Perhaps it begins with a feeling of confusion or a sense of feeling out of control. Your thoughts may seem “jumbled,” or all over the place, making it difficult to focus on tasks and get things done. Physically, your heart may race unexpectedly, and you may experience muscle tension or even dizziness.
Welcome to the experience of anxiety, a condition that affects an estimated 40 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For those living in the greater Albany, NY area, this translates into nearly 38,000 people who experience anxiety.
So, what is anxiety disorder? First, it is helpful to know what anxiety is: a normal response to the stressors of life. However, when anxiety is frequent and persists, this is a signal that something is amiss—typically this means symptoms of anxiety meet the criteria for what is called “generalized anxiety disorder” or GAD.
In this particular type of anxiety disorder, more conditions and symptoms include:
- Difficulty falling asleep or waking frequently with an inability to fall back asleep
- Experiencing repetitive thoughts
- Chronic and excessive worry, especially over events that cannot be controlled
- Feelings of apprehension or fear
- Experiencing bodily sensations such as sweating, problems breathing, or shakiness
- Having difficulty making decisions due to worry and trying to control events
- Using alcohol or other drugs to cope with symptoms
Anxiety disorder causes can be unique to each person, but in general, abrupt changes in life, the stress of losing a job or a loved one, or even genetic predisposition are just some examples of anxiety disorder causes.
The good news? Anxiety can be treated! For managing this type of anxiety disorder, more conditions and treatments may include:
- Supportive psychotherapy to assist in managing fears and self-doubt
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT
- Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Therapy
- Medication management (which works best in conjunction with therapy)
To learn more about anxiety and how it can be treated, click here to learn about how HPA/LiveWell can help.
If you or a loved one are experiencing some of the symptoms noted above, call the HPA/LiveWell office in Albany, NY at 518-218-1188—our seasoned mental health professionals can offer a specific plan unique to your needs to help treat your anxiety, and provide relief!