General Anxiety Social Anxiety Panic Attacks Post Traumatic Stress
Anxiety bashed my mind in Terrorizing my soul like Bin Laden But I ain't fallin' down bro I ain't givin in to it Shackled in chains My soul feels stained I can't explain Got a itch on my brain Lately my whole brain Lately my whole aim is to maintain And regain control of my mainframe My blood's boilin' it's beatin' out propane My train of thoughts more like a runaway train I'm in a fast car drivin' in the fast lane In the rain and I might just hydroplane
The Black Eyed Peas
What Is Anxiety?
Most people feel anxious at some point in their lives. For example, it is normal to feel anxious before an important exam or when called upon to speak in public. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful events or situations.
In many instances, anxiety can be a helpful coping mechanism. When you are in a situation that is frightening or threatening, anxiety is your body's way of telling you something is wrong and action is required to reduce the stress. For example, if you were in the jungle and a lion started to chase you it is understandable that you feel anxious. Out of fear your body will probably experience a "fight or flight" reaction and find yourself propelled faster than you have ever ran before.
However, if anxiety becomes chronic, it may be the sign of a more serious problem. For example, if you feel like a lion is chasing you when you are simply only sitting at home on the couch, your level of anxiety is excessive.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own specific symptoms and treatment options. Some of the most common types are: generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety and panic disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by constant and exaggerated worrisome thoughts and unnecessary tension about routine events and everyday activities. The symptoms must have existed without interruption for at least six months. Generalized anxiety disorder lacks many of the more dramatic symptoms of other anxiety disorders and so can be harder to diagnose, but it can include physical symptoms like headaches, sweating and gastrointestinal trouble.
People with general anxiety disorder (GAD) may experience symptoms such as:
Shoulder, back pain, headaches, stomach aches, nausea
Post traumatic stress disorder can occur after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event like a murder, rape, mugging, car crash or natural disaster. Or, it can be cause by chronic trauma like childhood sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Those who suffer from this disorder can experience the event repeatedly in nightmares and flashbacks and also begin to feel depressed, angry, and irritable, can scare easily and become emotionally numb.
People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may experience symptoms such as:
Agitation, irritability, hostility
Depression, anger, guilt
self-destructive and unwanted thoughts and behaviors
Social withdrawal, mistrust, loneliness
Severe anxiety and irrational fears
Loss of interest, fear or avoidance of intimacy
emotional detachment, lack of libido
Social Anxiety is characterized by an overwhelming fear of embarrassment, scrutiny or humiliation in social situations which causes people with the condition to avoid normal social activities.
People with Social Anxieties may experience symptoms such as:
Fear of being scrutinized by others
Fear of humiliation or embarrassment
Recognition that fears are unreasonable or excessive
Avoidance of feared situations
Intense anxiety and distress when facing one's feared situation
Fears interferes with a person's normal activities
Panic attacks are sudden onset episodes of acute anxiety coupled with a number discomforting symptoms in situations where there is no real danger present. Often times people having panic attacks are in so much distress they feel like they are having a heart attack.
People with Panic Attacks may experience symptoms such as:
Avoidance of situations that cause anxiety
shortness of breath
dizziness, nausea, flushness
rapid heart rate, trembling, hyperventilation
sweating, light headedness, faintness
chest pain, tightness in your throat
A sense of doom and feeling out of control.
After the attack you typically feel tired and fatigued.
Is Anxiety Treatable?
You do not usually "just get over" anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety you should seek professional help. Dr. Klein is an expert in diagnosing and treating anxiety disorders. If medications are indicated in addition to psychotherapy, he will work with your primary care physician or refer you to a psychiatrist when deemed appropriate. Dr. Klein is also utilizes hypnosis and mindfulness techniques to alleviate anxiety symptoms. He has offices in Westport and Branford CT.
(203) 915-0601 [email protected] Dr. Martin Klein, Ph.D., Psychologist Westport, CT and Branford, CT