In all their many forms, anxiety disorders are acknowledged to be the most frequent classification of mental illnesses with an estimated 20 million adults in the United States dealing with one type or another. Because anxiety disorders occur in many different forms it is important to understand their specific symptoms before being able to determine how to effectively treat them.
Three of the most prevalent forms of these disorders are:
– Panic Attacks
o A sudden extreme fear not in proportion to the cause of the fear. Symptoms include increased heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, and shortness of breath. Usually repetitive without warning.
– Generalized Anxiety Disorder
o Symptoms include constant worrying, being nervous, difficulty in controlling the thought process (over thinking).
– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
o Most commonly associated with combat veterans, PTSD can also be caused by any type of physical or psychological trauma and is often a combination of both. Symptoms include recurring unpleasant dreams, vivid “flashback” memories, unable to remember significant events of the original trauma.
Treating Anxiety Disorder
Considering the three above examples, all are treated in very different ways because they have many different causes. A treatment program for someone dealing with occasional panic attacks will be much different that the treatment of PTSD. To receive the most effective treatment program an individual should discuss their symptoms and experiences with a medical professional who is trained and qualified in dealing with mental issues.
A program of therapy over a period of time is very effective in identifying the specific issues causing a patient’s symptoms. Many different research studies have confirmed the many advantages of one on one counseling in successful treatment.
As anxiety disorders have become better understood pharmacological advances have provided a number of medicines that are very effective in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders. The downside is that many of these medications carry a high risk of addiction and must be used only when specifically prescribed by a trained medical professional.
Left untreated, anxiety disorders can destroy both lives and families. You are most responsible for your well being and that of your loved ones. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is your responsibility to visit your medical professional and begin the process of determination. Both the causes and treatment of these problems are much better understood than in the past. What you are experiencing does not need to be a life sentence!