What Are Anxiety Disorders and When to Seek Help

A man having an anxiety attack.

It is safe to say that everyone experiences stress or anxiety in their life occasionally. It could be preparing for an interview, waiting to hear about anew job, giving a presentation to peers, or simply meeting a new group of people. That kind of stress can test your skills, and anxiety is normal and actually to be expected. When stress or anxiety begins to impact your everyday life and affect your ability to function however, you may have stepped into another realm. Let’s take a top-level look at what anxiety disorders are and when to seek help.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This is a common type of anxiety that leads to fear of almost anything: what could happen in the person’s life, what might happen in the world, or any potential fear. It makes a person perpetually worried.

A man person holding his hand on his face because he is anxious.

Agoraphobia

This is an extreme fear of being somewhere you cannot escape. This fear takes over someone’s life and causes them to be fearful of going anywhere. They fear they will panic in front of others and therefore avoid most, if not all, social situations. Extreme cases may cause someone to be afraid to leave their home entirely.

Panic Disorder

Someone with a panic disorder can be suddenly afraid of nothing in particular. Panic attacks occur without warning and are accompanied by rapid heartbeat and pure terror. They often  have no rational cause.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Someone with social anxiety fears being in any social situation. They assume they are being scrutinized by everyone else, so they avoid going out in public. Physically they may shake, have stomach upset, or an exaggerated heartbeat.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors that can contribute to developing anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Experiencing verbal, mental, or physical abuse or a combination thereof 
  • Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event 
  • Stress from illness caused by significant worry about treatments and the future can increase an individual’s risk
  • Stress buildup from life situations, such as death, work, and financial worries can trigger excessive anxiety. 
  • COVID-19 isolation, illness, and worry
  • Mental health issues like depression
  • Having a blood relative with an anxiety disorder
  • Drugs and alcohol use or misuse

When to Seek Help

If you recognize these symptoms or risk factors in yourself or a loved one, get help early. If anxiety is interfering with work or relationships, is difficult to control, or you are becoming depressed or having suicidal thoughts, do not wait to get help.

Contact Foresight Mental Health at (888) 588-8995 for help with your anxiety disorder before it becomes worse.