Learning About Anxiety
We all experience some stress and anxiety in our lives. No one’s life is perfect and the twists and turns your life takes can certainly cause anxiety. The question is what is the difference between normal attacks we all have and extreme episodes that needs to be treated on a regular basis?
How Anxiety Can Affect You Physically
The anxiety we experience today can be traced back to the caveman days when wild animals and other dangers provoked the flight or fight response. When we are anxious, our heart races, we tense up and sweat pours out of every pore.
The threats we face today are much different and may come in the form of an angry boss looking for a sales report and the fight or flight response doesn’t do much good because you can’t throw a rock at your boss or run away from your desk! Instead, you just panic more and your heart beats even faster and all that panic eventually harms your kidneys.
Not only does anxiety affect us physically, it also takes a toll on us emotionally. People with extreme anxiety often focus so intensely on the problems they are having that they can’t see anything else, drink excessively or take drugs, or just give up on life and want nothing to do with their family and friends or develop other additions.
People can develop addictions to more than just drugs or alcohol. They can get addicted to shopping, video games, or random sexual encounters with strangers. Others try to use rituals or superstitions to deal with their illness.
When Is It Too Much For You to Deal With?
We all have anxiety but when it affects the way you live your life, your job, your family and your relationships with your friends, then you should ask for help. Something like a sleepless night before an important job interview is not abnormal or anything to worry about, but not getting out of your bed for a few days is a problem.
Doctors can use a variety of personality tests to determine what kind of anxiety you are having and how bad it is. Your doctor will probably suggest therapy, prescription drugs and maybe both. Prescriptions used for treatment are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antidepressants and beta blockers. The most common type of therapies prescribed are cognitive/behavioral therapy or psychotherapy.
It is up to your doctor to decide what prescriptions and what sort of therapies will work best for you. You may have to try a few different drugs and therapies before you find the ones that really help you and relieve the anxiety. That is to be expected.