What you need to know about anxiety disorders
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older in a given year.
"Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety lasts at least six months and can get worse if not treated," said Community licensed mental health counselor, Kimble Richardson.
Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread. The most common types of anxiety disorders are:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
- Specific phobias (such as a fear of heights)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Research shows that in many cases, talk therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy) are the most effective treatment strategies for managing anxiety. In some cases, medications are recommended and, like treatments for depression, a combination of psychotherapy and medication proves very helpful.
A primary care physician and mental health professionals can help with determining the subtle differences and can recommend the best treatment strategies for each condition.
Talk to a mental health professional
Call Community Behavioral Health services at 317-621-5719 or visit eCommunity.com/behavioralhealth.