The occasional run-in with anxiety is a normal part of everyday life. However, when that anxiety becomes frequent, intense, and starts to interfere with daily activities, it can become especially problematic. This type of persistent worry and fear is what is known as an anxiety disorder. And being aware of mental health conditions like this can play a big role in maintaining your overall health. That’s why anxiety awareness is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stressful events and situations. But in cases of anxiety disorders, people often experience sudden, repeated episodes of intense fear or terror that peak within minutes, even if there is not an especially stressful event. These feelings of anxiety and terror are challenging to control and often hugely disproportionate to the level of actual danger or stress that caused them.
Anxiety that is undiagnosed as a specific disorder, or caused by other mental illnesses, is typically referred to as acute anxiety. Before being diagnosed, most anxiety disorders are called acute anxiety. Symptoms of acute anxiety may start to manifest in early childhood or teen years and will typically continue into adulthood.
What Are the Different Types of Anxiety?
Anxiety can manifest as several different disorders. Some of the most common are:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Anxiety Awareness: How Do You Know if You Have Anxiety?
Generally, the symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be challenging to tell apart from everyday worries and concerns. Acute anxiety symptoms or anxiety disorder symptoms can often mirror the stresses and fears of certain life events. Developing good anxiety awareness can be a great way to help understand your anxiety and determine whether or not it is rational or not.
If your anxiety starts to become more frequent or starts interfering with your life, it may be time to see a professional. But first, understanding the symptoms of an anxiety disorder is an important step toward mental health recovery. Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with clinical anxiety.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
- Feeling nervous or tense
- Breathing rapidly
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty concentrating
- Panic attacks
- Avoiding social situations
- Muscle aches, cramps, or tension
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Conditions That May Have Anxiety as a Symptom
Many conditions may cause you to experience anxiety. These are not anxiety disorders, but they can bring about the same fear or panic, making diagnosis tricky. Some common conditions that may have anxiety as a symptom include:
- Heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Substance abuse and withdrawal
- Medication side effects
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic pain
Is Anxiety a Mental Illness?
Anxiety is not a mental illness. Everyday things like feeling anxious before a job interview or a big move does not mean you have a mental illness. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are mental health conditions, and they often require treatment.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of behavioral disorders in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults have an anxiety disorder. This emphasizes how important anxiety awareness is—this mental health condition affects people of all walks of life, so it’s important to keep an eye out for it.
It’s important to understand that anxiety disorders are a very real, sometimes severe mental illness and should always be treated as such. If left untreated, severe anxiety can lead to serious threats such as thoughts of suicide or trouble with alcohol or drug abuse. If you or a loved one are struggling with an anxiety disorder, see a doctor or a mental health provider before getting worse. Seeking out treatment is always easier when done early.
Anxiety Awareness & Support in Georgetown, Ohio
Finding the right anxiety support can be challenging. The important thing to remember is that anxiety disorders are highly manageable and can be curable in some cases. At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, our treatment team is well versed in managing all types of anxiety disorders. At our inpatient mental health facility, one of the goals of anxiety disorder treatment is to learn what triggers your anxiety so you can understand how to manage anxiety symptoms when they present themselves. We accomplish this with careful consideration of your personal experiences through our inpatient mental health program.
Anxiety awareness is an essential framework for a healthy, productive lifestyle, and at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, we can help you achieve it. We also understand that anxiety disorders are often accompanied by substance abuse, which is why we offer our patients our dual diagnosis program. In this way, our treatment team can address any potential co-occurring substance use disorders that may accompany your anxiety.