Diseases and Conditions
Mental and Behavioral Conditions
Anxiety Disorders Center: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
The number of people struggling with anxiety disorders has dramatically increased in the last few decades. According to the Nation...
Traditionally, anxiety disorders have been perceived as emotional problems that require psychological treatment. In the last two d...
Struggling with chronic anxiety isn’t only dealing with constant worry or overwhelm, it can also exhaust a person mentally a...
It may be in the elusive nature of emotions in general that the exact cause of anxiety disorders is still not fully understood. An...
The number of people struggling with anxiety disorders has dramatically increased in the last few decades. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 20 percent of American adults 18 years and older are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which translates to more than 50 million adults. The actual number is probably even higher than that, considering that people who struggle with anxiety often feel too powerless, overwhelmed or embarrassed to seek professional help. With greater awareness of the debilitating nature of anxiety disorders, a variety of effective treatments have been developed in the past few decades. Understanding some important facts about anxiety is the first step to demystifying these emotions and regaining control.
Struggling with chronic anxiety isn’t only dealing with constant worry or feelings of being overwhelmed, it can also exhaust a person mentally and emotionally and cause serious health problems.
Traditionally, anxiety disorders have been perceived as emotional problems that require psychological treatment. In the past two decades, a lot of progress has been made in the development of potent antianxiety medications. However, while medication can effectively relieve anxiety symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily change a person’s thought and behavioral pattern, nor does it address challenges of the present or past, which may have caused the onset of the anxiety. Therefore, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy remain important cornerstones in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Since there are several different classes of commonly used medications to treat anxiety disorders, it is important to discuss with your doctor the benefits, side effects and potential risks of each of them.
There are a variety of tests and assessments psychiatrists employ to evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder. However, since many anxiety symptoms are similar to those of other medical conditions, see your primary care doctor first to make sure your symptoms are not caused by another illness.
Besides medication and psychotherapy, there are a variety of non-conventional treatment options for anxiety, some of which show promising results. These treatments are either used as alternatives or in conjunction with conventional approaches.
It may be in the elusive nature of emotions in general that the exact causes of anxiety disorders are still not fully understood. Anxiety disorders have been linked to social-environmental and emotional factors, overactive neurological pathways and changes in brain chemistry. However, it is most likely that, in the majority of cases, a mixture of factors contribute to the onset of the condition.