Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
Who Do They Affect
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any age, and they are the most common mental health problem. Sometimes, anxiety disorders are triggered by a specific event or stressful life experience. Anxiety disorders may be more likely to occur when we have certain ways of looking at things or learn unhelpful coping strategies from others. But sometimes there just doesnt seem to be a reason.
What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
Don’t Miss: Webmd Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety And Alcohol
Although alcohol may ease symptoms in the short term, don’t be fooled that drinking helps to cure social anxiety. In the long run, it does not. Drinking alcohol to ‘calm nerves’ can lead to problem drinking and may make problems with social anxiety worse in the long term. Consult a doctor if you are drinking alcohol to ease social anxiety.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder
Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:
- Family relationships.
- School performance.
- Social functioning.
Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.
Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Cause Burning Skin
How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting The Right Diagnosis
To reduce your risk of a misdiagnosis, be sure to find a clinician who will conduct an extensive structured interview that addresses both your current symptoms and symptoms youve experienced in the past, Cullen says.
A psychiatrist, a psychologist, a clinical social worker, or a psychiatric nurse can help diagnose BPD correctly.
Increase Social Situations Gradually
People with social anxiety disorder often avoid social situations where they may trigger their feelings of anxiety. Although this reduces anxiety in the short-term, avoidance can make anxiety much worse in the long-term.
If possible â and with the help of a therapist, if necessary â the person can gradually increase their exposure to the situations they fear. This creates space for them to have a positive experience with the situation.
Having positive social experiences can boost a personâs confidence and reduce their anxiety or reassure them that they can overcome it.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Name Of The Phobia Of Long Words
Why Bpd Gets Confused With Other Mental Illnesses
All types of mental illness can be difficult to diagnose, particularly because theres no medical or blood test available to screen for disorders. Although brain imaging is being used to help us better understand psychiatric disorders, they are not currently being utilized for diagnostic purposes, says Colleen Cullen, PsyD, a psychologist at ColumbiaDoctors and the clinical director of the faculty practice organization at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
Another factor is that many of the same symptoms can overlap in several disorders. For example, people who have depression or an anxiety disorder can have problems concentrating.
Just as a fever, for instance, can be a symptom of many diagnoses, lack of interest can be one symptom of several psychiatric disorders. The key is to understand the context in which the symptom occurs and identify the other symptoms as well, experts say.
Symptoms can also vary between individuals. For example, to be diagnosed with BPD, someone must have five out of nine total symptoms listed in the DSM-5, the standard classification and tool clinicians use to diagnose mental illness. Depending on how many symptoms, which symptoms, and the severity and duration of symptoms that an individual person has, the diagnosis can look very different across unique individuals, Dr. Cullen says.
Who Is At Risk For Anxiety Disorders
A mix of genetic and environmental factors can raise a persons risk for developing anxiety disorders. You may be at higher risk if you have or had:
- Certain personality traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition feeling uncomfortable with, and avoiding, unfamiliar people, situations or environments.
- Stressful or traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood.
- Family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions.
- Certain physical conditions, including thyroid problems and heart arrhythmias .
Anxiety disorders occur more often in women. Researchers are still studying why that happens. It may come from womens hormones, especially those that fluctuate throughout the month. The hormone testosterone may play a role, too men have more, and it may ease anxiety. Its also possible that women are less likely to seek treatment, so the anxiety worsens.
Don’t Miss: Gossip Girl Blair Bulimia
Environmental Causes Of Anxiety
Environmental Causes of Anxiety: Your environment is everything around you, with which you may, or may not interact. Thats a very broad definition, because the environment is basically everything outside of you. It includes not just nature, and the biological, but the social as well. And all of it can cause stress and contribute to anxiety.
Anxiety and anxiety-based disorders are very similar in symptomology and in their function they exist to help keep a person safe from harm and to manage the fight/flight/or freeze stress reaction. Anxiety disorders exist when the feeling and physical reaction are so severe or chronic that they interfere with day to day living.
Prevalence And Relevant Background
SM affects approximately 1% of the general population . Despite being considered a rare condition, these prevalence rates are similar to, or greater than, those documented for autism spectrum disorders. SM is an early onset disorder and commonly begins in children approximately ages 2.5 – 4 years old. Children with SM are often identified at ages 5-6 years, reflecting a 1-3 year gap between the onset of symptoms and identification . Formal assessment and treatment for SM typically occur at ages 6.5-9 years, which coincides with 4 years in school . These delays can lead to a more ingrained set of rules for speaking, and place children at risk for being labeled as the âone who does not speak,â as well as for a continued diagnosis of SM in adolescence and adulthood.
SM is more common among female than male children, an almost 2:1 ratio . The difference between male and female children may reflect an accurate picture, or may reflect bias by social expectations for females to engage in more verbal communication, leading to greater awareness and concern when they do not.
Don’t Miss: The Phobia For Long Words
How Is It Diagnosed
You must have three features to be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder:
- Your symptoms must not be the result of some other mental health condition .
- You feel anxious entirely or mostly in social situations.
- One of your main symptoms will be the avoidance of social situations.
As well as discussing your problems, your doctor or practice nurse may use a short questionnaire to obtain extra information on how severely you are affected.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
Various herbal supplements have been studied as treatments for anxiety, with mixed results, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Supplements such as kava and valerian increase the risk of serious liver damage. Others, such as passionflower or theanine, may have a calming effect, but they’re often combined with other products, so their effectiveness on their own remains unclear. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal remedies or supplements to make sure they’re safe for you and won’t interact with any medications you take.
Healthy lifestyle changes may help reduce the frequency of social anxiety attacks, including exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and having regularly scheduled meals. Reducing or avoiding the use of caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines, and other stimulants may also be beneficial. Joining a support group may also reduce the stress of having social anxiety.
The following tips may also help you avoid triggering your social anxiety symptoms:
- Learn stress reduction skills
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Socialize with people you feel comfortable being around
Read Also: The Fear Of Spoons
Genetic Risk Associated With Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder refers to an anxiety disorder triggered by social situations. People with SAD have symptoms like fast heartbeat, sweating, and stomach upset when they are anxious. They have a fear that people might scrutinize their performance and evaluate them negatively.
The main causes of SAD are past negative experiences, a new job, and genetic inheritance. SAD often occurs during the stage of early adolescence. This anxiety disorder can be inherited from parents.
Whats The Outlook For People With Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can often go undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately, treatment can help. The right treatment can help improve your quality of life, relationships and productivity. It can also support your overall well-being.
You dont need to live with constant worry and fear. If you notice symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Its best to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Doing so can limit the problems that anxiety disorders can cause. Often, a combination of medications and counseling for anxiety can help you feel your best.
You May Like: Can Trauma Cause Bipolar Disorder
Diagnosis Of Social Phobia
A doctor’s evaluation, based on specific criteria
Doctors diagnose social phobia when people have fear or anxiety that involves all of the following:
Is intense and has been present for 6 months or longer
Concerns one or more social situations
Nearly always occurs in the same situation or situations
Involves fear of a negative evaluation by others
Leads the person to avoid the situation or uncomfortably endure it
Is out of proportion to the actual danger
Causes significant distress or significantly impairs functioning
Antidepressants Drug Treatment for Depression Agomelatine, a new type of antidepressant, is a possible treatment for major depressive episodes. Several types of drugs can be used to treat depression: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors… read more , such as SSRIs, and benzodiazepines can often help people with social phobia. SSRIs are usually preferred because they, unlike benzodiazepines, are unlikely to interfere with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Benzodiazepines affect the central nervous system and can cause sleepiness and memory problems.
Beta-blockers may be used to reduce the increased heart rate, trembling, and sweating experienced by people who are distressed by performing in public, but these drugs do not reduce anxiety itself.
What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder
This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.
Read Also: Can You Faint From Anxiety
Genetic Causes Of Social Anxiety Disorder
People with a parent or parents whove suffered from social anxiety disorder have a 30-40 percent greater likelihood of developing the condition themselves. However, it is impossible to know how much of the parent-child social anxiety association is based on genetics and how much is based on parenting style, which is naturally affected by the presence of the disorder.
Recent research into specific genetic markers for social anxiety have focused on changes in a gene called SLCGA4, which is involved in the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical that can help soothe nerves and stabilize moods. Both shortages and excesses of serotonin have been linked to social anxiety symptoms, and people with social anxiety disorder struggle to produce serotonin consistently and without fluctuation.
Aberrations in the performance of the gene SLCGA4 appear to be linked to this problem, and these faulty genes can be passed from parents to children.
When To Seek Professional Help
Anxiety can be debilitating, so its important to seek professional help if your symptoms are severe.
If you feel anxious on most days and experience one or more of the symptoms listed above for at least 6 months, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Regardless of how long youve been experiencing symptoms, if you ever feel like your emotions are interfering with your life, you should seek professional help.
Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists can treat anxiety disorders through a variety of methods.
Treatment often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, anti-anxiety medications, or some of the natural therapies listed above.
Working with a professional can help you manage your anxiety and reduce your symptoms as quickly and safely as possible.
You May Like: Phobia Define
How Can I Help A Loved One
Supporting a loved one who is experiencing an anxiety disorder can be difficult. You may not understand why your loved one feels or acts a certain way. Some people who experience an anxiety disorder feel like they have to do things a certain way or avoid things or situations, and this can create frustration or conflict with others. You may feel pressured to take part in these behaviours or adjust your own behaviours to protect or avoid upsetting a loved one. Support can be a delicate balance, but you should expect recoveryin time.
Treatment And Medication Options For Social Anxiety Disorder
Treatment for social anxiety disorder is intended to help you function in your daily life. The two most common types of treatment for social anxiety disorder are psychotherapy , medications, or both, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Psychotherapy helps most people with social anxiety disorder, because it teaches you how to change negative thoughts about yourself. You also learn skills that help you gain confidence in social situations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective type of psychotherapy for anxiety, and it works just as well whether its conducted individually or in groups.
In exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy, you work up to facing the situations you fear most, little by little. This can help you develop the confidence you need to cope with anxiety-provoking social situations. You may also engage in social skills training or role-playing to practice your social skills.
CBT may even create positive changes in the brain. A study published in August 2017 in Molecular Psychiatry found that when those with social anxiety disorder participated in 10 weeks of CBT group therapy, it reduced the size of parts of the brain that process and regulate emotions. Scientists call this process “normalizing,” and the changes were more pronounced when the therapy was most successful.
Don’t Miss: Schizophrenia Cycles
Social Phobia Underlying Fears
Some of the fears commonly aroused by social situations can include:
- worry that others will notice their physical symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing, sweating, and stammering
- fear of looking stupid, silly, or ridiculous
- fear of appearing quiet, boring and uninteresting to others
- fear of being judged as socially inadequate.
Anxiety Isnt Only In Your Head
If you have anxiety, you might frequently feel worried, nervous, or afraid about ordinary events. These feelings can be upsetting and difficult to manage. They can also make daily life a challenge.
Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms. Think about a time when you felt anxious. Maybe your hands were sweaty or your legs were shaky. Your heart rate might have sped up. You could have felt sick to your stomach.
You might have linked these symptoms to your nervousness. But maybe you werent sure why you felt unwell.
Most people experience anxiety on occasion. Anxiety can be serious or turn into a disorder if it lasts for a long time, causes significant distress, or interferes with your life in other ways.
Types of anxiety include:
Some types of anxiety have unique symptoms specific to the fears linked to the anxiety. In general, though, anxiety disorders share many physical symptoms.
Read on to learn more about anxietys physical symptoms and how they can affect you.
Anxiety can have physical symptoms that affect health and daily life.
Specific types of anxiety might have additional physical symptoms.
If youre having a panic attack, you might:
- fear that youre going to die
- have trouble breathing or feel as if youre choking
- have numb or tingling sensations in parts of your body
- have chest pain
- feel lightheaded, dizzy, or as if you might pass out
- feel overheated or have chills
Also Check: Fear Of Long Words Phobia Name