Fundamentals of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a disorder that causes undue apprehension and panic. It affects how people process emotions and react to daily life situations. Although some anxiety may be a normal part of life, those with anxiety disorder may experience a severe level of unease and panic under stressful situations. Therefore, managing anxiety could be quite distressing.
Fortunately, several treatment options are available for treating anxiety disorders, including prescription medication. However, while traditional medications for anxiety are useful, many widespread alternative medications for the disorder are available. Sometimes, alternative anxiety medications are a good choice for those who experience severe side effects from prescription medication or simply want to utilize alternative methods.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension, troubling thoughts, and physical issues, such as a rise in blood pressure. Anxiety disorder impedes people’s ability to function and may cause intense emotions when met with triggers. It is estimated that 15% to 20% of people experience anxiety disorder at some point in their life.1
Thus, recognizing the distinction between anxiety and anxiety disorder is crucial in identifying and treating the condition.
Common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety symptoms depend largely on the type of anxiety disorder. However, some general signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Numbness or throbbing in arms or feet
- Dry mouth
- Recounted thoughts and flashbacks of traumatic encounters
- Difficulty sleeping
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Types of anxiety disorders will be detailed below.2
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes undue worry and tension, even when there is no reason to feel these emotions.
Panic disorder causes sudden and intense fear that triggers panic attacks. It could emanate from facing a situation that terrifies the person. Panic attacks can look like heart attacks, resulting in extreme palpitations and chest pain.
Phobias are an excessive fear of certain situations or objects. Some of these fears are sometimes unexplainable, as the level of fear expressed does not match the situation.
Agoraphobia is an intense fear of being subdued or embarrassed and without a means to escape. For example, people with agoraphobia could be afraid of staying in lines of crowds, open spaces, enclosed spaces, public transportation, etc.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, causes excessive worry and self-consciousness about everyday life situations. For example, people with social anxiety disorder often worry about being judged and mocked.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder occurs when people become excessively worried about being away from their parents or loved ones. The affected individual often worries that their loved ones may not return after leaving their sight.
Risk of Anxiety Medications
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent disorders experienced by people around the world. As a result, several medications have been developed to manage the condition. Nonetheless, anxiety medications have the potential to cause side effects ranging from uncomfortable to severe.
What Can Taking Anxiety Medications Lead To?
While side effects may dissipate after taking the medication for some time, people should always consult their doctor if they notice any unusual feelings. The following are some risks associated with anxiety medications:
- Suicidal Thoughts: Individuals who take anxiety medications may experience increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- Tolerance and Dependence: Some anxiety drugs, just as opiates, may lead to dependence. Forming a dependence can be caused by an increased tolerance to some anxiety medications. Thus, people begin needing a higher dose to achieve the same effect.
- Withdrawal: Anyone who decides to stop taking any of these medications may likely suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as increased anxiety, depression, restlessness, sweating, shaking, etc.
Alternative Options Out There for Treating Anxiety
The fear of side effects and addiction compels people to seek alternative options to treat anxiety. Alternative remedies for anxiety involve using nonconventional medications obtained from a doctor or a health care professional.
Many people with anxiety choose to combine alternative options with traditional medications to seek relief. The following are some alternative medications to manage anxiety disorder:
Essential oil is an aromatic compound acquired from plants through distillation. Essential oils are used to promote well-being in a process known as aromatherapy. This medication alternative can stimulate the smell receptors in the nose, which then transmit messages to the nervous system. As a result, it is often used to treat anxiety disorders.
Meditation is an age-long practice believed to benefit mental health significantly. While there is limited evidence suggesting meditation is an effective first-line treatment for anxiety disorder, research shows that it may be useful as a supplementary therapy.
Some common examples of meditation that may help treat anxiety are:
- Body-mind meditation
- Body scan meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
Meditation may seem difficult at first, especially for people with anxiety. Nevertheless, practice is an important part of meditation. Over time, people would be able to achieve mindfulness and calmness through meditation.
Change Your Diet
Diet is an essential part of well-being and can help control anxiety symptoms. People can use the following tips to manage their diet:3
- Include more proteins
- Eat complex carbohydrates
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit caffeine intake
- Eat balanced meals
- Eat plenty of vegetables
Try Vitamins and Natural SupplementsResearch has indicated that some supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids and herbal supplements, can reduce anxiety symptoms. In addition, vitamin D, vitamin B complex, magnesium, multivitamin and mineral supplements, and valerian roots are beneficial for people with anxiety.4
Therapy is a form of treatment that can be used to treat anxiety. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can help people understand their feelings and behaviors. Some different types of therapy available for the treatment of anxiety include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
Get Anxiety Treatment at AMFM Treatment
Anxiety disorders can cause a great amount of stress in the lives of people affected. Being in an overwhelming state of fear can be quite distressing, especially when surrounded by others who do not understand what it feels like to live with this disorder.
At AMFM Treatment, we specialize in treating anxiety and helping our clients achieve mental balance. Our team of highly qualified medical professionals utilizes evidence-based treatments and holistic methods to ensure each client receives the care they need.
With our various treatment options, we can focus on providing individualized treatment plans for every client. In addition, the environment we create at our high-end treatment facility for anxiety disorders is perfect for people whose anxiety is triggered by visits to doctors or hospitals.
Contact Us Today
AMFM Treatment has the edge over traditional centers. Learning to cope with anxiety disorders is much easier in a relaxing and comforting facility like the AMFM anxiety treatment center. Contact us today to learn more about receiving treatment for anxiety.