cases; most people can make changes to their lifestyle, ensure they are eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep, and learning healthy ways to cope with stress. Some people may also benefit from taking natural supplements that reduce anxiety and help to alleviate some of the symptoms of a panic attack.
To learn how to manage and treat anxiety disorders and symptoms without medication, watch this video – Natural Supplements and Treatments for Anxiety- What the research says about Supplements for Anxiety
By Barry McDonagh, who is an international panic disorder coach. He created the Panic Away program to help people around the world deal with their anxiety and avoid panic attacks – a subject that he is personally attuned to because he himself found that he was prone to these issues since he was young. His hatred of his powerless lead him down the path of finding natural ways to treat himself without having to depend on expensive medications.
His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: Anxiety Self-Help – How to Manage and Treat Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms Without Medication?