Anxiety Disorders and Management

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Differentiating between anxiousness and an anxiety disorder may be challenging. Learning how to recognize and manage key contributors of anxiety may be even harder. Let’s dive deeper into the difference, contributors and management of anxiety.

The difference: When you are constantly anxious, or your anxiety interferes with your day-to-day life is a direct indicator that you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder as opposed to common anxiousness. Psychologists define an anxiety disorder as a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.

The contributors: Many things can cause anxiety such as stress, genetics, medical conditions and substance withdrawal. Stress from a relationship, job, school, or financial predicament can contribute greatly to an anxiety disorder. Genetics also plays a role in anxiety. People who have family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to have one themselves. Other medical conditions can lead to an anxiety disorder, such as the side effects of medication, symptoms of a disease, or stress from a serious underlying medical condition. Chemicals in drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, prescription anti-seizure, pain-relieving medications, alcohol and even substances as common as caffeine can affect the way the brain functions and cause anxiety symptoms. These symptoms can occur while using drugs, but they may also last for weeks after the drug use has stopped. The stress of day-to-day living combined with any of the above might serve as key contributors to an anxiety disorder.

The management: Anxiety can be managed through self-care, therapies, medications, and specialties. Self-care such as avoiding alcohol, reducing caffeine intake, physical exercise, stress management, quitting smoking, relaxation techniques, and a healthy diet can reduce anxiety greatly. Therapy offices for example, Joie de Vivre, can equip you with the necessary tools to help manage your anxiety. Lastly, medications and specialties can also be very useful if further assistance than self-care and therapy is needed.

Monica Manuel