The mental disorder anxiety is one that is very prevalent in our society. Anxiety conditions are very present within our cultural fabric. Many people mistakenly assume that an anxiety disorder can be described simply as someone who gets scared a lot, in the same way other people get scared but more regularly. This is not an accurate description of anxiety. The attacks and episodes that a person experiences when they have anxiety are debilitating. They may hyperventilate and feel like they are going to have a heart attack. In fact, many people who have an anxiety attack go to the hospital, thinking they are having a medical emergency. The symptoms are severe and alarming.
Anxiety is a condition that sets in over time. It can have a variety of underlying causes but the symptoms are very similar between people diagnosed with it. They have an exaggerated sense of danger and an overactive fear response. The reaction that would be typical of a person meeting a bear in the woods strikes a person with anxiety at random in every day situations. They will frequently interpret someone or something as threatening even if the person or thing poses no real threat to them. Their fear response is very extreme. Their brain becomes flooded with cortisol and they are no longer able to interpret stimuli rationally. Physical responses include shortness of breath, racing heart, tightness in the chest and feelings of faintness.
Treatment for anxiety includes medication and counseling, both of which are very important to the management of this condition. Medication helps stabilize the brain chemicals that become out of control during an anxiety attack. Counseling helps teach a person with anxiety how to cope with its symptoms and how to identify when their anxiety is affecting them. Living with anxiety can be challenging, but its symptoms are manageable for those who take their treatment seriously. If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety, reach out to the services of a mental health professional today.