An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by excessive worry, fear, or apprehension about everyday situations. It can vary in intensity from mild to crippling and can be experienced by people of all ages.
Let’s talk about the most common types of anxiety disorders, their symptoms and treatments, and where you can go for the treatment of anxiety in Atlanta and Alpharetta.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
The most common types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
Each type has its own set of characteristics that make it unique.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder. It is characterized by excessive worrying about everyday issues such as finances, work performance, relationships, etc., even when no real danger exists. People with GAD may also experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is another type of anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts or rituals that are difficult to control or ignore. Common OCD behaviors include compulsive handwashing, excessive checking of locks or appliances multiple times throughout the day, or repeating certain phrases repeatedly to alleviate feelings of fear or worry.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Panic Disorder involves frequent episodes of intense fear that appear suddenly and without warning. These episodes may accompany physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating palms, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
- Panic Disorder
Panic Disorder involves frequent episodes of intense fear that seem to come on suddenly and without warning. These episodes may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating palms, light headedness or dizziness.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder causes individuals to experience extreme fear in social situations due to the feeling that they will be judged negatively by others in the group. This can lead to avoidance behaviors such as avoiding eye contact with strangers or avoiding public speaking engagements altogether.
- Specific Phobias
Specific Phobias are intense fears related to specific objects or situations, such as heights or flying on airplanes which can cause significant distress and interfere with daily functioning if left untreated.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear or worry that can be overwhelming. Common physical symptoms include an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, and shortness of breath. Psychological symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, irritability, racing thoughts and feeling on edge, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, muscle tension, and restlessness. In some cases, people may also experience chest pain or nausea.
Panic Attack Symptoms
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or distress that typically lasts between five to20 minutes. The physical symptoms are similar to those associated with anxiety but are more intense in nature—racing heartbeat, chest pain or tightness, dizziness or faintness, shaking or trembling, difficulty breathing, or hyperventilation. Psychological symptoms can include feeling like one cannot think clearly; feeling detached from reality; fear of losing control; feeling like one is going to die; numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities; chills or hot flashes; nausea; and fear of going crazy.
Anxiety Calming Methods
There are several methods for calming down during an anxiety attack or panic episode. These include:
- Deep breathing exercises (inhaling deeply through the nose for three seconds followed by exhaling slowly through the mouth for three seconds)
- Progressive muscle relaxation (tensing certain muscles then releasing them); distraction techniques (such as counting backward from 100)
- Guided imagery (visualizing yourself in a peaceful place)
- Positive self-talk (affirmations such as “I am safe”)
- Yoga poses; meditation practices
- Listening to calming music
- Journaling out your feelings
- Talking with friends/family members who understand what you are going through
Anxiety & Panic Attack Treatment
If the above methods do not work to calm your anxiety, then it may be time to seek professional help from a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist specializing in treating anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in treating anxiety disorders. CBT promotes teaching coping skills such as problem-solving techniques and relaxation strategies that can help manage anxious thoughts and feelings more effectively over time. Medication can also be prescribed by a healthcare provider if needed for symptom relief along with CBT treatment sessions.
Anxiety Management in Atlanta and Alpharetta
If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder, contact Atlanta Specialized Care. We offer therapy for all types of anxiety disorders, and our therapists are experienced in treating anxiety and can tailor a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. All of our therapists are licensed professional therapists or social workers, and we also have an advanced practice psychiatric nurse on staff to prescribe medication in-house.
To make an appointment with us, call us today at (770) 815-6853 or use our appointment request form. We look forward to helping you!