Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of tension that comes from an unknown threat. It is normal for us to have some mild anxiety present in our daily lives. Anxiety warns us and enables us to get ready for the ‘fight or flight’ response. However, heightened anxiety is emotionally painful. It disrupts a person’s daily functioning. If you’re worried about your teen struggling with anxiety, this article will provide some answers.

Anxiety is often connected with other emotional disorders like:

  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Panic Attack
  • Agoraphobia
  • Phobia
  • Anxiety Disorder due to medical condition
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Characteristics

Frequently, people with anxiety experience tightness in their chest, a racing or pounding heart, and a pit in their stomach. Anxiety causes some people to get a headache, sweat, and/or have the urge to urinate.

Severe anxiety, or an episode of terror, is a panic attack. Panic attacks can be extremely frightening. People who experience panic attacks over a prolonged time period may become victims of agoraphobia, afraid to leave their home or enter crowded places.

Diagnosis

A mental health professional may diagnose an anxiety disorder after taking a careful personal history from the patient. It is important that the therapist learns the details of that person’s life. It is also important not to overlook a physical illness that might mimic or contribute to this psychological disorder since some medical illnesses can cause anxiety-like symptoms. For instance, a person with an overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, may have symptoms similar to anxiety.

If there is any question whether the individual might have a physical problem, the mental health professional should recommend a complete physical examination by a medical doctor. People examined during an anxiety attack usually have rapid pulse, rapid breathing, dry mouth, and sweating palms. They might also complain of dizziness, numbness, or tingling in their extremities. Laboratory tests might be necessary as a part of the physical workup.

Treatment

Someone with moderate to severe anxiety should get psychotherapy. With treatment, people learn to live with or control their anxiety so that they can continue to be fully functioning. Sometimes people need anti-anxiety medications to effectively reduce severe anxiety.

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