How do you know when your anxiety has crossed the line into an anxiety disorder? That’s a question many people wonder. With over 40 million adults diagnosed with anxiety disorders, this condition is more common than you might realize. Symptoms that have been shrugged off for years may be warning signs that it’s time to deal with a deeper issue. Anxiety inpatient treatment can help. Here is an explanation of anxiety disorders and symptoms. Understanding the condition can help you seek help and learn how to cope with this mental health issue.
General Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorders
When the brain, specifically the amygdala, perceives a threat, hormones are released to trigger a fight or flight response. During a reaction, adrenaline and cortisol flood the body to heighten reflexes to protect itself from impending trouble, whether that trouble is real or not. This amazing function of the brain and body keeps us safe and alive. While it’s a natural human response to experiencing stress and fear, it becomes a disorder when it happens unnecessarily.
Not all anxiety is an issue, as everyone experiences it, so anxiety inpatient treatment is not always necessary. However, those suffering from chronic symptoms may have an anxiety disorder.
Common Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can occur or develop for many reasons, whether life circumstances or an imbalance in the brain. Sometimes inherited genetic abnormalities can lead to anxiety and other mental health disorders.
GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) is a type of anxiety that typically occurs daily for six months or longer. Patients diagnosed with GAD overthink and play out adverse events in their heads. They are frequently worried about unrealistic things to the point that it’s difficult to concentrate and complete other tasks. Those suffering from GAD may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Unexplainable worry
- Being on edge
- Feeling restless
- Muscle tension
- Trouble falling and staying asleep
- Imagining bad outcomes
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) involves difficulty controlling thoughts and feeling compelled to repeat certain behaviors. The repetitive behaviors bring a sense of control. Failing to complete the actions can cause increased anxiety. OCD causes reoccurring distressing thoughts that impair the ability to assess situations properly. These thoughts only bring stress and may revolve around illicit topics. People with OCD may worry about others’ intentions toward them and believe others are out to get them. OCD often causes perfectionism and a fear of losing control, which contributes to rumination and insecurity.
Panic disorder is qualified by experiencing panic attacks. For no reason and without warning, overwhelming feelings of terror and dread spread through the body. Panic attacks cause rapid heart rate, chest pains, and sweat. Those who have suffered from traumatic events may have panic attacks triggered by memories. The panic disorder removes patients from their current reality and disorients them. Symptoms of panic anxiety include:
- Stomach problems
Sometimes panic disorder exacerbates anxiety by making the individual afraid to go somewhere because they could have a panic attack. An individual with panic disorder will avoid people and places they fear could cause another panic attack.
Some people sustain PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD can last years after the trauma occurred. The trauma can lead to panic attacks when triggered by a sound, smell, or another sense related to the initial event. Signs of PTSD usually begin within a few months of the trauma. However, it can take months or years for this anxiety disorder to appear. Flashbacks and bad dreams are common with PTSD and leave the person feeling like they are experiencing the traumatic event all over again.
Often, people with PTSD avoid places or reminders of their trauma to avoid triggering their symptoms. Some other PTSD symptoms include:
- Terrifying thoughts
- Trouble sleeping
- Angry outbursts
Social anxiety is the fear that others will judge actions and conversations negatively in a public setting. This anxiety may keep people from leaving their house to attend events for fear of public humiliation or embarrassment. It causes immense self-consciousness and insecurity and gets in the way of creating and sustaining relationships. Social anxiety causes excessive worry in school and work situations. Some may find it impossible to speak on the phone or engage in new and unfamiliar situations, experiencing breathlessness and dry mouth. Social anxiety sufferers may lose their ability to speak, have a trembling voice, or blush incessantly.
Other Types of Anxiety
Other types of anxiety are phobias and separation anxiety. Phobias are often specific to places, objects, or situations. Fear of the deep ocean or small holes are examples of irrational phobias that cause stress. Agoraphobia is similar to claustrophobia in that it makes the individual afraid of being trapped somewhere outside their safe haven. Anywhere that seems challenging to escape can cause panic and lead to severe isolation.
Separation anxiety is more common in children, but some adults also feel this fear. While a child may fear being removed from a parent or loved one, adults fear losing a loved one forever to something tragic.
Anxiety Inpatient Treatment
Untreated anxiety disorders can overtake life and make simple things complex. Hyperventilation, insomnia, and uncontrollable worry are treatable symptoms, and mental illnesses can be managed. Located in South Florida, Comprehensive Wellness Centers offers anxiety inpatient treatment so that people aren’t suffering alone and without the therapies necessary to live a healthy life. Check out our services today to find out how we can help you.