If you feel anxious, you’re not alone. Nearly 40% of Americans reported having higher levels of anxiety in 2018 than in previous years. But, even though anxiety is a normal emotion, too much anxiety is unhealthy. In fact, an anxiety disorder is a serious medical condition, and one that requires professional treatment.
Unlike normal feelings of anxiety, with an anxiety disorder you experience abnormally intense reactions to everyday situations. These responses typically occur repeatedly and uncontrollably, and they can impact your daily life.
If your anxiety has you or your loved ones concerned, Dr. Latif Ziyar in Fresno, California can help.
Anxiety disorders are a common problem in the United States, affecting approximately 8% of children and teenagers and 40 million adults 18 and older. The term anxiety disorder describes a variety of mental health problems that cause extreme worry or fear, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Acute Stress Disorder
- Panic disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Phobia-related disorders
- Social anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
These mental health issues typically develop because of a combination of factors, including brain chemistry, genetics, personality, and life events. In many cases, anxiety disorders also appear with other mental health disorders – especially depression – or physical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Signs of anxiety disorders
It can be hard to distinguish normal anxious feelings from those of an anxiety disorder, but certain features of an attack can help you tell them apart. A primary sign of a disorder is an emotional or physical reaction that’s out of proportion to the situation that caused it. Other symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
- Sweating or trembling
- Feeling tense, nervous, or restless
- Experiencing panic attacks, increased heart rate, or hyperventilating
- Having an impending sense of panic, danger, or doom
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Suffering from gastrointestinal problems
- Trying to avoid things that trigger your anxiety
- Being unable to control your worry
In some cases, the symptoms can be so severe they interfere with your ability to lead a normal life. This, most of all, is what establishes your experiences as a disorder.
When to see a doctor
Even though anxiety disorders are highly treatable with a combination of psychotherapy and medication, less than 40% of people with a disorder receive medical treatment. Unfortunately, this increases your chances of several complications, including:
- Other mental health disorders, like depression
- Bowel or digestive problems
- Headaches and chronic pain
- Substance abuse
Having untreated an anxiety disorder can also affect your ability to function at work or school, lead to social isolation, and impact your quality of life.
If you have anxiety, Latif Ziyard, M.D. Inc. can help you regain control of your life. To learn more, call the office at 559-306-6726 or schedule an appointment online today.