Anxiety Disorders

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common problems which leads an individual to seek help. It typically involves feelings of worrying, nervousness, and apprehension. A small amount of anxiety or worrying can be very normal, but when the distress is too large and uncontrollable, it can be debilitating. For many individuals, a particular stressor might be related to the onset on significant anxiety. For others, a general anxious temperament, one which has been present for years, can represent a risk factor for new symptoms to appear.

Anxiety and Physical Symptoms

Anxiety often has a strong physiological component and several disorders are defined, at least in part, by physical symptoms. Our bodies have developed responses, for better or worse, to counteract anxiety, but sometimes these responses can be difficult to understand and control. Individuals with a separate health condition may be especially vulnerable to increased impairment when anxiety is present.

Why the Type Matters

Anxiety disorders often share several features in common, but the specific form of anxiety present can impact how it is treated. Recognizing the patterns associated with your specific form of anxiety can be a great first step to understanding the impact of your symptoms. For example, identifying triggers for anxiety can help to increase awareness of the likelihood of being distressed. In addition, recognizing avoidance patterns can illuminate opportunities to deal with anxiety in new ways.

How Testing Can Help

As boundaries between anxiety disorders can sometimes seem blurred, it is helpful to use a variety of methods to gain information about your particular symptoms. In a simple case, a specific form of anxiety might be easily identified in an initial office visit with a mental health provider, such as a counselor or a medical professional. In more complex cases, however, psychological testing might be needed to diagnose the condition and highlight appropriate treatment options. Also, since anxiety disorders often appear together with other disorders (such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or personality disorders), testing can help to understand all the types of symptoms in play.

Explore Related Topics:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder
Which Type of Anxiety is Causing the Problem?
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