Tips for Combating Anxiety

Many residents in Virginia suffer from anxiety. Dealing with anxiety is very difficult, in no small part because one of the most common symptoms of anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of dread and restlessness. Many medical professionals use anxiety as a general term, since it is something that everyone can easily relate to. However, when giving a professional diagnosis, there are six different types of anxiety.

Types of Anxiety

The first type of anxiety is generalized anxiety disorder, which refers to a constant fear or paranoia throughout the day. The second type of anxiety is a panic disorder. With a panic disorder, the recipient suffers from repeated and spontaneous panic attacks throughout the day. They also have a constant fear of experiencing an additional panic attack. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the more recognized types of anxieties. This type of anxiety is characterized by feeling compelled to perform certain actions and will experience anxiety if they are unable to complete them. Phobia is a specific fear triggered by an action, activity or object. Social anxiety disorder refers to the fear of being seen in a negative light in public. The last anxiety is post-traumatic stress disorder, which occurs after a severely traumatic event. Regardless of what type of anxiety you may have, understanding how anxiety is dealt with can be the first step towards managing the condition.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Anxiety

Combating anxiety can be very difficult. One of the reasons that so many patients struggle with anxiety is because they have a hard time distinguishing an anxiety attack from general stress. Many patients mistakenly believe that their symptoms are simply a result of a stressful event in their life. There is a big difference between simply being stressed and experiencing an anxiety attack.

Some of the emotional signs of anxiety include a constant feeling of apprehension, which makes it very hard for the sufferer to focus on anything else. A consistent feeling of danger is another sign of anxiety, which often leads to sufferers feeling restless or irritable because they are constantly looking out for something that could harm them.

There are also physical symptoms associated with anxiety. In many cases, patients will experience dizziness, upset stomachs, fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches. Some anxiety sufferers are unable to sleep because of their anxiety. In the most severe cases, patients will experience shortness of breath and may suffer from uncontrollable tremors or twitches.

Anxiety Attacks

In addition to the general symptoms of anxiety, patients may also suffer from anxiety attacks. Anxiety attacks can be very severe. Emotionally, patients feel like they are losing control of their thoughts, which leads to an overwhelming sense of alarm. Other times, patients will become detached and feel like they are completely removed from reality.

Physically, patients may experience chest pains and have difficulty breathing. Temperature changes are very common during an anxiety attack as well. Anxiety attacks can cause nausea and stomach cramps. Patients may also feel like they are going to faint, or experience difficulty with their basic motor functions.

Medical Treatments for Anxiety

One of the ways that doctors or counselors help patients with anxiety is through medication. Anti-anxiety medications are sedatives which help to calm the patient down and ease his or her anxiety. There are many different types of anti-anxiety medications. Typically, they take between 30 to 90 minutes to have an effect. Patients that take anti-anxiety medication must tell their doctors when the medication is not working, or if the medication is making their anxiety worse. There are many different types of medications to choose from, which means it can take several attempts to find the right medication to help the patient. Other times the medication may work fine, but the dose is not enough to help with anxiety.

The other type of medication is antidepressants. Despite having similar names, the two types of medications have very different purposes. Antidepressants effect the chemicals produced in the brain of the patient, specifically targeting chemical imbalances which can cause an anxiety attack. Each type of medication has different advantages and disadvantages. Doctors will do their best to pick the medication which best applies to the type of anxiety experienced by the patient.

Therapy Treatment for Anxiety

Another option for dealing with anxiety is through therapy. The goal of therapy is to identify unhealthy or negative behaviors which may trigger anxiety. Therapists work alongside their patients to replace these negative behaviors with healthy alternatives. Therapy is also helpful for patients that are suffering from anxiety, but do not know the source. For some patients, simply having someone to speak with is also a way to help cope with anxiety.

Patients who experience anxiety attacks are encouraged to see a therapist, as well as take medication.

Additional Help for Combating Anxiety

There are many activities that may help combat anxiety. It is important for people with anxiety to remember that not all activities are guaranteed to work. Success will vary depending on personality, as well as the type of anxiety you experience. Some of the generalized tips for combatting anxiety include getting enough sleep each night, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Getting rest when anxious can be hard, but the body needs strength to deal with an anxiety attack. Maintaining a healthy diet can also help, since that provides the body with the energy it needs.

Anxiety sufferers should also avoid foods and drinks that contain sugar when they are experiencing an anxiety attack. It is also recommended to avoid smoking or using any kind of nicotine products. Patients that feel overwhelmed by their anxiety should try and speak with a friend or family member, if they are unable to see a therapist. Sometimes, simply talking about anxiety is enough for patients to calm down and relax, or feel validated for what they are experiencing.