Anxiety: symptoms, treatment, and how to distinguish between anxiety and normal worry
With fast-paced and hectic lifestyles comes consistent stress. Especially in busy cities, stress can begin to weigh down on you and cause some unwanted side effects including anxiety. Anxiety is a normal human reaction to stressful situations and is not always harmful. However, if it begins to pile up and is not properly addressed early on, it can develop into a disorder.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an “imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. It helps us to prepare for tough situations. However, when these small natural anxieties begin to impact our ability to live normal, healthy lives – it becomes a real anxiety disorder.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Constant, unsubstantiated worry
- Sudden, uncalled for panic attacks
- Feelings of anxiety towards every type of social interaction
- Irrational fears of objects, places, or events
- Difficulty sleeping
- Shortness of breath
How to distinguish between normal worry and anxiety disorder?
One of the easiest ways to distinguish between normal worry and an anxiety disorder is the randomness of symptom onset. Typical anxiety occurs around common stressors such as a new job, paying bills, awkward social situations, moving to a new city, or realistic fears. This classifies normal anxiety, whereas constant worry and unwarranted physical symptoms may be telltale signs that you have an anxiety disorder.
Some of the easiest ways you can prevent anxiety disorders or begin to curb symptoms begin with leading a healthier lifestyle. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and even decreased interactions with friends and family can result in a higher susceptibility to developing anxious tendencies.
If you feel like your anxiety is starting to develop into something more serious, discussing your issues with a professional psychiatrist can help you get things in order before they get worse. Simply discussing your symptoms and personal experiences with a psychologist or doctor can help to shed light on your situation. There is no better way to get a firm understanding of your unique case of anxiety, its severity, prevention, and treatment options available to you.
How To Properly Treat Anxiety
If you believe your anxiety is beginning to get out of hand, the best course of action is to speak to a professional. They can help educate you on how to better manage your thoughts and give you practices to help develop healthier thought and behavioral patterns.
The two most common practices for professionally treating anxiety include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The goal of CBT is to help teach patients suffering from mental illness new ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the things that cause your anxiety. The most common method is simple cognitive therapy, which involves challenging and rewiring your current thought patterns that cause your anxiety through conversation and/or exposure therapy.
Medications are not a cure for anxiety but can help support the therapeutic efforts used to treat it. A physician-approved medication plan along with healthy eating, exercise, and psychological counseling can help give you the tools you need to start making positive progress.
Our team of caring and experienced psychiatrists care about your well being and treat every patient with patience and warmth. Our process is different because we match the treatment to the patient, not the patient to the treatment. We believe every patient is unique and should be cared for as individuals. If you believe you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety and want to get them under control before they get worse, give us a call today to schedule a consultation.