Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
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Generalized anxiety disorder treatment often involves therapy and medication. GAD affects more than 10 million Americans every year. Watch our video to learn more about GAD treatment.
Transcript: Generalized Anxiety Disorder takes it toll on 10 million Americans each year. For people who have been...
Generalized Anxiety Disorder takes it toll on 10 million Americans each year. For people who have been diagnosed with GAD, what treatment options are available? Fortunately, most patients who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder respond well to treatments like therapy and medication. Although each of these can be used individually, patients are most commonly treated with a combination of both.There are several kinds of medicine that can help treat GAD, and which are especially helpful for people whose anxiety is interfering with their day-to-day life. The primary medications currently used to treat GAD come from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, sometimes referred to as ""tranquilizers."" Common tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium produce a feeling of calm and decrease the physical symptoms of GAD like muscle tension and restlessness. However, drowsiness may be an unwanted side effect. Another kind of medicine used to treat GAD is BuSpar, a medication that specifically targets anxiety by affecting the levels of serotonin in the brain. Although it is not as universally effective as tranquilizers, BuSpar does not cause drowsiness as a side effect. Also, antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor are sometimes used to treat GAD. Therapy is also an important part of treating GAD. One type of therapy in particular, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be useful for GAD sufferers because it teaches them to change the thought patterns and behaviors that lead to anxiety.Most people get substantial relief with a combination of therapy and medication, although some people with GAD do experience ongoing symptoms. People who are trying to cope with the symptoms of GAD can take some everyday steps that will help. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a mix of food groups and exercising daily are good ways to help reduce these symptoms. It is also smart to reduce the consumption of products that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea, and soda, because caffeine is a stimulant that can heighten anxiety. Over-the-counter medicines and herbal remedies sometimes contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms - it is smart to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking these products. Also, make sure to seek counseling after a traumatic experience or particularly severe symptoms. If you think you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, be sure to contact your doctor so that you can get treated, and start to feel better. If you are interested in learning about treatment options for GAD check out additional videos on the topic.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-20 | Tags »
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Imagine living your life afraid of food, or scared of people. While these phobias may seem irrational to some, to others, they are debilitating. Test your phobia IQ now!
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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Generalized anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by worry and fears that seemingly come out of nowhere. Learn more about GAD.`
Transcript: During the course of each year, four million American adults suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder....
During the course of each year, four million American adults suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is different from the everyday anxieties and worries that affect all of us. People with GAD experience chronic worry and tension about everyday life. They often expect the worst to happen with regards to their relationships, work, finances, health, and education. In people with GAD, these fears tend to be unrealistic or out-of-proportion to reality. For example, a perfectly healthy person may fixate on the idea that he could have a deadly disease or a successful employee might worry constantly about being fired. Eventually, anxiety so dominates a sufferer's thoughts that it comes to interferes with the ability to lead a normal, healthy life. In fact, Generalized Anxiety Disorder also leads to a host of physical symptoms, too. It's common for people with GAD to have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. This can lead to daytime lethargy, constant fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Many sufferers also experience headaches, nausea, and muscle tension. Frequently, people with GAD startle very easily, and constantly feel restless, or "on edge." GAD can come with embarrassing symptoms, too, like the need to go to the bathroom frequently or excessive sweating. In addition to these problems, people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder often have other anxiety disorders, like panic disorder, phobias, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. They may also suffer from clinical depression and be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than people without an anxiety disorder. Remember: By definition, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is debilitating. So if you think you or someone you love is suffering from GAD, make an appointment to speak with a mental health professional!More »
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Everyone fears something. But there's a big difference between temporary anxiety and the crippling, uncontrollable fear that can result from a phobia. Take this quiz to learn the real facts on fear!
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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When stress adversely affects your physical and emotional health, it may be time to learn the facts on anxiety disorders. Watch our video for information.
Transcript: Anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, or dread of what might happen....
Anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, or dread of what might happen. These emotions are usually accompanied by physical symptoms, like tense muscles, sweaty palms, an upset stomach, or a racing heart. Normal, healthy anxiety usually occurs in reaction to a real stressor. That stressor can be as relatively minor as a doctor's appointment, a first date, or a work review and as major as a job layoff, or the end of a relationship. A person experiencing everyday anxiety can usually pinpoint this stressor, and can take steps to make unpleasant feelings abate. But the National Institute for Mental Health attests that - for 40 million Americans - anxiety is more than a passing emotion it's a debilitating mental illness. Unlike the relatively short-lived anxiety we all experience, generalized anxiety disorders lasts at least six months and individuals who have it find the symptoms to be so crippling that it interferes with normal, everyday life. Frequently, people with anxiety disorders cannot pinpoint what causes their symptoms. Some sufferers find that they worry almost constantly, even if there is little or no reason for their anxious feelings. Other individuals with anxiety disorders have specific phobias to run-of-the-mill things, like flying, spiders, or even social situations. Still other sufferers have compulsions, or rigid rituals that they employ in an attempt to control their constant worry and fear. And some people with anxiety disorders find themselves occasionally struck with sudden and very intense physical distress known as panic attacks. If you are experiencing any of these severe symptoms, you may have an anxiety disorder. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately! After all, the sooner anxiety disorders are diagnosed, the sooner they can be treated.More »
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Millions of people suffer from phobias. Some of the weirdest phobias revolve around fear of clocks, garlic and even certain people. Find out more by watching this video.
Transcript: Any phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense, irrational fear of a particular...
Any phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense, irrational fear of a particular situation, object or animal. Most people realize their fears are extreme, but the anxiety is very real, regardless of how common or rare the phobia. Food-related phobias include the fear of garlic, fear of vegetables, fear of meat and even the fear of food itself. If these sound unusual, consider arachibutyrophobia, which is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth! Body parts also provide their fair share of terror-inducing phobias. Genuphobia is the fear of knees. Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. But surely the oddest in this category is geniophobia, which is the abnormal - and definitely peculiar - fear of chins! Animals also figure prominently in odd phobias. Ranidaphobics fear frogs, mottephobics fear moths and lutraphobia evokes horror in response to otters. But, the weirdest of these by far is zemmiphobia - fear of the Great Mole Rat, a hairless, sightless buck-toothed rodent that lives underground. Phobias of specific objects are common, but some are less common than others. Aulophibics have a morbid fear of flutes, chronomentrophobics have a horror of clocks and cnidophobics are terrified of string. However, the most perplexing may be consecotaleophobia - the fear of chopsticks. Another consideration: it's not uncommon to have more than one phobia - and conflicting phobias could be a real problem. For example, a man with pogonophobia, the fear of beards, might experience even greater anguish if he was also affected by xyrophobia - the fear of razors! Phobias may also be problematic in more ways than one. For instance, vestiphobics, who have a morbid fear of clothing, most certainly experience major issues beyond the fear itself. Clearly, it would be especially difficult also to suffer from gymnophobia, the fear of nudity. Other phobia combinations might actually come in handy. The anablephobic who's afraid of looking up might not have a huge problem with nephophobia, the fear of clouds or astrophobia, which is the fear of stars. Another odd phobia, which may not be so odd but bears mentioning is pentheraphobia, an intensely disabling fear of one's mother-in-law! Honorable mention for the weirdest phobias also goes to: pteronophobia, the fear of being tickled by feathers; helminthophobia, the fear of being infested with worms: and blennophobia, the fear of slime. Most phobias can be successfully treated. If you - or someone you know - is affected by phobias, consult a mental health professional.More »
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Hypnotherapy is a common treatment for anxiety. While anxiety can be debilitating, knowing your options can help you choose the best treatment for anxiety.
Transcript: Anxiety disorders are debilitating by definition, but there are a wide range of treatment options that...
Anxiety disorders are debilitating by definition, but there are a wide range of treatment options that can help! Usually, anxiety disorders are treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. The most common anti-anxiety medications are known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, like Klonopin and Xanax, help ease feelings of anxiety in the short-term. Aside from anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Finally, a type of heart medication called beta-blockers may help treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. All three types of prescription drugs usually work best when combined with some form of psychotherapy. One common psychotherapy technique, cognitive therapy, helps a sufferer change the thinking that leads to anxiety. During cognitive therapy, a patient with social phobia may work on seeing social situations in a more positive way or, a person with generalized anxiety disorder might learn that his or her intense worries are disproportionate to reality. On the other hand, behavioral psychotherapy helps people alter the way they react to anxiety-inducing situations. That might mean repeat exposure to dirt for a person with germ-phobic OCD or it could involve deep breathing exercises for a person prone to panic attacks. These two types of psychotherapy are often combined in an approach known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. Sometimes, a psychologist will add a hypnotherapy component to any psychological treatment. While in a heightened, hypnotic state, an individual may be more receptive to discussion and suggestion. Hypnotherapy is one of several alternative therapies, which may help treat an anxiety disorder. Alternative therapies refer to treatments that are not necessarily backed by scientific trials, but which may have value to a patient nonetheless. Other non-Western therapies include acupuncture, which involves inserting thin needles in specific parts of the body and taking herbal supplements, like valerian or St. John's wort. However, any and all treatment options should be discussed with your doctor. So if you, or someone you love, is suffering from severe anxiety, talk to a medical professional!More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-05 | Tags »
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People with hypochondria believe they are seriously ill, despite doctors saying otherwise. Watch this video to get details on the causes, symptoms and treatments of hypochondria.
Transcript: The American Psychological Association claims five-percent of all U.S. adults suffer from hypochondria....
The American Psychological Association claims five-percent of all U.S. adults suffer from hypochondria. Hypochondria is a mental illness where a person worries and fears they're seriously ill, despite all contradicting medical evaluations and assurances. Hypochondriacs misinterpret normal bodily functions or minor health issues as signs that something very serious is wrong. For example, a hypochondriac may misplace his wallet and become convinced that he's developed Alzheimer's disease; or he might be certain a standard headache is really a brain tumor. Hypochondriacs tend to exacerbate their condition by obsessively consuming medical research, frequently checking their vital signs, such as temperature and heart rate, and by regularly scouring their bodies for lumps, sores, or other problems. When doctors reassure them nothing's wrong, hypochondriacs may go "doctor shopping," looking for practitioners who believe them that they're sick. Hypochondriacs can get so obsessed that their work, family and social lives suffer. And 60-percent of people with this condition also suffer from another mental illness, namely major depression or an anxiety disorder. Doctors find that a history of physical or sexual abuse may foreshadow hypochondria. Growing up with a hypochondriac parent, or having a serious illness, as a child is also a factor. Whatever the cause, hypochondria is tough to treat, as patients have a hard time admitting that their problems are mental, not physical. Talk therapy is the most common treatment for people seeking help. In therapy, patients learn how to change the thinking and behaviors behind their symptoms. Certain medications, like Lexapro, Paxil and other antidepressants in the selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor class, are also helpful. The goal of treatment is not to cure hypochondria, but help the patient live as normally as possible, even if symptoms continue. If you or a loved one seems to suffer from hypochondria, make an appointment to see a mental health professional.More »
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Fears and phobias are not just a psychological problem, they can be physically crippling as well. Learn more about the connection in this video.
Transcript: A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and is defined as an intense, irrational fear of a particular...
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and is defined as an intense, irrational fear of a particular situation, object, animal or activity. People who suffer from a phobia may experience extreme emotional and physical reactions when encountering their particular fear. Nearly everyone fears something. Some people become anxious during thunderstorms. Others get queasy in tall buildings. Still others find themselves jumping onto a chair at the sight of a tiny mouse. But there's a big difference between temporary anxiety that's experienced occasionally and the often crippling, uncontrollable fear that can result in a person going to great lengths to avoid their phobia - even if it means missing a job interview, vacation or school play. When people with phobias can't avoid what they're afraid of, they may experience various symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, trembling or weakness. Most people with phobias realize their fear is excessive and irrational. But they typically are unable to overcome their feelings of dread and the often desperate need to escape the subject of their phobia. Ultimately, this may interfere with the ability to function in daily life. The American Psychiatric Association divides phobias into three main categories including Specific Phobias, Social Phobia - also known as Social Anxiety Disorder -- and Agoraphobia. Specific Phobias, also known as Simple Phobias, are the irrational fear of a very specific situation, place, animal or object. The most common specific phobia is fear of animals such as dogs, cats, mice, snakes or spiders. And that's ONLY the tip of the iceberg. The "Phobias List" identifies more than 500 Specific Phobias, ranging from fear of garlic, dust, clocks and comets, to dancing, snow, strings and puppets. A person with social phobia may be intensely fearful of being singled out, talking to strangers, ridicule, eating or showing embarrassment in social situations. The most common social phobia is fear of public speaking. Agoraphobia is a fear of any situation where it may be difficult to escape or get help if needed. People with agoraphobia often feel unsafe in any public place and may become so disabled by their fear that they become housebound. Phobias typically develop early in life. They may be triggered by experiences, but also tend to run in families. So children whose parents have a phobia are about three times as likely to develop a similar phobia, than where there is no family history. Phobias are the most common anxiety disorder among women overall, and the second-most common anxiety disorder among men over 25. For people who suffer from a phobia, the effects can be life altering. Their lives are often planned around avoiding, concealing or defending their phobia, while struggling to cope with their fear. Most phobias can be successfully treated. If you - or someone you know - is affected by phobias, consult a mental health professional.More »
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Phobias are characterized by intense avoidance of things, from enclosed spaces to social situations. While debilitating, anxiety management and exposure therapy can help alleviate fear. Take a quick look at some common aversions.
Transcript: Most everyone fears something. Typically, we control our fears and continue with our daily activities....
Most everyone fears something. Typically, we control our fears and continue with our daily activities. Some people, however, experience exaggerated and irrational fear of a specific situation, place, animal or object. This anxiety may be so intense that it results in a panic attack. People who experience such exaggerated and irrational fears have a Specific Phobia. The most common Specific Phobia is fear of animals. And, while there are literally hundreds of Specific Phobias documented, other common fears include blood, heights, enclosed places, elevators, flying, lightning, dentists and insects. Although people who suffer from Specific Phobias may realize their fear is unreasonable, they are unable to prevent the intense anxiety and dread that may occur if they encounter the subject of their fear - and, sometimes, when they're simply just thinking about it. When people with a Specific Phobia are unable to avoid the source of their fear, they may experience extreme anxiety and discomfort, along with various other symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, trembling, weakness or even a panic attack. The good news is that many Specific Phobias are relatively simple to avoid. For example, a fear of pigs probably wouldn't pose a problem in a big city. Similarly a fear of trains could be avoided by choosing a different mode of transportation. On the other hand, a fear of flying would be a significant issue for someone whose job requires traveling. And fears of making decisions, lightning or even dogs could potentially keep a person housebound, unable to attend to their daily responsibilities. Specific Phobias often begin in childhood, and rarely after the mid-20s. They also tend to run in families. For example, the child of a parent who has a fear of spiders is likely also to develop that same fear. Most people with Specific Phobias can improve their quality of life and reduce their fears through treatment from a trained therapist. Treatment may involve cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques, anxiety management or medication - usually in a combination that's tailored to the patient's needs. The aim of treatment is to help patients reduce their anxiety and overcome their fears by confronting the phobia in a controlled way, or through gradual exposure to the subject of their fear. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may also be used to help reduce symptoms and enhance the therapy's effectiveness. Specific Phobias can be treated successfully. If you - or someone you know - is affected by Specific Phobia, consult a mental health professional.More »
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For a person with obsessive compulsive disorder, overwhelming, unwanted compulsions are tied to obsessive behaviors, like ritualistic counting. Recognizing OCD is the first step to getting help. Here's a primer.
Transcript: Stress is part of life. So are routines. With OCD, a type of anxiety disorder, normal concerns and habits...
Stress is part of life. So are routines. With OCD, a type of anxiety disorder, normal concerns and habits are pushed aside by unwanted thoughts, which compel a person compulsively to perform rituals to make the thoughts go away. The first step toward diagnosis - and, ultimately, getting help - is understanding OCD's symptoms, which are each affected person's unique obsessions and the compulsive behaviors that result. Obsessions are uncontrollable fears, irrational impulses, and persistent, unwanted thoughts that occupy the mind of a person affected by OCD. These obsessions typically center on themes, like fear of contamination, harm or losing control; perfectionism, unwanted sexual thoughts, and excessive preoccupation with morality and/or religion, also called scrupulosity. Compulsions, which are the persistent repetitive actions by people with OCD, are usually performed according to "rules" that their minds tell them will make everything okay. A person with OCD may constantly scrub household areas, recheck that tasks are performed correctly - like making sure the burglar alarm is on - repeat activities according to a "safe" number, or continually rearrange items to be sure they're "right." The difference between typical concerns about illness or finances, and habits like bedtime rituals or "cleaning day," is that the anxiety is temporary and the routines typically flexible. For people with OCD, constant anxiety and necessary rituals interfere with daily living. Unfortunately, most people with OCD remain undiagnosed for years. One reason for this is that OCD sufferers often hide their behaviors, fearing embarrassment, ridicule or discrimination. Others simply don't think of their behavior in terms of a treatable illness. If you - or someone you know - is affected by OCD, it's important to realize that there's no shame in seeking help. In fact, talking to a family doctor or a mental health professional is a positive step toward regaining control of one's daily life. There are several components to an accurate diagnosis of OCD including a thorough psychological, medical and family history, as well as a discussion of specific symptoms and behavior patterns. Diagnosing OCD involves meeting the criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association - including experiencing obsessions or compulsions that significantly interfere with one's daily routine, and realizing they're excessive or unreasonable. The clinician also confirms that the obsessions are intrusive, persistent thoughts that cause distress and can't be suppressed - and that the compulsive, repetitive behaviors are an effort to prevent anxiety about unrealistic obsessions. Symptoms of OCD are the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors meeting the American Psychiatric Association's criteria. And once diagnosed, there are treatments that can help. For concerns about OCD, consult a mental health professional.More »
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Getting a proper diagnosis for a phobia will help you get control over your disorder and find a suitable treatment. To know more, watch this video.
Transcript: Fear is a normal response when health or safety is threatened. Yet for people with phobias, the MOST...
Fear is a normal response when health or safety is threatened. Yet for people with phobias, the MOST common of anxiety disorders, irrational fear of a situation or object may result in SUCH extreme emotional and physical reactions that daily life suffers dramatically. Common phobias involve an intense and unreasonable fear of anything from social situations, to public places that appear to be inescapable or dangerous, as well as objects or animals. When these fears become so all-consuming that they prevent a person from living a normal life, it's wise to consider seeking professional help. While there are no laboratory tests to diagnose phobias, a family physician will know the questions to ask in order to determine whether the fears are actually caused by a phobia - or if the symptoms may be masking a physical illness. Diagnosing a phobia involves meeting the criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association and varies slightly according to the three main categories of phobias: Specific Phobias, also known as Simple Phobias; Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder; and Agoraphobia, which may be accompanied by panic attacks. The common factor in all diagnosed phobias is the presence of persistent and irrational fear of a situation or object, the realization that the fear is unreasonable and uncontrollable, intense anxiety when exposed to the fear, and avoiding the source of fear at all costs. Most phobias can be treated effectively using various techniques to help reduce the fear and anxiety that arises in response to the fear. These techniques include: behavioral therapy, medication - or a combination of the two, depending on the type of phobia. Behavioral therapy typically involves working with a trained therapist who helps patients confront the source of their fear through real or imagined scenarios. The goal is to help patients learn to conquer fear and anxiety through gradual, repeated exposure to the subject of the phobia. A therapist may address fear of flying by having the patient look at airplane pictures, then go to an airport, sit on an airplane and - ultimately - taking a flight. A similar approach would be used with a patient who fears dogs. Various medications are also used in the treatment of phobias. Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax may be used to treat the anxiety that accompanies phobias, while anti-depressants like Zoloft or Paxil may be used to help prevent the panic attacks that often accompany symptoms of agoraphobia. Phobias can often interfere with leading a normal life. But, in most cases, phobias can be successfully treated with behavioral therapy and medication. For help with a phobia, consult your doctor or mental health professional.More »
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