Anxiety Disorders: Exploring Generalized Anxiety, Panic Attacks, And Social Anxiety

Everybody gets anxious once in a while, it is in fact a helpful emotion. When we feel the dread and fear that characterize anxiety, we get more alert and able to recognize and handle dangerous situations.

For some people though, their feelings of anxiety never go away. They are constantly worrying about something, and they feel dreadful about things that they don’t need to feel that way about. People like these, who cannot stop worrying,  are said to be suffering from anxiety disorders.

Based on some studies carried out by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), they came to the conclusion that about 40 million Americans have anxiety disorders. These people suffer from feelings that severely reduce their quality of life and affect how they function.

With the new advancements in medicine and research, various medications and treatments are now available to patients with anxiety that will help them ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders and live better lives.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that cause people to feel uncontrollable and exaggerated feelings of fear and dread. Normal feelings of anxiety become anxiety disorders when:

  • Anxious feelings interrupt your ability to carry out day-to-day activities
  • These feelings of anxiety are out of control and not proportionate to the actual danger
  • Your feelings of anxiety last for a long time.

People who suffer from anxiety disorders can choose to be treated with Benzodiazepine – a drug, or psychotherapy and any other therapeutic methods.

One method of treating anxiety disorders that don’t improve with traditional medication and treatment methods is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). The idea behind TMS anxiety treatment is that it is a non-invasive medical procedure that stimulates the brain’s neurons with the use of magnetic fields. The magnetic pulses can then help to improve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

Anxiety disorders, just like OCD and PTSD, are caused by the hyperactivity of some parts of the brain.  The way TMS anxiety treatments work is to calm the hyperactive parts of the brain of these patients. After being treated with TMS, it might take a while to get results, but patients report improvements in their overall mood and performance. TMS is known to have little to no side effects, but rarely, some people experience seizures. This is why people who have a history of epilepsy or seizures are advised to not undergo TMS therapy.

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

Till today, we don’t totally understand what causes anxiety disorders. One thing that we do know though, is that trauma can lead to anxiety disorders, especially childhood trauma. Other causes of anxiety disorders include mental health disorders – such as depression, and chemical imbalance in the brain.

Sometimes, anxiety disorders are a result of comorbid diseases, and some of these diseases are:

  • Heart disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Respiratory disorders, such as Asthma
  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person suffering from anxiety disorders include stress, genetic traits and heredity, drug misuse, and personality type.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can show up in people in many different forms, and some of them are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorders can occur alongside other mental health issues like depression. People who suffer from this type of anxiety disorder worry about everything – even routine things. Their worries are not easy for them to control and are usually disproportionate to the situation at hand.

Agoraphobia

A person with agoraphobia has an intense fear of anyone of the following:

  • Enclosed spaces
  • Open spaces
  • Lines or crowds
  • Places outside their house
  • Public transportation

Social Anxiety

This condition has been called social phobia in the past. Anyone that has social anxiety just hates being in social situations. They have the fear of doing something to embarrass themselves in public, or something that will cause that will lead to their ridicule. Because of this, they try their hardest to stay out of situations that will require them to be around large numbers of people.

Panic Disorders

Panic disorders cause people to experience panic attacks. Panic attacks can be caused by a trigger, and they cause intense feelings of fear and terror that can have symptoms like those of a heart attack.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

These include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulties controlling feelings of worry

Consequences of Anxiety Disorders

Apart from making us worry, some other conditions that anxiety disorders can cause or worsen are:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Problems with digestion and bowel movements
  • Headaches
  • Problems functioning in social environments
  • Suicide

Conclusion

Anxiety disorders occur when people experience often unreasonable fears that limit the quality of their lives and make them unable to function normally. Some of the types of anxiety disorders that we have are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and social anxiety.

Each one of these conditions affects a person in a unique way and they might require different treatment methods.

Anxiety disorders can be treated, and treatment options include medication and TMS.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do TMS treatments start to show results?

TMS treatments start to show results a few weeks after the patient starts the process. Some people experience the positive effects sooner, within just a couple of weeks. In some other people, however, results are not seen until after 4 weeks.

Since they have brains that are more likely to adapt well to changes, younger people usually get faster results than older people.

  • How long will TMS treatment take?

Clinics usually advise that patients have sessions 4-5 times a week, for up to 4-6 weeks to be able to fully enjoy the effects of TMS treatments. Its effects have been known to last for up to one year after continuous administration.

  • How much would it cost to undergo TMS anxiety treatments?

The cost of your TMS anxiety treatments depends on which healthcare provider you use, and the insurance policies that are available to you. Insurance companies do not cover the entire cost of these treatments you might have to pay a part of it.

 

 

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