Anxiety is something most of us have experienced at some point or another, and an astonishing estimate of 40 million adults in the United States alone suffer from some form of anxiety each year. Anxiety effects everyone differently, but it is a disorder that takes a toll on the mental state in the form of incessant worrying, fear, and nervousness, and these anxious thoughts can even begin to manifest in the physical body via an elevated heart rate, a loss in appetite, a reduction in the ability to sleep, and shortness of breath. “Anxiety” is a very broad label, as there are different variations of disorders that fall under this blanket term and that all have their own specifications and degrees of severity. We’re going to take you through the differences between a few different anxiety disorders and what they entail so that you can have a better understanding of how each of these conditions differ from one another.
OCD, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder, is a condition that falls within the realm of anxiety disorders that is comprised of two primary components, known as obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are repetitive thoughts that are unique to each person, and when a person is dealing with these, they may also have compulsions, which are actions that the individual does to try and make the obsessive thoughts end. This can become an endless cycle when not managed, making anxiety levels worse over time.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is a more serious and consistent form of anxiety where an individual might experience excessive and extreme anxiety for long periods of time. Persistent worry and fear that occurs more days than not over the span of 6 months often plagues an individual that is dealing with generalized anxiety disorder, and there might not even be any particular circumstances or scenarios that induce this chronic sense of anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder can certainly take a large toll on someone who has dealt with it for a long period of time, especially because things like eating and sleeping become so difficult when living with this condition.
When it comes to panic disorder, a person experiences persistent panic attacks that may or may not have specific triggers, which can understandably be extremely taxing on an individual. Panic attacks can vary in severity, but they usually do come with physical symptoms like trouble breathing, numbness, a high heart rate, tremors, and sweating. Panic disorder can make an individual afraid to go out and enjoy things they normally would like hanging out with friends or going out to eat, because they are never sure when a panic attack may strike.
Dealing with anxiety can become very overwhelming and draining, especially when the onset of it might be brought at the most seemingly unsuspecting times and occasions. Thankfully there are different treatment options that are available today, and they have proven to be highly effective in managing the varying degrees of this condition. Online therapy is more accessible than ever, and it has shown to be equally as effective as in-person therapy sessions – which is simply incredible for those that do not have great access to a mental health professional that can be physically seen.
Keywords: online therapy, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, overwhelming, mental health