Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders plague millions of Americans each year, making anxiety disorders one of the many illnesses for which people seek professional treatment. While most people experience some type of work or stress-related anxiety throughout their lives, people with anxiety disorders have a constant sense of embarrassing anxiety that makes living life almost impossible. These anxiety disorders, if left untreated, progress in a similar manner to any chronic illness and have symptoms that must be treated by medical professionals if any progress is to be made at all.

Anxiety disorders come in all shapes and forms and include some of the following: panic disorders, phobias, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety disorder often take over a person's thoughts and cause him/her to worry excessively and have extreme amounts of tension even when there is no particular cause or these kinds of feelings.

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A person suffering from an anxiety may be unable to relax even when fairly comfortable and to talk to people, even people with whom he/she is close. People with anxiety disorder often have co-occurring sleeping problems as a result of their anxiety and find it difficult to read, work, and concentrate because their mind is filled with anxious, fearful thoughts. People with untreated anxiety disorders are usually unable to have significant, successful relationships in their lives because they are too busy thinking all the time. Many times they also push away the people they are closest with because they are too uncomfortable in their own skin.

Current research is examining the exact causes and conditions of anxiety disorders. So far brain imaging has show that two structures, the amygdala (a structure deep within the brain) and the hippocampus play roles in the shaping of anxiety disorders. The hippocampus is responsible for storing memories and for many people with PTSD this structure is overly active, triggering painful memories and causing anxiety.

Although these disorders seem serious and even paralyzing, there are treatments that make anxiety disorders less painful and effective treatment can let a anxiety-ridden person live a normal life. Treatments for anxiety disorders include intensive therapy, support groups and, most commonly, medication.

Some anxiety-disordered people become so disturbed by their disorders that they turn to self-medication and substance abuse as an alternative to legitimate treatment. In cases such as these, self-medication, most commonly leading to drug abuse, just creates one more problem instead of solving anything at all.

Anxiety disorders are serious and they must be treated in order to live a normal life. Drugs and alcohol and self-medication only mask the problems but do not solve them. Remember these disorders are chronic and progressive. If you or someone you love suffers from an anxiety disorder there is help. At Treatment Referral we offer referrals to a wide array of programs including programs that focus on mental disorders and anxiety.

Please feel free to call us for referrals and ask questions, we are here to help.

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