FAQ' about Anxiety & Panic Attacks

What is anxiety and how is it different from normal worry?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion characterized by feelings of worry, fear, or unease. It becomes a disorder when these feelings are excessive, persistent, and interfere with daily life. Normal worry tends to be temporary and proportional to the situation, while anxiety disorders involve heightened and prolonged anxiety that may not have an identifiable cause.

What are the different types of anxiety disorders?

Some common types of anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

What are the common symptoms of anxiety?

Common symptoms of anxiety can include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders can have multiple causes, including genetic factors, brain chemistry imbalances, environmental stressors, and traumatic life events. It is often a combination of these factors that contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.

How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?

Diagnosis of anxiety disorders typically involves a comprehensive assessment by a mental health professional. They will evaluate the individual's symptoms, medical history, and conduct a psychological evaluation to determine if the symptoms meet the criteria for a specific anxiety disorder.

What are some effective treatment options for anxiety?

Effective treatment options for anxiety disorders include therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or exposure therapy, and medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines. Other interventions, such as relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes, and support from loved ones, can also be helpful.

Can anxiety disorders coexist with other mental health conditions?

Yes, it is common for individuals with anxiety disorders to also experience other mental health conditions, such as depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders. These co-occurring disorders often require integrated treatment approaches.

How can I support someone who is dealing with anxiety?

Supporting someone with anxiety involves providing empathy, understanding, and patience. Offer a listening ear, encourage them to seek professional help, educate yourself about anxiety, and be sensitive to their needs and boundaries. Avoid judgment or minimizing their experiences.

Are there lifestyle changes or self-help strategies that can help manage anxiety?

Yes, several lifestyle changes and self-help strategies can help manage anxiety. These include regular exercise, practising relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing or mindfulness), maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol, and engaging in activities that promote stress reduction and self-care.

Where can I find additional resources or support for anxiety?

Additional resources and support for anxiety can be found through mental health organizations, online forums, support groups, and reputable websites. It's recommended to consult with mental health professionals who can provide appropriate resources and referrals based on individual needs.