That’s perfectly normal.
For people suffering from anxiety disorders, the anxiety and stress they feel might not be related to any specific actions or situations. A lot of the time, it is just there, often for no real or logical reason at all. And it is when this omnipresent anxiety a person feels starts to take over his or her life, when it gets in the way of one’s ability to make sound decisions, when it becomes difficult to cope with or work through -- that is when it’s time to start worrying about an anxiety disorder.
Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
According to TherapyTribe.com, a service that helps match up therapists and patients, there are six major types of anxiety disorders:
*General Anxiety Disorder
*Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
*Social Anxiety Disorder
The site does a good job of breaking down what these different types of disorders are on this page.
Treating Anxiety Disorders
There are several different methods of treating an anxiety disorder. The type of therapy someone with anxiety undertakes is going to depend upon the specific type of anxiety disorder from which he or she suffers. For many people who suffer from anxiety disorders, though, it is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in conjunction with medication, that has the most success.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to put it simply, is therapy that helps someone with anxiety, depression or a variety of other mental health issues, learn to identify negative or inaccurate ways of thinking and feeling and how to challenge those thoughts to help identify which anxieties have merit and which, well, don’t.
This can be difficult. The things about which we feel anxious, and the reasons our brain has invented to feel that anxiety, can be very deeply ingrained. Challenging those thoughts will feel wrong and can be stressful itself! It’s natural for your brain to fight back against these challenges. With time and effort, though, you will learn how to do this and how to shut down panic attacks and triggers before they can “win.”
Most of the time, says the Mayo Clinic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has a relatively short duration. Most of the time, cognitive behavioral therapy is “done” within twenty sessions. Obviously the number varies for everyone. Unlike other types of therapy, though, CBT is a very focused and goal-oriented type of therapy. It focuses on the singular instead of trying to pull from all areas of your life in a general way, the way general behavioral therapy does.
It is important, even if you and your therapist decide that CBT is the best course of action for your anxiety disorder, to set up some general therapy after you finish your CBT sessions. This way, you’ll still have therapeutic support. After all, while CBT has provided great results for people who suffer from anxiety disorders, continued support is still important. It is especially important if you have opted to treat your disorder with medication as well as therapy. A therapist can help monitor your medication dosage and the types of medication you take.
How Do You Know?
All that science-y talk aside, how do you know if the anxiety you feel is just situational and normal anxiety or if it has started to take over and reach “disorder” levels?
One of the best things you can do -- with anxiety and other mental health issues -- is monitor your moods and feelings. When you keep track of your moods, you might be able to identify triggers that you hadn’t noticed before. It will also help you see whether your feelings are triggered at all. It can help you identify, for example, if you feel low at certain times of day, after eating certain foods, etc.
--Sara Stringer is a freelance writer who most enjoys blogging about lifestyle, relationships and life as a woman. In her spare time, she enjoys soaking up the sunshine with her husband and two kids. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article.
[Photos via We Heart It]