Anxiety Disorders in Adults
Stress and anxiety are common responses to stressful situations which usually passes once the situation is over and the stressor is removed. For example, going to a job interview or giving a speech may cause anxiety. This type of anxiety is helpful for keeping us alert and focused. For some people, the anxiety does not go away with the stressor, or it may occur for unknown reasons. The anxiety may be difficult to control and can interfere with daily activities.
Often, people don't recognize the feelings they are experiencing are related to an anxiety disorder. They may sense that something isn't right, but struggle with how to cope and hope the symptoms will simply go away. It is important to talk with a trained professional to determine if the anxiety is appropriate for the situation or if treatment would be appropriate.
The psychiatric specialists at West End Consultation Group take a caring and comprehensive approach to assessing and treating anxiety disorders in adults. We look at your lifestyle, current medications, and your overall health to create an anxiety disorder treatment plan based on your needs.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
There are several types of anxiety i
ncluding Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and others. The type of anxiety the person is experiencing may also have specific features. Symptoms of anxiety can vary from one person to another.
The symptoms associated with anxiety disorders vary depending on the individual, but often include:
- Overwhelming fear or worry
- Difficulty concentrating
- Startling easily
- Fatigue, weakness or muscle aches
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Generalized anxiety disorder in adults is characterized by a high level of baseline anxiety, with or without any triggering stressors. People living with generalized anxiety disorder typically experience chronic and excessive worrying that can cause physical symptoms including headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, muscle tension, restlessness, and irritability. This disproportionate level of stress, along with the physical symptoms, often causes a significant negative impact on the sufferer’s family, job, social life, and finances.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
People who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder become very anxious interacting with others. This may include large groups, meeting new people, and/or engaging in casual conversation. The anxiety is usually related to fear of being judged or viewed negatively because of the anxiety, which can lead to intense embarrassment. People with Social Anxiety Disorder may have physical manifestations such as cold sweats, racing heart, shaking or trembling, flushing, and stomach upset. Social situations become filled with overwhelming fear or avoided altogether.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
In OCD, people experience recurring thoughts or images (obsessions) that cause anxiety or stress. Often, the person will try to ignore or suppress the thoughts by engaging in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors can become very time-consuming, interfering with an individual's daily activities and social interactions.
Examples of Obsessive Thoughts/Compulsions
- Thoughts about religious or moral issues that may lead the person to pray excessively or follow the rigid rules that can interfere with work and relationships.
- Intrusive thoughts about sexual activity leading to distress and conflict in relationships.
- Repeating words or phrases to guard against harm even though the person realizes this is not rational but feels powerless to stop.
- Compulsions related to safety by excessively checking doors are locked, stove is turned off, retracing a route to ensure no one was hit by a car, and others.
- Excessive cleaning such as handwashing, sanitizing surroundings, or arranging items in a symmetric fashion. The inability to satisfactorily complete the task leads to high anxiety and stress.
What is Panic Disorder?
In panic disorder, the person feels a sudden, overwhelming sense of fear and intense discomfort. There are several physical responses experienced during panic including heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking, dizziness, or chest pain. The fear of having a panic attack may lead to avoiding social functions. The person may worry about having another panic attack leading to more anxiety and panic attacks resulting in Panic Disorder.
What are Phobias?
A phobia is an extreme fear about a specific object or situation. Examples may include fear of flying, heights, insects, animals, and many others. Encountering the object or situation is avoided or causes extreme fear and anxiety. A phobia may be a minor inconvenience, or it may cause significant interference in someone's life.
Finding the Right Medication for Treating Anxiety Disorders
Depending on the type and severity of your anxiety disorder, medication may be used as part of your treatment plan. We start with a full assessment of all current medications, including prescriptions, over the counter medications, and homeopathic treatments. From there, we will determine if modifications need to be made to your current regimen including medication type and dosage. New medications may be introduced if deemed necessary. We will also work with your primary care physician to discuss prescribed medications or health issues that could be contributing to your anxiety.