Dealing with Panic and Anxiety Disorders

There are seven major categories of anxiety disorders that include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobia, post traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia and panic disorder. Each form of anxiety has symptoms that are common with other forms of anxiety and some symptoms that unique to them. There are forms of treatment, including medication and therapy that will relieve symptoms of anxiety and allow the sufferer to live a stress and anxiety free life.

Anxiety affects most people from time to time. For some, it is a one or two time deal, while, for others, it becomes a way of life. There are ways for dealing with anxiety that can bring relief and peace of mind. Relaxation is the one element that seems to get lost when suffering from anxiety, but it is one of the best forms of defense for coping with anxiety and anxiety related issues. Making sure the body and mind stays relaxed or allowing an anxiety sufferer achieve a level of relaxation when under stress is not impossible. It takes practice and meditation and yoga can help.

Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressful event or situation. Everyone responds to anxiety differently and will handle the effects according to the level of stress they are able to manage. When anxiety overtakes and becomes obsessive, it is classified as an anxiety disorder. If anxiety becomes overwhelming, it is time to seek help. Ignoring excessive anxiety will only allow the condition to become worse rather than get better.

Not everyone who suffers anxiety will develop an anxiety disorder, but recognizing when anxiety occurs will allow that person to consciously make an adjustments to their way of thinking, or take action to eliminate or at least minimize anxiety in the future.

There are physical effects that are associated with anxiety including shortness of breath and chest pain, stomach or headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness and tension. As the body prepares for a threat, heart rate and blood pressure increase as well as blood flow to major muscle groups and perspiration rate. The emotional effects of anxiety include feelings of fear and apprehension, dread, feelings of tension, irritability and lack of concentration.

There is a variety of anxieties seen in children and most can be treated effectively. The most common symptoms of childhood anxiety are parental separation, shyness, sleep disturbances, social withdrawal, stress and tension and excessive worry. Some children seem to dispel anxiety after learning how to deal with it. Other children retain anxiety for the rest of their lives, but it is minimized through treatment.

It is important to address anxiety in children and not assume the child will grow out of it. Some children may outgrow anxiety, but most will not. The sooner treatment is begun, the more effective and long lasting it will be. Most children are very resilient and will handle treatment well, especially if there is family support. If childhood anxiety is left untreated, the anxiety will most likely stay through adulthood, where it will be difficult to treat because the brain has functioned in the state of anxiety for many years.

Panic attacks are one of the most common forms of anxiety. Approximately 17% of the adult population suffers from panic attacks. Of that 17%, about 20% experienced their first panic attack before they were 10 years old. Dealing with panic attacks is not difficult, but it can be time consuming. There is no overnight cure for panic attacks, and no one treatment is right for all people. Treatment will vary because people are different and experience panic attacks differently. People also react differently to the types of treatment available.

Both therapy and medication can be use to treat panic attacks for both adults and children, and in a lot of cases, a combination of the two is the most effective. Part of the treatment plan often includes a change in lifestyle which can be helpful in minimizing the effects of panic attacks. A change in diet and exercise can bring about an upgrade in overall health and a positive mindset that will help quell any feelings of panic.

The best course of action is to learn to manage the symptoms that can bring on a panic attack. Management is a tool that allows the potential sufferer to replace the triggers and events that cause panic attacks with methods that eliminate those fears. That way panic attacks will always be kept at bay.

One other common anxiety disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder. This form of anxiety causes a person to suffer unwanted ideas and recurrent impulses. OCD and anxiety are brought on by stress and fear. OCD is caused by number of factors that have more to do with the suffer and how they react to the environment around them.

There is treatment for OCD, and it is a combination of therapy and medication or for some people it might be therapy or medication. Following the prescribed method of treatment can be effective and help sufferers manage their OCD and anxiety. Like other anxieties, treatment will help the sufferer develop coping mechanisms that will last a lifetime and take an uncontrollable condition and make it manageable.