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All About Anxiety

Everyone deals with stress; it’s just part of life. But when stress overwhelms your ability to function normally, it becomes something more. Anxiety disorder affects approximately 15 million people in the US, and like depression, it comes in varying degrees and with its own set of social stigmas. Anxiety disorder can begin early or late in life, but in most cases, it's closely linked to family history as well as severe stress.

To learn about the symptoms and treatments of this challenging and common disorder,


Symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

  • Feelings of fear and panic
  • Obsessive thought processes and actions
  • Troubled sleep
  • Perceived shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea, dizziness, and muscle tension
  • Clammy hands and a dry mouth
  • The combination of these symptoms is often debilitating and can make even going outside a difficult feat. The treatment for an anxiety disorder can range from medication to cognitive-behavioral therapy, but is certainly manageable with the right treatment.

    Dear’s Advice: If you think this sounds like you, consult a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety to learn more. Most importantly, don't be ashamed; you're not alone, and there is help out there.


Join The Conversation
vlee1980 vlee1980 8 years
I overcome anxiety by turning my negative thoughts into positives ones eventually I only thought positive stuff for the most part, I suggest you or your partners try it, it's hard to do at first but eventually you'll overcome it as it becomes a habit. Anxiety is the habit of constant negative thoughts. Here's a good site for anxiety help
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
soapbox, that exact same situation is what started to get me to think its overdiagnosed. My doctor said, "you have a strong family history of depression, therefore you are depressed here are some meds..." I never took them and a few weeks later I was fine, I was just having a rough few months. After that misdiagnoses, I started researching it alot and found many different resources that said that its overdiagnosed cause its easier to just give someone meds. I think sometimes people need to try and find out why they are depressed or anxious and see if they can fix it that way...and if you can great, if not, its more serious and you may need medication to help, and there is nothing wrong with that.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
g1amourpuss - Yeah, obviously it's a very difficult thing to go through, but it gets better over time. I took Zoloft for 4 months after I finally got diagnosed because group counseling was making me feel more depressed (other people in the group had situations much worse than mine and a lot of them had lost two parents, so I was partly depressed because I was afraid of losing my dad too). I only had one "relapse" after I went off Zoloft, but I was fine after one week and I haven't been in a state of depression since then. I just found ways to distract myself by doing things I love, and by talking to my friends & family if I was feeling upset. I think counseling can be a great tool for some people, but it feels impersonal to me so I just talk to people who actually knew my mom and can relate to what I'm going through.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
californiagirlx7, I so fear that happening to me when my mother passes away. I am trying to prepare myself ahead of time for this one day. Good to know I'm not worried for no reason at all.. that it could actually happen.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
Therapy helped me quite a bit; I suffer from anixiety and mild depression and talking to a therapist was the best decision.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
Oh, and I agree with Sarah. Though a lot of people benefit from anti depressants, a lot of doctors do hand it out a bit too freely. For example, a lot of kids in this area acts their doctors for drugs like Xanax and they actually get the prescription. Of course they don't suffer from any illness that requires the help of Xanax
soapbox soapbox 8 years
I've been diagnosed with anxiety, but I don't believe it. It's not because of denial, only because the doctor said, "Anxiety runs in your family, so you have it too." He said this without an evaluation. Yeah, go figure.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I used to have depression and anxiety issues after my mom died, but it hasn't been a big problem for me in the last 4-5 years. However, last night I started feeling so nauseous and anxious, so I couldn't fall asleep. I was panicked because I had to wake up early for a dermatologist appointment and I have a tendency to sleep through my alarm clock (so I set three of them!) and that the bump on my head might be cancer (but it's not...i'm 99.9% sure). Then I was worried I would be late for my first day back at college after a looong summer, and I was nervous enough about that. But everything turned out fine, but now I feel SO much better that it's all over with. Usually these "anxious episodes" of mine are very rare, though, I think I'm just a worrywart by nature.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
From Panic to Power by Lucinda Bassett really helped me!
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
I in no way suggested that meds aren't needed in some situations...I agree they are...I'm only saying I think that they are sometimes handed out like candy without actually looking deeper into the situation and trying to treat it otherwise.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I'm sorry about your granddad fluffyhelen.
Jmartens Jmartens 8 years
@Sarah100682 True that medical professionals may be over diagnosing but don't discount the true need for medication by some people. My life was miserable before anti-anxiety meds...not it is livable. I waited nearly 1.5 years before starting meds, after I failed to adequately control it myself. My doc stressed to me that meds are not a long term solution and suggested therapy.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I have been suffering very badly these last few weeks. Since my granddad was diagnosed with stomach cancer and taken into hospital I just haven't been able to cope. :(
gooniette gooniette 8 years
My husband has panic attacks and it's mostly a physical disorder with him, although I've read that panic attacks can be brought on my mental issues as well. The meds really help to reduce the frequency of his attacks.
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
Unfortunately, I think that anxiety and depression are WAY overdiagnosed. Seems like anytime someone is feeling down, they are put on anti-depressants...or anytime someone is anxious, they are put on anti-anxiety. Everyone has there ups and downs, but with this stuff, you are always up or always down. But I guess its easier sometimes to subscribe meds than not.
jessie jessie 8 years
yep...troubled sleep, muscle tension, feelings of fear and panic during ceratin things..not all things though..that would be meds have helped calm it down a bit though..thankfully
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I've been thinking for a while now that I have a general anxiety disorder. I am mentioning it to my dr. at my next check up.
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