Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
An anxiety problem can be difficult to deal with, as the person who suffers from it may be constantly worried about something they cannot control. Most people have at least one form of anxiety at some point in their life, but a full-blown anxiety attack is more likely if the person suffers from a generalized anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The medical terms for these conditions are known as anxiety disorders and include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia. All of these conditions can affect anyone at any age, although the severity of the problem will depend on the individual. For example, people with GAD may have no trouble controlling their symptoms, but the disorder may be severe enough to limit their daily activities.
Symptoms of generalized anxiety include feelings of panic or dread when faced with a particular situation. These situations may cause a number of physical and psychological symptoms, including dizziness, heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty breathing, trembling, nausea, shortness of breath, stomach pain, blurred vision, feeling of impending doom, trembling, or shaking, and muscle tension. If these symptoms seem to persist, there may be some underlying problem that needs treatment.
People with social anxiety are afraid of being watched, evaluated, judged, or even talked to by others, and may experience panic attacks whenever they feel they are being watched. A sufferer of this condition may also have problems making friends, staying sober, making dates, or working in a group setting.
A sufferer of a specific phobia, such as agoraphobia or panic attacks, may have a variety of physical symptoms such as nausea, choking sensations, dizziness, trembling, shakiness, or chest pain. Many of these symptoms may not be present if a person is just having a panic attack. In some cases, patients will have physical symptoms before, during, or after an attack, and they may also have feelings of panic or fear throughout the day.
Specific phobias include hoarding, compulsive skin picking, social phobia, shyness, or fear of public speaking. In many of these cases, the symptoms may be so severe that the person’s ability to function normally is significantly limited.
Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder at some point in their life, so it is important to remember that everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. When you think you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, it is important to speak to a professional about your situation to find out what type of treatment is best for you. There are several ways to treat anxiety, including therapy, exercise, herbal remedies, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, herbal supplements, self-help books, vitamins and minerals, diet, and lifestyle changes.
If you suspect you may have a specific phobia or other anxiety disorder, you can speak to a licensed mental health professional about your symptoms. While most doctors will prescribe medication for panic attacks and other anxiety conditions, some prefer to work with you on your own diagnosis and treatment.
Anxiety medication, such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin, can be useful but should not be used when dealing with anxiety. Often, patients become tolerant to the medication and their attacks become less severe.
If your doctor does not think you need medication, you might consider trying a variety of relaxation methods, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, tai chi, or meditation, which may be more affordable or safer than over-the-counter drugs. These methods have been proven to be effective in treating anxiety, and panic attacks.
Exercise is another good way to help manage your anxiety and prevent it from becoming a condition. Taking a walk in the park, playing a sport, or taking a walk around the block can reduce stress and help you to unwind and relieve your symptoms. If you enjoy taking up hobbies, make sure you check with your doctor to find out what activities are safe and what the risk factors may be, since some people do have problems with anxiety or panic attacks while playing certain sports.
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