We all feel a little anxious now and then. But if you experience anxiety daily, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population, each year.

Although only 36 percent of the 40 million suffering from anxiety disorders seek help, we hope you know that you are not alone, and there are ways to help reduce your anxiety. Continue reading to learn more about different anxiety disorders, their symptoms and the treatment options available.

What is Anxiety? 

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or uneasiness that typically occurs about an upcoming event or something uncertain. And although anxiety is a feeling of worry that everyone may feel from time to time, anxiety is a mental illness; if it affects you daily, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. 

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, such as:

  • Agoraphobia:  Anxiety when people fear and often avoid certain places or situations that might cause panic and make someone feel trapped or helpless.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder: Excessive anxiety and persistent worry about activities or events; this can also happen with day-to-day circumstances. The concern experienced is out of proportion for the outcome, isn’t easy to control and can affect mental and physical health.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, obsessive and sometimes harmful, repeated behaviors.
  • Panic disorder: Sudden and extreme waves and attacks of intense anxiety, fear or terror that can peak within minutes. 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Anxiety following a traumatic event.
  • Selective mutism – Anxiety found in children who fail to speak, such as at school or home with certain family members.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: Also found in children, this disorder is a type of anxiety that relates to the separation of parents or other close family members.
  • Social phobia: An anxiety disorder that causes high levels of anxiety, avoidance or fear of some or all social situations due to feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness.
  • Substance-induced anxiety: Anxiety caused by misusing drugs, medications or withdrawal.

What are the Causes of Anxiety Disorders?

There are no exact causes of anxiety, according to researchers. However, many different factors can play a role in anxiety disorders, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors. Researchers believe that the areas of your brain that are responsible for controlling fear may be impacted. Research is currently being conducted to understand the parts of the brain that are affected by anxiety.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?

Common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, nervous or tense
  • A sense of impending danger or panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating or trembling
  • Feeling weak, faint or dizzy
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than your worry
  • Difficulty sleeping or restlessness
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Avoidance of things that trigger anxiety

When Should I Seek Help?

It is common for most people to experience minor anxiety here and there, especially if you have a significant life event approaching, such as starting a new job, buying a house, having a child, etc. 

To determine if you suffer from an anxiety disorder and explore treatment options, you may need physical exams and mental health evaluations and fill out psychological questionnaires. Your doctor can assess the level of anxiety you’re experiencing with different anxiety tests and scales as well.

When anxious behaviors take up a significant part of your day or dictate your world, you can become mentally exhausted and sometimes even physically sick; this is when it is time to seek help. You should also visit your doctor if you feel that you have no control over your worry, you feel depressed and may turn to alcohol or drugs, you think your anxiety may be linked to other health issues or you have suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Are You Suffering from an Anxiety Disorder? Let Seneca Health Services Help You Today.

Anxiety can be a debilitating mental disorder, and if not treated properly, it can start to consume your entire life. No one should ever have to live life in fear, uneasiness or nervousness. Here at Seneca Health Services, we understand that, and we are here for you. Our highly trained therapists can work with you to help alleviate the stresses, fears and obsessions of anxiety disorder. 

We respect diversity and offer specialized services to address the needs of our patients. If you need help or have questions about therapy and mental health treatment, please do not hesitate to contact the Seneca office nearest you or use the link provided here. 

Greenbrier County, West Virginia: (304) 497-0500

Nicholas County, West Virginia: (304) 872-2659

Pocahontas County, West Virginia: (304) 799-6865

Webster County, West Virginia: (304) 847-5425