Small amounts of stress and anxiety could help you remain sharp and concentrated, stimulate you to stay active and also encourage you to work more efficiently. However, when stress and anxiety becomes an issue, it quits being useful.
From effective, productive stress is sometimes a short step to full-blown anxiety.
So how do you know if anxiety has become an issue? What are the symptoms of anxiety issues and what are the most common treatments?
First of all, if your anxiety is consistent and does not go away with time, you should seek help, either an effective self-help program, or consult a health professional.
Think of the following questions and what would you answer:
- Are you all the time worried about something or always expecting the worst?
- Are you stressed and anxious also with your friends and family members?
- Does your anxiety interfere with your work or studying?
- Are there any situations or places you avoid because they cause anxiety and stress?
- Are you obsessed about doing things in a certain way or in a particular order, and if that doesn’t succeed, something bad will happen?
- Do you get sudden outbursts of physical symptoms like hyperventilation, blank mind, sweating, shortness of breath or fast heartbeat?
Top 5 emotional anxiety issues
If you answered ‘yes’ for one or more questions above, you might have anxiety issues. Below are the 5 most common emotional symptoms people experience when anxiety and stress have become an issue and needs attention:
- Feeling tense and irritated
- Being impatient
- Sensing worry and fear
- Feeling restless and uneasy
- Preparing always for the worst case scenario
Top 5 physical anxiety issues
Stress and anxiety are not just emotional, they can — and most often are — also physical sensations. As the body’s fight-or-flight response, stress and anxiety issues include a wide variety of bodily signs and symptoms. People experiencing these physical symptoms get often diagnosed with other illnesses before the real reason — issue with anxiety or stress — is found. Below are the 5 most common physical symptoms people with anxiety and stress disorder have:
- Sudden fast heartbeat
- Lightheadedness or headaches
- Muscle tension
Top 5 anxiety disorders
As there are many emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety, there are also many diagnosable types of anxiety disorders, depending on these symptoms. Below are top 5 most common anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder (Anxiety and panic attacks)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Social anxiety disorder
In addition, there is a sixth diagnosable disorder: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can appear after a very stressful or traumatic, even life-threatening, incident.
Top 5 medications used for anxiety issues
If you are suffering from serious anxiety issues that make the everyday life difficult, medication might help alleviate both physical and emotional symptoms. As usual, the medication does have its side effects, so it’s important to consider if it’s needed, when it’s needed, which medication is the best one in your unique case and what is the dosage. Your doctor is the only one who can answer these questions. Also overmedicalization is very common nowadays, so the best thing is to try first a self-help program with guaranteed results, and after that seek doctor’s advice if you still need help.
Below are the 5 most commonly used medications for anxiety issues (in parentheses are the disorders they are used:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
These include for example fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro).
They are used for treating wide range of disorders, like panic attacks, OCD, GAD, social anxiety, phobias and PTSD.
Benzodiazepines are one of the oldest medications for anxiety issues. These include for example diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan) and oxazepam (Serax).
They are prescribed for panic attacks, GAD, and mild phobias.
These antidepressants include e.g. clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane, etc.)
They are used for panic, depression, GAD, and PTSD. Clomipramine (Anafranil) is often used for treating the symptoms of OCD though it needs several weeks before the medication starts to affect.
Beta blockers i.e. beta adrenergic blocking agents
Beta blockers are often used for people suffering from heart conditions, but they are also effective against some anxiety disorders. These medications include for example propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin).
From the variety of anxiety disorders, beta blockers are used for treating social anxiety and phobias.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIS)
This monstrously long word belongs to a newer family of antidepressants, like venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
They are somewhat expensive and not suitable for all conditions, however they are sometimes successfully used to treat panic attacks, OCD, social anxiety, and GAD.
There are numerous other medications as well, like tranquilizers (buspirone aka. BuSpar) and anticonvulsants (valprotate aka Depakote or pregabalin aka. Lyrica), which can be also prescribed either alone or together with other medication.
The most effective self-help program for anxiety issues
There are several self-help programs available, some of them are effective and some of them are pure scam. I’ve gone through several of them and will be handling more of them in the future. However, currently the best self-help program I’ve seen is the PanicMiracle, a fantastic six-week program to help get rid of different types of anxiety. I’ve written a review here. You might want to read it and try the program — I’m sure it helps you as it has helped thousands and thousands of people (if I remember right, some 96-97% of all cases!) so it’s very likely that you find help from that as well. Rest assured, you will get all your money back if you don’t find PanicMiracle helpful. Moreover, think what you would have to pay for the medication: when you get completely rid of your anxiety, you will never have to use money for medication again!
If you’re experiencing a bunch of bodily and mental signs and symptoms, think about getting a medical examination. Your medical professional could examine making certain that your stress and anxiety isn’t really brought on by a clinical problem, such as asthma, thyroid issues, hypoglycemia, or hormonal imbalances.
Before going under medication, you might want to try scientifically proven self-help program, certain therapies, or more natural treatments like supplements, meditation, or even homeopathy, however this depends completely on your individual situation and what you are comfortable with.