Most of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives. Coping and self-care skills usually work to manage those feelings, but when anxiety continues at a level that interferes with your ability to get things done or maintain healthy relationships, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition, with nearly 20% of Americans experiencing these conditions during any given year. There are numerous types of anxiety disorders, and all are treatable. Learn more below.
TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS
This video from Psych2Go explains generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and social phobia.
COPING WITH ANXIETY
Olivia Remes of the University of Cambridge shares her perspective on managing anxiety disorders in this Tedx Talk.
This video from Psych2Go explains eight signs of social anxiety. You can also learn more about social anxiety on NIMH’s site [LINK]
Signs and Symptoms
Here are some common signs of anxiety disorders that may require support and treatment. Remember, the earlier you’re diagnosed and start treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better and get back to your life.
Lingering restless or nervous feelings. Impending sense of danger, panic or doom.
Avoiding situations that could trigger anxiety. Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
Changes in Routines
Increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, fatigue and digestive issues or nausea.
Trouble focusing or concentrating.
Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide.
It can be hard to tell the difference between feeling anxious because of things we’re experiencing and anxiety disorders. If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, trust that instinct. Take action to learn what’s going on and find ways to feel better.
Trying to figure out how to deal with emotional struggles while we’re actually experiencing them can be challenging. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to breathe, move, meditate or even make a gratitude list to help manage those feelings. Headspace offers a range of free videos to help.
TALK ABOUT IT
Too many people struggle with anxiety disorders in silence because they’re afraid of what people will think or that they’ll burden others. Anxiety disorders are medical conditions, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Lean on your support network and talk about how you’re feeling (trust us, it helps).
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Our mental and physical health are intertwined, so it’s important to pay attention to both. Not getting enough sleep or the right nutrition can trigger or worsen anxiety. It’s okay to step back and take some time for yourself while you’re also reaching out for help and taking actions to feel better.
Sometimes symptoms of anxiety fade over time. Other times, unaddressed mental health conditions can impact work, school, relationships and overall wellness. Don’t wait until things get worse. Reach out for help from a professional. You can find resources below or visit our help-seeking page to learn more.
These resources can help you find professional support online, on the phone or in person. And if you or a friend are having thoughts of suicide, reach out immediately for a free, confidential chat with a trained counselor anytime.