What Is An Anxiety Disorder?
While it’s normal for to experience anxiety or nervousness, anxiety disorders may cause physical and emotional distress that interfere with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Anxiety disorders are real illnesses with real causes.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 18% of all Americans are affected by anxiety, which can be caused by a combination of factors including changes in the brain, environmental stressors, and genetic. Severe or long-lasting stress can change brain circuitry functionality that regulates mood. Trauma and significant events may also trigger anxiety in those who are genetically susceptible to developing anxiety.
There are no lab tests that diagnose anxiety disorders, but doctors may use various tests to look for physical illnesses that may be causing the symptoms. If there’s no physical illness, an individual may be referred to a mental health professional to diagnose and treat the disorder.
What Are the Symptoms?
Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions, such as panic disorders, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or social anxiety disorder, and each has its own set of side effects.
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Feeling tense and jumpy
- Restlessness or irritability
- Expecting the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
- Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
- Upset stomach
- Sweating, tremors, and twitches
- Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?
Mental health professionals use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate for anxiety disorders. Diagnosis is based on the intensity and duration of each client’s symptoms as well as the doctor’s observation of the individual’s attitude/behavior. A doctor will decide if a specific disorder causes the symptoms as well as the3 degree of dysfunction.
Since each disorder has different symptoms, the exact anxiety disorder treatment depends on the type of disorder, but the most common treatment at Pasadena Villa is combination of medication and psychotherapy. You can learn more about our treatment methods here.
Additionally, it’s common for clients to have co-occurring conditions including depression or addiction as anxiety disorders are rarely the sole diagnosis in a person’s mental health history. That’s why it is important to seek help from a trained professional who can accurately diagnose all the accompanying conditions and prescribe the right course of treatment. At Pasadena Villa, we treat each client with the most advanced and effective methods available, always ensuring that the client’s needs are the number one priority.