Stress, fear, worry, and anxiety are all normal emotions and feelings. However, when these anxious feelings disrupt your life and prevent you from participating in your regular activities, you may be one of the 40 million American adults living with an anxiety disorder. Joshua D. Feder, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Solana Beach, California, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders. He can help you learn to manage your symptoms and lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Call Dr. Feder today or make an appointment online to get the professional help you need to address your anxiety.
Everyone experiences some anxiety occasionally. However, excessive anxiety, worry, or fear that interferes with one’s life indicates an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is an intense and unpleasant state of terror, doom, or utter helplessness. It often causes physical symptoms including sweating, nausea, dizziness, palpitations, or shortness of breath.
Anxiety often develops in relation to everyday worries, including health, loss, death, injury, shame and humiliation, aggressive or angry feelings, and guilt. Common anxiety triggers include the daily pressures of work or family life as well as specific situations, such as job insecurity or moving houses.
Yes, there are several classifications of anxiety disorder that cause a variety of symptoms and disruptive behaviors.
Excessive concern about the future characterizes GAD. If your worries are intense, frequent, and disruptive, you may feel out of control and unable to function normally. GAD causes irritability, restlessness, poor concentration, and indecisiveness. You may also be distracted by catastrophic thinking and feel unable to engage with the world.
Panic attacks are the defining characteristic of a panic disorder. A panic attack is an out-of-the-blue anxiety attack that causes physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath. They can trigger a fear of death or of losing your mind. Panic attacks may be frequent or irregular, and can last for minutes or hours.
It’s rare that you find someone who loves public speaking, but if the idea of speaking in front of others or even interacting in small groups instills terror, you may have social anxiety. Often, social anxiety causes fear of humiliation or negative evaluation, leading to avoidance behaviors and missing out on opportunities.
A phobia is the overwhelming and unreasonable fear of a specific situation or object that poses little real danger. For example, phobias of flying may prevent you from traveling or visiting family.
Dr. Feder often uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of psychotherapy combined with medication and lifestyle modifications to help you manage your anxiety. CBT and other forms of therapy provide a safe space for you to explore your fears and learn to recognize your thoughts and feelings, as well as your responses to them. CBT, in particular, helps you to learn to modify your behavior and make the most out of life.
If anxiety or intrusive fears are getting in the way of your life, call Dr. Feder or schedule a consultation online today.