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Could You Have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Not Know It?

Updated: Jul 13

July 1, 2022


Anxiety is a problem that most people will encounter at one time or another. It is normal for a person to feel anxiety about one or many problems in life. It is only when temporary or long-lasting fear becomes an interference with the things you want to get done in life that anxiety becomes a problem.


It is also normal for you to feel anxiety about one or many problems in life. This is because anxiety will occur during any event that causes feelings of fear, dread, nervousness, or uneasiness about a problem or situation. For some, this anxiety may cause extreme symptoms, such as sweating, heart racing, and feeling restless. For others, symptoms can be a feeling of not being able to settle or feeling as though their mind might race.


An Example of Anxiety


An example of anxiety would be when a person is facing a final on a test. Another example could be when someone has to make an important decision that could affect a significant outcome in their life or the life of someone close to them. As with many mental health problems, anxiety is a spectrum disorder. This means that anxiety can range from little to no symptoms and be easily manageable to severe symptoms with debilitating life alterations.


Signs and Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety


There are several signs and symptoms of general anxiety. They are as follows (1):

  • Feeling restless

  • Being easily fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability

  • Bodily symptoms

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry or nervousness

  • Difficulty with sleep whether it be falling asleep or staying asleep


Signs and Symptoms of Panic Attacks


When anxiety becomes worse and a person begins to panic, there are several specific symptoms associated with that as well. They are as follows (1):


  • Heart racing

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking of the hands

  • Feelings of chest pain or chest tightness

  • Feelings of impending doom

  • Feeling as though symptoms are out of control


These panicky symptoms will usually last for a few minutes before they start to subside and can occur several times per day or week. Most individuals will try to avoid having these symptoms occur again, and these symptoms can cause significant alterations in the way a person lives his or her life.


Generalized Anxiety Treatment Approaches


Fortunately, for those that have significant interruption in their daily lives due to anxiety problems, there is help. Treatment can generally be obtained in one of three ways. The first modality and first line of treatment for anxiety disorders is psychotherapy or seeing a mental health therapist/counselor. The second modality in treating anxiety is with medication management. The third and generally favored treatment approach to anxiety disorders is with a combination of medication management and counseling therapies. It is important to note that there are many ways to treat anxiety. Because of this, it is important to work with a trusted healthcare provider to choose a treatment plan that best fits your life and goals.


Mental Health Therapy/Counseling Treatment


Therapy options for anxiety disorders include treatment such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, support groups, and acceptance and commitment therapy among others.


Medication Management Treatment


Medications used to treat anxiety disorders will often relieve symptoms and calm the nervous feelings that result from anxiety. Common medications used to treat anxiety disorders include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), antihistamines, beta blockers, and dopamine antagonists.


Integrated Treatment


An often used approach in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders is counseling therapy and medication management together. Each separate treatment modality may lead an individual on the path to overcoming anxiety, but an integrated approach of both medication and counseling may help one reach their goals quicker. The best way to decide on a treatment approach is to discuss concerns with a trusted provider.


Treatment For long-term Success


At Pine Ridge Mental Healthcare, we’ve found success using a variety of approaches to generalized anxiety management. Getting your anxiety under control is a key step in managing your life.


Our team works to reduce your reliance on medications by educating you about the different tools available and how life situations can affect your mood. And we help keep you on track with regular check-ins to monitor your health.


For more information about if you may have anxiety, take our simple online anxiety quiz, or for help managing your health, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Pine Ridge Mental Healthcare in Owasso, Oklahoma. If you are interested in other services we provide, check out our services page.






References


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders


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