Anxiousness is not the same as anxiety.
While it’s normal and sometimes beneficial to feel anxious at times, such as before a job interview or during an important project, severe or ongoing anxiety may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder.
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders?
Depending on the type of anxiety disorder, symptoms differ and may include:
- Fast heart rate
- Feeling of being smothered
- Feeling of choking
- Chest pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of dying
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
- Fear of being embarrassed or humiliated
How is an anxiety disorder diagnosed?
There are no lab tests or imaging tests that can diagnose anxiety disorders. However, your primary doctor may order some tests to rule out other medical conditions in which anxiety is one of the symptoms.
If your doctor finds out that there is no physical disorder that is causing your anxiety, they may refer you to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will interview you to assess the severity of your anxiety and then arrive at a diagnosis. Questions will typically cover topics such as the duration and intensity of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life.
How are anxiety disorders treated?
Psychiatrists typically treat anxiety disorders with a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
While medications cannot cure an anxiety disorder, they can alleviate the intensity of symptoms and help improve your quality of life. These medications include:
- Anti-anxiety medications: Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines help reduce the feelings of anxiety and panic. While they work quickly, you can develop a tolerance to them over time. Because of this, your psychiatrist may prescribe them for a short period and add an antidepressant medication to the treatment.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants work on certain chemicals in your brain to improve mood and reduce stress. Unlike anti-anxiety medications, they take time to work. Do not discontinue them abruptly without consulting your psychiatrist, as doing so can result in several unwanted side effects.
- Beta blockers: If you develop rapid heart rate and trembling due to anxiety, your psychiatrist may prescribe beta blockers, which are typically used to treat high blood pressure.
Your psychiatrist will ask you to follow up to check if the medications are working. They will first try a combination of various medications for your anxiety to finally figure out which combination suits you the best.
Psychotherapy, also called counseling, aims to help you better understand and manage the disorder through various strategies:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches you to identify thought patterns and behaviors that lead to the symptoms of your anxiety disorder. It then teaches you how to change them.
- Exposure therapy involves strategies to help you confront your fears by exposing you to triggers gradually and helping you overcome them.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Bhatt NV. Anxiety disorder. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286227-overview
Top Is Anxiousness the Same as Anxiety Related Articles
AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Anxiety and Panic Disorders: Conditions That Look Like AnxietyIs it anxiety or something else? Click through to learn which conditions share symptoms.
Anxiety & Panic Disorders: Risk Factors for AnxietyDo you feel anxious? Many things could make it more likely. Learn more, including what you can do if you feel anxious.
Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are prescription drugs that belong do the drug class of benzodiazepines. Both Ativan and Valium are used to treat anxiety disorders, sedation prior to surgery, and prevention and treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Ativan also is used to treat insomnia, and to prevent nausea and vomiting as a result from chemotherapy. Valium also is used to treat seizures, and relief of muscle spasms in some neurological diseases. Side effects, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety comparison are provided.
Benzodiazepines vs. CyclobenzaprineBenzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine are used to treat muscle spasms. Benzodiazepines are also used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety disorders, nervousness, panic disorders, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that cause drowsiness and cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant.
CitalopramCitalopram is an antidepressant drug used to treat: depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric syndrome (PMDD), anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
What Is the Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack?What is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack? Learn about the differences between these common occurrences.
Anxiety SlideshowLearn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of anxiety disorders.
How Do I Stop Being a Hypochondriac?A hypochondriac is someone who has a constant fear of illness or getting sick. Stop being a hypochondriac by using self-help and getting cognitive-behavioral therapy.
How Does a Person With Anxiety Feel?What are symptoms of anxiety? A person with anxiety may experience feelings of nervousness, restlessness, inability to concentrate, stomach problems, and more.
Phobias SlideshowWhat are you afraid of? Learn about phobias such as agoraphobia, claustrophobia, arachnophobia, zoophobia, and more. Discover some of the symptoms, treatments, and medications of phobias.
What Are the Six Types of Anxiety Disorders?Anxiety disorders cause worry, fear and panic as an irrational response to mundane situations. The six main types are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, separation anxiety, trauma-related disorders and phobias.
What Is the Best Treatment for Anxiety?The best treatment for anxiety is typically a combination of psychotherapy and medication. However, lifestyle modifications can also help manage symptoms.
What Makes a Person a Hypochondriac?Hypochondria, also known as hypochondriasis or illness anxiety disorder, is a condition that involves obsession and intense worrying about your health.
What Symptoms Are Caused by Anxiety?It's normal to feel stressed or worried about things that happen in our everyday lives. However, people who experience anxiety disorders often feel heightened fear or worry about common situations.
Zoloft vs. CelexaZoloft (sertraline) and Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) are antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prescribed to treat depression. Zoloft is also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Zoloft vs. LexaproZoloft (sertraline) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used for treating depression, and anxiety disorders. Zoloft is also approved for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).