Mental disorders can be some of the most difficult ailments to deal with. You can’t see them the same way you can a broken leg or measure them like you can bad cholesterol. So it’s tough knowing where you stand with progress. Furthermore, mental disorders affect just about every aspect of your life. If your mind isn’t working the way you need it to, how can anything else go right? Of all the mental disorders out there, one of the most prevalent is an anxiety disorder. Keep reading to learn what one entails and how you can address it.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Many of the issues with an anxiety disorder as mentioned above also make for a unique problem in that it’s tough to diagnose one. So anxiety issues can actually cover a wide range of symptoms and problems.
Not all anxiety is necessarily bad either. Anxiety is a perfectly acceptable way of reacting to stress. Without that reaction, we’d constantly be submitting ourselves to ever more stressful situations until something terrible happened. Many people actually use anxiety as a catalyst towards doing better or performing at their best.
An anxiety disorder, then, is when the reaction a person has is completely inappropriate. Sometimes the smallest amount of stress can trigger massive amounts of anxiety. Situations that the average person would experience no anxiety over can be all it takes to throw someone into a meltdown. These are the types of symptoms doctors look for when diagnosing an anxiety disorder.
The word anxiety can often be misleading and stop people from being able to see the symptoms in themselves. Someone with an anxiety disorder may feel a wide range of negative emotions triggered by stress. Fear, for example, is a common one that many people might not associate with stress. Tension, too, can kick in, again with very little actually triggering it.
For the most part, the closest we can get to measure an anxiety disorder objectively is through a handful of physical symptoms a person may display when they are in the midst of their disorder.
Examples include a heartbeat that speeds up, again with little actual stimulus causing this. Difficulty breathing can occur. Someone with an anxiety disorder can begin sweating profusely when stress occurs or even begin trembling.
There is also the possibility that physical symptoms will manifest themselves in conscious behavior. Someone with an anxiety disorder might start conducting a repetitive behavior, even something that is physically damaging.
There are so many symptoms involved with an anxiety disorder that there are actually numerous kinds now recognized. A panic disorder, for example, is one that is characterized by panic attacks and other highly animated forms of coping with stress. Social phobia is a debilitating fear of being out in public and dealing with other people. A very common anxiety disorder is obsessive-compulsive disorder. People with OCD are prone to conduct all manner of rituals throughout their day in an attempt to gain a sense of control over their life and environment. Unfortunately, another very common anxiety disorder we’re seeing more and more of these days are posttraumatic stress disorder. With the number of soldiers we have overseas in wars, many are coming back with PTSD and finding it difficult to cope with civilian life.
Fortunately, all the above examples can be treated a number of ways. Soldiers with PTSD have specific solutions available to them to assist them in leading a normal life.
Treating an Anxiety Disorder through Counseling
Treating an anxiety disorder always begins with recognizing the symptoms and then speaking to your doctor about them as soon as possible. Though there are plenty of things you can do without a prescription, having your doctor in the loop always helps.
Counseling is generally considered very important when you’re tackling an anxiety disorder. Speaking with a professional is one of the best ways to begin understanding how your disorder works, rather than simply being the victim to what it does.
You’ll want to seek out a physician who has specific experience dealing with people who suffer from anxiety disorders. But if you speak to your physician, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Using Medication to Overcome Your Anxiety Disorder
Most would agree the best approach to overcoming an anxiety disorder is to combine counseling with medication.
While the actual medication you’ll use to treat your disorder will be up to your doctor, many will most likely prescribe you Valium or Diazepam. Both are essentially the same thing, so you’ll be in good hands with either.
These drugs are what are known as benzodiazepine. That means they work by acting on the GABA receptors in your brain and making them release the neurotransmitter into your body. GABA is important in all kinds of relaxing functions. It helps calm your nerves, relaxes your muscles and even escorts your mind to sleep.
If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, these are just the kind of benefits you need from a medication. Valium or diazepam can help calm your mind’s activity when it’s running wild with unsubstantiated fears, needless anxiety or repetitive behaviors that don’t serve an real purpose. These drugs can have some side effects, but they have been taken by individuals for over 50 years now, so the medical establishment understands how best to utilize them. More than likely you’ll be described Valium for a short period of time and in moderate amounts. Then, once you start gaining control over your anxiety disorder, you’ll begin slowly tapering off. This is where counseling can help ensure a smooth transition.
Even though it’s something you can’t see, an anxiety disorder can be just as serious an issue as any other ailment a person can have. Thankfully, in today’s day and age, we better understand what causes these disorders and what can be done to address them. For the most part a combination of counseling and Valium will bring about the desired effect.