Table of Contents
If you are struggling with symptoms that are linked to anxiety, it can truly impact all areas of your life. When the symptoms don’t pass, you may wonder how to get diagnosed with anxiety so you can begin treatment. To learn more about the symptoms and treatment for anxiety disorder, read on.
Learn About Anxiety Disorder
Is it stress or anxiety? Are the symptoms sustained or sporadic? Is your daily functioning impaired? These are just some of the questions you might be asked when looking into getting diagnosed with anxiety.
Anxiety is a mental health disorder that has several variations. At the root of each, however, is an irrational fear. This is a fear response that is out of balance with the actual trigger. The spectrum of anxiety disorders includes:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: GAD features excessive worry for much of the day, resulting in headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, nausea, and trouble concentrating.
- Social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety features an intense fear of being judged or critiqued in public. To avoid these fears, the person may avoid social settings.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder features sudden feelings of overwhelming terror. This causes heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness. This may lead to social isolation to avoid having future panic attacks.
- Specific phobias: Phobias develop in childhood or teen years and feature an intense fear of a specific thing, place, or situation. To manage this fear, the person goes to great lengths to avoid possible triggers.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD features obsessive worries about things like germs, causing someone harm, or an intense need for order. Obsession drives compulsive behaviors, which are an attempt to manage the symptoms of anxiety caused by fear.
- PTSD: PTSD is unresolved trauma that may lead to avoidance of people, places, or situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event. Flashbacks, nightmares, or repeated thoughts of the trauma induce the anxiety symptoms.
Causes of Anxiety
There are many possible things that cause anxiety. These might include:
- Genetics. A family history of anxiety disorders or mental illness increases your chances of also developing anxiety.
- Trauma. Trauma may induce anxiety. A trauma involves experiencing physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, or a serious accident.
- Health condition. Anxiety symptoms may be a sign of the body attempting to achieve homeostasis when there is a health condition present.
- Medications. Some drugs prescribed to treat health issues may have anxiety as a side effect.
- Chronic stress. Feeling constant stress due to pressures at work, money problems, or marriage problems can lead to anxiety disorder.
- Brain chemistry. A malfunction in stress hormone production can cause symptoms of anxiety.
- Personality traits. Certain traits, such as being excitable or high-strung, may predispose a person to anxiety.
Why It’s Important to Get Diagnosed With Anxiety
Living with the symptoms of anxiety is exhausting. Anxiety can cause a lack of restful sleep, which leads to fatigue during the day as well as trouble concentrating on the job. Living with undiagnosed and treated anxiety can also lead to health problems, such as heart disease.
Chronic fear and dread can be crippling. People have their careers blunted because of their intense fears. Relationships can be torn apart due to irrational fear or unfounded distrust. Once you get diagnosed with anxiety, you may feel somewhat validated knowing you weren’t imagining the symptoms.
Keep a Symptom Log Before You See the Therapist
Before you have your intake interview with a mental health provider, jot down your symptoms in a notebook for a 10-14 day period. When tracking your symptoms, you provide a great deal of helpful information for the doctor or mental health provider.
For instance, you may experience anxiety at certain times of the day. Note the symptoms and any pertinent information about what preceded or followed the anxiety attack. These notes provide clues that can point to patterns or triggers that then resulted in symptoms.
Now That You’re Diagnosed You Can Receive Treatment
You may breathe a sigh of relief once you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. You may have been wondering if it was all in your head, so finally having a formal diagnosis is reassuring. Once the anxiety diagnosis is made, the doctor will create a plan to help you manage the condition.
Treatment for anxiety disorder can be obtained in outpatient services, mental health retreats, or residential programs. All of these settings provide various levels of care, which will be determined by your diagnosis and treatment planning.
Treatment for anxiety may include the following:
- One-on-one talk therapy. You meet with a therapist and discuss the situations that cause anxiety. The therapist will utilize a variety of therapies to help you change your response to the triggers.
- Group therapy or support groups. Group sessions are helpful because you feel a connection with others who also struggle with anxiety. Discussions will revolve around finding new ways to manage stressful situations.
- Trauma-focused therapy, like EMDR. Adjunctive methods like EMDR can help you resolve the effects of past traumas.
- Holistic treatment methods. There are many holistic methods you can integrate into the treatment of anxiety. These might include yoga, massage, meditation, and deep breathing techniques.
- Medication. There are drugs that can help alleviate the symptoms of a panic attack. These are called benzodiazepines and are sold under the brand names Xanax, Ativan, and Valium.
If you are suffering from anxiety symptoms, there is help available. To receive a diagnosis of anxiety, reach out to available mental health support resources today.
The Treatment Specialist For Online Mental Health Resources
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource for informative articles on mental health conditions and treatment options for adults, teens, and families. If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms and wonder how to get diagnosed with anxiety, call us. Reach out at (866) 644-7911 today.