Anxiety disorders affect a huge number of individuals in the United States, with an estimated 40 million individuals above the age of 18 experiencing anxiety disorders every year. However, the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) notes that only 36.9% of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment, even though anxiety disorders are highly treatable. If you are dealing with an anxiety disorder and would like to understand your condition better, we have answered some commonly asked questions about anxiety below!
What causes anxiety?
The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown. However, researchers have found that genetics, brain chemistry, and various environmental factors like traumatic life events appear to play a role.
In some cases, anxiety may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or a side-effect of certain medications. Some medical conditions that are linked with anxiety include the following:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- Hyperthyroidism or other thyroid disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Withdrawal from drugs, alcohol, or various medications
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety can cause a broad range of symptoms, including emotional, mental, and physical symptoms. With that in mind, some common anxiety symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty or inability to control or stop worrying
- Experiencing a sense of imminent danger, doom, or panic
- Fatigue or weakness
- Feeling an urge to avoid people, places, events, objects, or other things that trigger anxiety
- Feelings of nervousness, restlessness, or tension
- Gastrointestinal (GI) issues
- Having trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than your present worry
- Increased heart rate
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
- Sweating due to nervousness
Can anxiety be cured on its own?
When discussing anxiety, it is important to distinguish between anxiety and anxiety disorders. Anxiety is a common feeling that everyone will experience to lesser or higher degrees at some point in their lives. You may feel anxiety about anything from a job interview to a first date or speaking in front of a large audience. While these feelings can be overwhelming, they typically go away on their own or when the triggering event has passed.
In contrast, anxiety disorder is a persistent form of anxiety with frequently occurring symptoms that may appear with or without any apparent trigger. When there is a definite trigger, the symptoms may occur with much more intensity or duration than reasonable. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders are often chronic, lifelong conditions. While some may overcome an anxiety disorder, many people do not. At the same time, anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and many individuals with anxiety disorders are able to significantly reduce the impact anxiety has on their lives through a combination of medication and therapy.
When to take help from a therapist for Anxiety?
It can take some time and consideration before you are ready to accept help from a therapist for anxiety. At the same time, there is nothing shameful about going to therapy, as it is a highly effective way to improve yourself and become the person you want to be. If you are dealing with anxiety, some signs you could benefit from the help of a therapist include the following:
- Your symptoms have had a negative impact on school, work, or relationships
- You have developed unhealthy coping habits to deal with anxiety
- Thinking about or coping with an anxiety trigger takes up at least an hour of each day
- You notice that your quality of life has decreased
- Constant feelings of being overwhelmed
- Commonly have intrusive thoughts
- Persistent feelings of anger, rage, or resentment
- Social withdrawal or loss of interest in usual activities due to anxiety
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Avoiding people or places for fear of having a panic attack
If you are dealing with anxiety, North Tex MedCare would be happy to provide you with the help you need. For more information about anxiety therapy or an appointment with us, please feel free to call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit us at 5057 Keller Springs Road, Suite 300, in Addison, TX, for a walk-in appointment! We serve patients from Addison TX, Carrollton TX, Richardson TX, Farmers Branch TX, Hebron TX, and Highland Park TX.