Anxiety: Causes & Treatment Options
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. An Anxiety Disorder occurs when the stress is out of proportion to the anxiety causing event. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety, social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety left untreated can cause other mental health health disorders such as depression.
What are the Symptoms?
Nervousness or being easily startled
Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
Muscle tension or muscle aches
Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren't
Inability to set aside or let go of a worry (also known as ruminating)
What are the Causes?
Anxiety is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Factors that increase the chance of anxiety include:
Poor coping skills
Stress from work, school or home
Stress in a personal relationship such as a marriage
Side effect of medication or an elicit drug
Stress from an emotional trauma
Symptom of another medical disorder such as heart disease
What are the Treatment Options?
The most common treatment options are:
Treatment options vary by severity and etiology of the disorder. For example, anxiety caused by a specific phobia may be treated with exposure therapy. OCD is often treated with a combination of psychotherapy and SSRI medication. Generalized Anxiety Disorder may be significantly improved with psychoeducation about coping skills. For those looking for adjunct treatments for anxiety, diet and exercise are highly recommended.
The information on this page is for education purposes only.
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