Anxiety disorders may vary by the situations or objects that trigger them. However, all forms of anxiety share common characteristics of excessive worry, fear, and apprehension that interfere with a person’s day-to-day routine.
Do You Suffer from Anxiety?
Anxiety typically includes both emotional and physical symptoms. If you feel excessively concerned, afraid and fatigued, you may be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Also, if you feel that your emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions are out of proportion with what is normally expected in a certain situation, you may want to consider seeking counseling or psychotherapy.
How to Recognize Anxiety?
Some of the distinctive emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling a loss of control
- Excessive worry and fear
- Feeling agitated and/or irritated
- Ongoing fatigue
Also, anxiety symptoms often involve sleep problems, attention difficulties, a generalized fear of approaching trouble, and a tendency to avoid situations or people that trigger anxiety.
In addition, you may experience physical symptoms of anxiety that usually include:
- Headaches, stomachaches, and/or chest pain
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling tired or weak
- Legs and arms numbness
Anxiety Causes and Risk Factors
Your anxiety can be induced by many factors, including genetics, environmental factors, brain changes, and other medical conditions. However, an anxiety disorder may develop without any external provocations; anxious feelings may develop from your negative self-thoughts and thinking patterns.
How to Overcome Anxiety?
Whether you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), excessive and prolonged symptoms may affect your relationships, work, and school performance.
Even though anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only around 37% of people with anxiety receive treatment. The most successful psychological therapies for anxiety include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Therapy.
As a short-term therapy that is problem-specific and goal-oriented, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you by changing your dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors. Also, CBT helps reduce stress and improves resilience. It can help you face life transitions and cope with overwhelming emotions such as grief, fear, or anger.
Furthermore, CBT teaches coping strategies that can be applied in your day-to-day life long after therapy is over. Also, as a highly structured approach, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be delivered in person, online, individually or in groups. However, CBT requires your active participation to succeed.
- Exposure Therapy
In exposure therapy, you are gradually exposed to a situation or object that generates fear. Over time, you learn to become less sensitive to a feared object or situation. Exposure therapy has been proven to be especially effective for phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.