What can we do for 5 types of anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by a state of inner turmoil and feelings of dread over anticipated events. Anxiety is the expectation of a future threat, a feeling of uneasiness and worry. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration.
The first step in the management of a person with any of the types of anxiety disorders symptoms is to determine the possible presence of an underlying medical cause. Anxiety disorder symptoms may be masking an organic disease or as result of a medical disorder.
.Anxiety disorders are partly genetic but may also be due to drug use, including alcohol, caffeine, and benzodiazepines (which are often prescribed to treat anxiety), as well as withdrawal from drugs of abuse. They often occur with other mental disorders.
Common treatment options include lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy. Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns. Metacognitive therapy essentially means “thinking about thinking”. The theory is that we have a set of beliefs about the way we think, and that these beliefs are incorrect.
What are 5 types of anxiety disorders?
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder– characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)– characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
- Panic Disorder-characterized
by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)-characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations
- Panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Sleep problems
- Not being able to stay calm and still
- Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
If you have symptoms, your doctor will examine you and ask for your medical history, run tests to rule out medical illnesses that might be causing your symptoms. No lab tests can specifically diagnose anxiety disorders.
Your doctor may send you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health specialist. They will ask you questions and use tools and testing to find out if you may have an anxiety disorder.
Your caregiver will consider how long and how intense your symptoms are when diagnosing you. She’ll also determine if the symptoms keep you from carrying out your normal activities.
Most people with the condition try one or more of these therapies:
Medication: Many antidepressants can work for the different types of anxiety disorders. They include escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluoxetine (Prozac). Certain anticonvulsant medicines (typically taken for epilepsy) and low-dose antipsychotic drugs can be added to help make other treatments work better. Anxiolytics are also drugs that help lower anxiety. Examples are alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin). They’re prescribed for social or generalized anxiety disorder as well as for panic attacks.
Psychotherapy: This is a type of counseling that addresses the emotional response to mental illness. A mental health specialist helps you by talking about how to understand and deal with your anxiety disorder.
Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT): This is a certain type of psychotherapy that teaches you how to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that trigger deep anxiety or panic.
Metacognitive therapy (MCT) Discover what patients believe about their own thoughts and about how their mind works, then to show how these beliefs lead to unhelpful responses to thoughts that serve to unintentionally prolong or worsen symptoms, and finally to provide alternative ways of responding to thoughts in order to allow a reduction of symptoms.
Exercise and/or active relaxation Scientific research shows 20 minutes of daily meditation or 30 minutes of daily exercise can greatly reduce the impact of stress. These simple and medication-free ways of combating anxiety and stress can take effect almost instantly and lower tension and negative emotions long after the activity is done. Like exercise, meditation has proven an effective tool for lowering anxiety levels.
Suggestions on Relaxation and Meditation
A word or two of caution. Discuss with your Caregiver the pros and cons before adding and/or changing your exercise and meditation current practices. Let them help you to make informed decisions. Use the Caregiver as your learning resource. Some people have experienced increased anxiety during meditation, so if you are just beginning; do not push yourself too far or too fast. Actually, almost everyone experiences some increased anxiety when first beginning meditation.
Meditation is by far the best way of soothing yourself. Meditation practitioners have observed many positive changes in blood pressure, metabolism, and even concentration levels. Meditation helps to calm the mind and also to help us focus better. The aim of meditation is to make the mind clear and free from disturbing thoughts.
Every little thing matters. That’s why even if it sounds like it won’t make a tremendous difference, listening to your favorite music can have a powerful effect on your anxiety. The key is to make sure you’re listening to music that represents the way you want to feel. Happy or relaxing music, not just any music. The reality is that music does affect emotions. When you’re trying to stop anxiety, you should listen to music that will help you feel the way you want to feel. Music can help to divert the mind from the daily tensions and relaxes tensed muscles and nerves.
Finally, simply learning to live for today can impact your anxiety. One of the most important things that psychologists and counselors teach those with anxiety is: “Okay, you’re anxious. So what?”
Those with anxiety often start to focus too much on how they feel and their worries about the future. Each day becomes trying to live with anxiety instead of trying to live in general. And what’s interesting is that if you can learn to finally have that mindset – to let yourself experience and to live in the Present – you will find that your anxiety tends to dissipate. It’s not a cure, but it’s close.
Some Suggested Guided Meditations
Just suggestions. I, nor anyone, can say do these and any ot the types of anxiety will disappear. Try, and if these are not your style, try others. All of these are short, I think of them as band-aids. Easy to download on your phone, easy to take a quick break and use. With all the guided meditations available, I am sure you will find the one or ones that can provide a little bit of Peace for you, no matter which of the types of anxiety affect you.
If you are not familiar with meditation, start with the basics and gain some experience. Remember to take it slow and easy.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
I often listen to music when I wish to relax and when I meditate. Usually, I pick from one of my playlists of tried and true, but the other day I decided to try something new. I went to Sound Cloud and searched for Alternative instrumental and I found this from David Hyde.
It is a little faster, a little more uptempo but some great feel good music all the same. I added it to my playlist, feel free to do the same. I think this would be a good “Feel Good” type song for any of the types of anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is living in a state of inner turmoil and feelings of dread. All of us, to one degree or another, suffer from it. All of us are affected and have our lives impacted by anxiety. If you or someone you know lives with one or more of these 5 types of anxiety disorders, look at all the resources available. Life is too short, too precious to allow ourselves not to take advantage of living without additional stress.
Use your resources: Medical Doctors, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Therapist or Certified Mental Health Specialist. Ask questions about meditation, exercise, diet and other alternative treatment programs. Join or form a Support Group. Challange yourself not to allow this to be the driving force in YOUR Life.
Educate yourself. Learn what the triggers are, and how to minimize them. Learn quick stratagies/steps to take when you become overwhelmed. Keep a journal.
Knowledge is Power. Your anxiety knows you and uses that against you. Know your anxiety and use that knowledge against it.
Do you know what your anxiety is? What about for your loved one? Do you have tips or techniques that work for you and are willing to share? There may not be a cure for Anxiety but together we can take our lives back!
I would like to hear your thoughts on anxiety, even if it is not one of the 5 types of anxiety disorders we’ve talked about today. If you have any questions or thoughts or just need to talk it out, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!
Walking the Path of Peace,