People face anxiety-causing situations on a regular basis. Expectations at school, work, home, relationships and more can be particularly troubling.
But its different with an anxiety disorder. You're not just nervous. Your feelings remain. In fact, the anxiety can get worse and can negatively affect your overall health.
The below categories summarize the most common forms of anxiety:
It's perfectly natural to worry about your health, finances, work or family issues.
But when you have GAD, you're really worried about areas, and more, even when you have little or no reason to worry. In fact, you feel anxiety most of the time, believing projects or tasks will fail. Sometimes, these worries can even prevent you from just initiating tasks.
GAD often starts slowly, usually emerging when you're a teenager or young adult. Sometimes you'll feel better, sometimes not. You usually feel worse when you're stressed.
If you think you have GAD, consult a medical professional. It may take several visits before they firm up a diagnosis.
A typical diagnosis for GAD involves having these (and other) behaviors for at least six months.
GAD develops slowly, often emerging in your teen or young adult years. Symptoms may improve or worsen at different times. Stress often aggravates the condition. When anxieties are mild, a GAD sufferer can function normally, and can even hold a job. When it's severe, even the simplest tasks are a struggle.
GAD sufferers may require several trips to the doctor before they discover they have GAD. Often, patients ask for help with a GAD symptom, and not the overall disorder. This is why many don't immediately receive the right kind of help.
If you think you have GAD, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Get an exam to see if GAD is the true cause of your symptoms. Then see a mental health specialist, if recommended.
You leave the house, locking the front door behind you. Then you wonder: Did you turn the oven off? Or the iron?
It's perfectly natural to want to double check something. Everyone double checks things sometimes. But Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you feel this overwhelming desire to check things all the time. You may even have a routine or ritual you go through. These thoughts or rituals, when tied to OCD, can inhibit your ability to lead a meaningful life.
When you have OCD, you:
"Obsessions" is a term that's often used to describe these frequent upsetting thoughts. "Compulsions" is another term which summarizes what sufferers do to try to control the obsessions. When you have OCD, you can't control neither the obsessions nor the compulsions. In fact, the obsessions often end up controlling you.
If you suspect you have OCD, talk to a licensed medical practitioner about your symptoms. You may have to undergo some tests and exams, and/or a referral to a mental health specialist, to conclusively determine OCD. They may to perform an exam to ensure that another physical problem isn't causing the symptoms.
Panic attacks can happen whenever, no matter if you're awake or asleep. The worst of the attack usually occurs around the 10 minute mark; however, they can have longer durations.
Sufferers may experience:
Panic disorder can often occur with other psychological disorders, like:
About 6 million American adults have panic disorder. Twice as many women as men have it. Attacks frequently start in the late teens or young adulthood. That doesn't mean that those who experience panic attacks will go on to have panic disorder. Some just have one attack, and that's it.
Chronic, severe panic attacks often incapacitate sufferers. That's why sufferers need to consult a doctor before they begin to stay away from spots or circumstances where panic attacks have happened previously. For instance, those who have had panic attacks in enclosed spaces (like elevators) may be fearful of such places, inhibiting their ability to perform such tasks as entering an apartment or going to a job interview.
In some cases, people develop so much fear, they can't even go shopping or drive. About 1/3 end up never leaving their homes, or cannot venture beyond their home without a friend or family member. This condition is called agoraphobia, or the fear of open spaces.
Because many agoraphobia sufferers rotate medical providers or go to emergency rooms frequently before receiving an accurate diagnosis, early treatment is recommended, at least partially because it's so effective, especially by certain drugs or therapies.
Does this sound like you? If so, seek out a licensed medical or mental health professional. Undergo whatever exams or tests are necessary to determine an accurate diagnosis.
When a truly dangerous situation arises, fear often sets in immediately, triggering both the mind and body to instantly react. That's natural.
However, with PTSD, those reactions are altered and distorted, so sufferers are stricken with anxiety and fear, even if there's no reason to fear that way.
PTSD emerges after a fear-inducing event, often involving actual or threatened physical harm to the sufferer, a family member, friend or co-worker. Although it likely has been around for many generations, PTSD first emerged as a real psychological condition after the Vietnam War. But war does not need to be the only cause:
PTSD has three sub-types:
It may take weeks or months for one or more of these categories to emerge. Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) is often diagnosed when these symptoms are serious and last only a few weeks.
Those suffering from social phobia are likely to:
Social phobia can surface with a specific type of interaction (like public speaking) or be broad (such as being around anyone except their immediate family).
Social phobia is most often diagnosed after the person has exhibited symptoms for at least six months. It usually starts in one's youth and (without proper care) can last the remainder of the person's life.
Although only a licensed medical practitioner can diagnose anxiety disorder, the facts above should help you better understand the types of anxiety disorders that affect millions of people all over the world.
Regardless of the type of anxiety, there are effective ways to obtain relief. Many former anxiety sufferers now live a life free of anxiety, while others have embraced solutions which make their anxiety easily manageable.
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"Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes."
We investigated whether micronutrients given acutely following the Christchurch earthquakes continued to confer benefit 1?year following the treatment.
Sixty-four adults from the original 91 participants experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2–3?months following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and who had been randomized to receive three different doses of micronutrients completed on-line questionnaires assessing mood, anxiety, stress, and symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder 1?year after completing the initial study. Twenty-one out of 29 nonrandomized controls who did not receive the treatment also completed the questionnaires.
Both the treated and control groups experienced significant improvement in psychological functioning compared with end-of-trial. However, treated participants had better long-term outcomes on most measures compared with controls (ES?=?0.69–1.31). Those who stayed on micronutrients through to follow-up or stopped all treatment reported better psychological functioning than those who switched to other treatments including medications. About 10% of the sample continued to have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes, identifying micronutrients as a viable treatment for acute stress following a natural disaster with maintenance of benefits 1 year later. ACTRN 12611000460909 Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
"...Micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health."
The role of good nutrition for resilience in the face of stress is a topic of interest, but difficult to study. A 7.1 earthquake took place in the midst of research on a micronutrient treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a unique opportunity to examine whether individuals with ADHD taking micronutrients demonstrated more emotional resilience post-earthquake than individuals with ADHD not taking micronutrients. Thirty-three adults with ADHD were assessed twice following the earthquake using a measure of depression, anxiety and stress also completed at some point pre-earthquake (baseline). Seventeen were not taking micronutrients at the time of the earthquake (control group), 16 were (micronutrient group). While there were no between-group differences one week post-quake (Time 1), at two weeks post-quake (Time 2), the micronutrient group reported significantly less anxiety and stress than the controls (effect size 0.69). These between group differences could not be explained by other variables, such as pre-earthquake measures of emotions, demographics, psychiatric status, and personal loss or damage following the earthquake. The results suggest that micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health.