Feelings of anxiety, stress or nervousness are normal and sometimes necessary occurrences in life. However, chronic excessive, intense, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations can signal the presence of an anxiety disorder.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders that are the result of stress, and genetic and/or environmental factors.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Anxiety disorders can be treated. Common treatments for anxiety disorder include medication, psychotherapy (a combination of both) and/or stress management techniques.
COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT): A great deal of research over the past 10 to 15 years has shown that CBT is the most effective treatment for most anxiety disorders. CBT interventions include education about anxiety, understanding more about your anxiety by monitoring symptoms, and controlling thoughts that cause anxiety using a variety of cognitive therapy approaches.