Anxiety – Types, Symptoms & Treatment

Almost all human experience anxiety in some form. Common emotions are panic, worry, fear, agitation, anger and sadness. It is natural to feel any of these emotions as it relates to important issues in everyday life. However, anxiety becomes more of a threat to your health when panic and fear ensue over unimportant issues.

Eventually, a high degree of nervousness and worry will lead to sleeplessness, circular thinking, chest discomfort, palpitations and muscle tension. Tension headaches or flare up of migraine headache is common. Unnecessary anxious feelings will become a full-body experience.

If you always feeling nervous or anxious, have trouble concentrating or relaxing, then, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD is a common anxiety disorder that affects about 4 million people in the US each year.

The precise understanding of the GAD is evolving, and it is believed that a combination of physical and psychological factors are at play. Causes are unique to every individual and could be triggered for almost any reason.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive and constant worrying
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Hot flashes

Your doctor can diagnose the GAD by evaluating your symptoms and medical history. He/She can also perform a physical examination and a metabolic workup.

The GAD can be effectively treated or managed through medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for short or long term depending upon individual health history.

Conventional medications include: Fluoxetine or Sertraline.

The naturopathic approach may include, Vitamins, Hormones or Minerals depending upon medical assessment and individual preferences.

There are also non-medicinal options such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

Social anxiety is another common disorder affecting over 19 million people in the U.S. This disorder is associated with those who have excessive and/or unreasonable fears of being in different social situations.

This type of anxiety may manifest alone or co-exist with other physical conditions such as high thyroid level, side effects of medications e.g. thyroid or Parkinson’s disease, or alcohol withdrawal.

Social anxiety affects people emotionally and physically. The emotional fear of being judged, watched or embarrassed can lead to:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Blushing
  • Shaking
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Managing social anxiety is possible – it does not have to affect your everyday life.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is known to be the most effective treatment for social anxiety because it guides patients to have more rational thoughts about social situations. Medication and TMS are also options.

Although insurance does not cover TMS for Anxiety, it is still a treatment option which has a positive success rate. Currently, TMS is only covered by insurance for depression. However, there is evidence that this procedure can be effective for treatment of a wide range of brain disorders, including anxiety.