Numerous people across the United States struggle with an anxiety disorder on a daily basis. Overcoming an anxiety disorder is often a complex process, and many people don’t even know how to begin. Some people find it hard to imagine life without an anxiety disorder, or the issue feels too complicated to be solvable. When the new year comes around, it can be the perfect time to start over and take a fresh look at your anxiety disorder and what treatment options you can use. Contact South Tampa Psychiatry at 866.273.5017 to learn more about anxiety disorder treatment programs or how we can help you manage your anxiety in the new year.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Some people research their anxiety disorder and know its symptoms inside and out. However, others may not even be fully aware of the many types of anxiety disorders nor know which they have. This is not unusual, nor is it cause for shame or embarrassment. At the same time, better knowledge can help in overcoming an anxiety disorder. Five distinct categories of anxiety disorders exist.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety. People with GAD experience chronic worry, anxiety, and tension. GAD is often not due to specific triggers or scenarios. Instead, it is simply a cloud of nervousness that clings to those who suffer from it.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involves recurring, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. The thoughts relate to the obsessive component, while the behaviors relate to the compulsive element of the disorder. Common behaviors associated with OCD include:
- Hand washing
These compulsions often alleviate anxiety from the obsessions, though they provide little more than temporary relief.
Panic disorder occurs when someone experiences episodes of intense fear and distress. It often manifests in panic attacks wherein a person experiences dizziness, racing heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that follows from trauma. Triggering events might include:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- A life-threatening accident
- A natural disaster
- Involvement in military combat
PTSD often forces the sufferer to experience the event repeatedly until they find a way to deal with it in a healthy way.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is when people fear social activities and feel immense anxiety at the thought of being social. This could be generalized where a person experiences anxiety regarding any type of social engagement. Alternatively, it could be specifically related to a particular kind of socializing, such as public speaking.
Overcoming an Anxiety Disorder
If you struggle with one of the five major anxiety disorders or a related mental health issue, what should your next step be? Overcoming an anxiety disorder often requires a pursuit of multiple interventions to address symptoms fully. Two of the most common treatment options for anxiety disorders are medications and therapy. A general practitioner can prescribe anti-anxiety medications, meaning you likely won’t need to see a mental health specialist get these. However, many of these medications should only be used for a short time, as long-term use can have harmful side effects.
Therapy can be more of a time and financial investment. That said, it can be an excellent option for many people. The type of therapy used depends on the anxiety disorder in question. Most likely, it will be a behavioral therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy. Some people combine medication with ongoing therapy. This pairing of treatment methods can provide immediate symptom relief through medicine and address the root causes of the disorder through therapeutic intervention.
Beyond seeking professional help, specific lifestyle changes can also aid in overcoming an anxiety disorder. Two basic practices to boost wellness and mental health are to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get regular exercise. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine intake is also recommended.
Seek Support at South Tampa Psychiatry
If you’re looking for the best option for your needs, then we welcome you to reach out to our anxiety treatment center. With a variety of mental health treatment options available, many people are able to find the healing they need.
South Tampa Psychiatry is here to help you overcome an anxiety disorder as we kick off the new year. Call us today at 866.273.5017.