Stressing about a project at work or worrying about an upcoming event are things we’ve all done. It’s normal to be nervous or anxious about something exciting or unknown, and in fact, anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. In manageable doses, anxiety can increase our focus and let us know of potential danger. However, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, your reactions to everyday situations can be magnified into something much more excessive. At Oceanfront Recovery, we know that dealing with an anxiety disorder is difficult, and in some cases, the methods you use to deal with these often crippling fears may lead to substance abuse and addiction. Our experienced therapists utilize a variety of treatment modalities to help you overcome your fears and fight your addiction.

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What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders, affecting nearly 30 percent of adults at some time in their lives. Anxiety can be a result of fear or anticipation, and may cause you to avoid situations where your symptoms may be triggered or made worse. While normal anxiety – the “fight or flight” reaction activated in your nervous system in response to a perceived threat – can be beneficial, anxiety disorders can have a negative effect on your job or school performance, as well as your personal relationships. To be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your symptoms of anxiety or fear must be disproportionate to the situation, inappropriate for your age, and negatively affect your ability to function normally.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are various kinds of anxiety disorders, including (but not limited to):

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – this type of disorder involves excessive worry and tension. Your worries may be about everyday things – responsibilities at home or work, family members or other minor issues, but those worries are persistent and may interfere with your daily ability to function normally. Physical symptoms often include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, feeling “edgy” or restless, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Panic Disorder – marked by recurring panic attacks, people with panic disorder experience a combination of both psychological and physical reactions that can be severe and overwhelming. Some of the symptoms experienced during a panic attack may cause you to feel as if you are having a heart attack or other medical emergency – elevated heart rate or chest pain, shortness of breath, shaking or sweating, dizziness and nausea, just to name a few.
  • Specific Phobia – If your anxiety disorder focuses on a particular phobia, that means that you have persistent, excessive fear of something that is generally not considered dangerous or harmful. You may understand that your fear is excessive, but are unable to overcome it and often go to extreme lengths to avoid whatever it is you fear. Common phobias include spiders, snakes, flying or clowns.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – this disorder centers on social interactions, and is characterized by worry that you will be awkward, humiliated, embarrassed, looked down on or rejected in social situations. Some people avoid these situations entirely, but if forced to attend or interact, endure it with a great deal of stress.

While the exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown, researchers believe they are a result of a combination of several factors, including genetic, developmental, psychological and environmental. They can run in families and may occur in conjunction with another mental illness. In some cases, people with anxiety disorders turn to alcohol or other substances to help quell their symptoms, and end up in a vicious circle of addiction. If you or a loved one needs help managing your anxiety and conquering your addiction, contact Oceanfront Recovery today at 877.279.1777 and speak confidentially with one of our experienced intake specialists.