Everybody feels a sense of anxiousness or nervousness from time to time. It’s a normal part of life. Maybe you have a test coming up at school, a presentation at work, or some other big event and it makes you feel a bit of anxiety. This is normal and healthy. Conversely, when a person is dealing with an anxiety disorder, they have so much stress and so much anxiety that they are not able to live a normal life. What we’re talking about here is not a mild inconvenience, but instead we are talking about a very serious mental illness. It is something that leaves a person with a sense of dread and a sense of fear that is so overwhelming that at times it is physically disabling for them. Thankfully, anxiety disorders can be professionally treated and a person can be shown how to start living a normal life again.
Anxiety can rear its ugly head in many different forms. Some people have what is referred to as panic disorder. Individuals who are dealing with this disorder feel dread and feel fear all of a sudden. There’s no warning, and there is no known trigger. This sense of dread happens repeatedly. They will find themselves sweating, their heart will beat really fast, their chest will hurt, and it may feel like they are choking. Some have described the sensation to something akin to a heart attack.
Other individuals may be battling with social anxiety disorder. This is a disorder that leaves a person extremely self-conscious. When they are in everyday social situations, they feel that people around them are judging them and making bad decisions about them. They are nervous that their every action is going to cause them to be embarrassed and that people are going to ridicule them.
For some people, anxiety is related to very specific events or specific things. For example, they might be afraid of flying, their anxiety might be related to heights, or the anxiety might be related to large bodies of water or talking to the opposite sex.
The medical community does not know what causes anxiety disorders. It is not connected to a character flaw, it has nothing to do with upbringing, and it is not a sign of mental or personal weakness. Like any other illness, it is a disorder that is produced by a combination of factors that causes changes in the way the affected individual’s brain functions when under stress.
Make an appointment at Montana Psychiatry & Brain Health Center to learn about the available treatment options for anxiety disorders. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Billings.