The group of disorders characterized by intense and prolonged feelings of fear and anxiety called anxiety disorders are among the most common mental problems and not only in the Western world, but at global level – according to statistical data, the problem affects over 40 million people aged 18 and older in the US alone. Though only about one third of the affected people receive treatment, the problem is highly treatable – here is what you should know about the group of affections.
What Are, in Fact Anxiety Disorders?
There are three ways that we respond to real and perceived dangers: fear, anxiety and panic. Fear is a response that is both emotional and physiological and it is normally triggered by an immediate threat to our life and physical integrity and have a need to visit Castle Rock therapists. When the brain perceives such an immediate threat, it turns on the body fight or flight reaction by releasing certain chemicals into the blood stream. Anxiety is also a physical and emotional reaction, but not to an imminent situation – what triggers it is an anticipated event or threat that might emerge in the future. Panic is an extremely strong physiological and emotional response given to a situation that lacks the presence of danger, but is perceived by the brain as being life-threatening.
We all experience anxiety at some point in our life and we all have things that we are afraid of. However, when such fears and feelings of anxiety become excessive, if they persist for over 6 months and they start interfering with a person’s day to day life, either in the form of generalized anxiety, panic attacks and phobias that limit the affected person’s activity and/or manifests in the form of physical symptoms, the person is probably suffering from an anxiety disorder.
The Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Any form of anxiety disorder is complex – in most cases, what triggers the disorder is not a single event, but a set of events and biological and environmental factors are also important causes. About 20-50% of the people who suffer from anxiety disorders come from parents who suffered from similar symptoms and lifestyle as well as the sufferer’s social, physical and work environment also play an important role in the development of the symptoms.
How Anxiety Disorders Are Treated
Anxiety issues are fortunately among the most treatable mental affections. There are several efficient treatment approaches available, from the administration of beta blockers, ani-depressant medications and anti-anxiety drugs and cognitive or behavioral therapy to lifestyle changes and psychotherapy to reveal the experiences that have led to the appearance of the symptoms and to help the patient cope with such memories. Lifestyle changes, such as cutting down or completely eliminating stimulants and increasing physical activity can help the brain respond more calmly to anxiety triggers, while cognitive and behavior therapy can help the patient learn how to cope with anxiety or can break the cycle of anxiety through exposure to the trigger situation.
Each case of anxiety disorder is different and each requires a customized approach, developed by the anxiety sufferer in collaboration with a medical specialist, but most patients achieve positive results very soon after starting treatment.