Everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety, but they are generally occasional and short-lived and do not cause problems. But when the cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms of anxiety are persistent and severe, and anxiety causes distress in a person’s life to the point that it negatively affects that persons ability to work or study, socialize and manage daily tasks, it may be beyond the normal range.

There are 7 main categories of anxiety disorders which fall into the following categories: 

  1. specific phobia
  2. panic disorder
  3. agoraphobia
  4. generalized anxiety disorder
  5. social anxiety disorder
  6. selective mutism
  7. separation anxiety disorder
imageEach of these is distinct in some ways, but they all share the same hallmark features, such as irrational and excessive fear, apprehensive and tense feelings, and difficulty managing daily tasks and/or distress related to performing these tasks. The cognitive, behavioural and physical symptoms include anxious thoughts, predictions, and beliefs, avoidance of the feared situations and activities that elicit sensations similar to those experienced when anxious. Along with subtle avoidances, safety behaviours, and excessive physical reactions relative to the context of the fear. The physical symptoms of anxiety, including panic attacks, may be mistaken for symptoms of a physical illness, such as a heart attack and lead the individual to hospitalization on a regular basis.

There are many factors involved when determining whether the anxiety warrants the attention of a mental health professional. These include the degree of distress caused by the anxiety symptoms, the extent to which these anxiety symptoms affect the person’s ability to work or study, socialize and manage daily tasks, and the context in which the anxiety occurs.

People with anxiety disorders may feel anxious most of the time or for brief intense episodes, which may occur for no apparent reason. They may have anxious feelings that are so uncomfortable that they avoid daily routines and activities that might cause these feelings. Some people have occasional anxiety attacks so intense that they are terrified or immobilized.

People with anxiety disorders are usually aware of the irrational and excessive nature of their fears. When they come for treatment, many say, “I know my fears are unreasonable, but I just can’t seem to stop them.” Like most mental health problems, anxiety disorders appear to be caused by a combination of biological factors, psychological factors and challenging life experiences.

images 3Many psychological treatments, such as relaxation training, meditation, biofeedback and stress management, can help with anxiety disorders. Many people also benefit from supportive counselling or couples or family therapy. However, experts agree that the most effective form of treatment for anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Medications have also been proven effective, and many people receive CBT and medication in combination.

If this sounds familiar to you and your behaviours, or those of a loved one you are concerned about, and you would like to make some changes in your life, Contact Us for more information. If it's time to make a change and reach out for the support, recovery is a journey that starts with just one step, and only you alone can choose to take that step, but remember you are not destined to be alone when you choose to take that step with The Liberation Place!