There are many kinds of anxiety, so how do you tell the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder? Generally, normal anxiety is a general fear or apprehension of unknown situations that can lead to panic attacks or other physical reactions. Some symptoms are trembling, sweating, excessive heartbeat, shortness of breath, racing or strange heart rate, and a chattering mind that will tell you something is wrong. If you feel like this, then you are experiencing normal anxiety.
If your symptoms are getting worse or not improving with medication, you may have signs of anxiety disorders. In the past few years, many psychiatrists have begun to recognize that some forms of depression are anxiety-related. Now you can get a general diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD.
Generalized anxiety disorders involve a fear of anxiety. To some people, a fear of becoming anxious is the worst kind of fear, and anxiety is all they are afraid of. Panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are all the result of a person having anxiety related to fear. Many times, those with these disorders will react violently when they experience an anxiety episode. They often hurt themselves physically, or they begin substance abuse or alcohol dependence, or they become depressed.
Since there are many symptoms associated with general anxiety disorder, a psychiatrist will probably perform a few tests. These tests can give you a good idea if you have GAD. A check for stress hormones is very common in people with GAD. It is possible to have exaggerated feelings of fear, while others may have real phobias about particular things, animals, or places.
If you have an anxiety disorder, the doctor will be able to tell this from an abnormal state of alarm. Most tests require a visit to the lab. You may be given a number of stress hormone tests, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
If your GAD is severe enough, you may be admitted to a long-term treatment facility where medication is administered to help reduce the severity of your symptoms. The medication is called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and is usually just given through the veins.
Some researchers believe that anxiety disorders may be treated by simply creating an environment that encourages better breathing, relaxation, and more calm thoughts. This is what has been called “ego-training.”
Another general belief is that positive thinking and positive behavior can help the patient become more confident. In fact, one of the treatments that were used for panic attacks for over fifty years is thought to have cured numerous patients.
First developed to treat agoraphobia, it has been found to be effective with young adults and adolescents, and with people of any age who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. It was named for a famous French psychiatrist, but there is a new company, and it is now called Saphoshek-Bennett, which has released a new version of the therapy that has more scientifically sound evidence backing it up.
These are just a few of the anxiety disorders out there, so how do you know if you have a panic attack or not? Many doctors will recommend a visit to the Emergency Room, as there are many complications from anxiety, ranging from headaches, muscle aches, dizziness, nausea, to respiratory problems.
Unfortunately, many people have never experienced an anxiety attack before, so they can’t panic. If you do have an anxiety attack, the best thing to do is to remain calm and do what you can to relax and regain control of your body.