Anxiety and Agoraphobia
Everyone experiences anxiety or nervousness at different times in their life. It can be an unpleasant feeling, but it’s a normal reaction to stress, and can even be a good thing in circumstances where we need to pay close attention to what’s around us or prepare for possible danger. Anxiety becomes unhelpful and classified as a disorder when you feel anxious so frequently and strongly that it’s out of proportion to the situation and prevents you from engaging in everyday activities. For some people, anxiety leads to severe physical or mental symptoms that can make it difficult to function.
But anxiety also responds very well to treatment. Finding out the source of your anxiety and treating it with a trained clinician is a great way to manage your anxiety and lead a more fulfilling life.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There is more than one type of anxiety disorder, and different anxiety disorders have different symptoms. It is helpful to know more about your specific anxiety challenges to identify what you may be struggling with and seek out the appropriate treatment. Some types of anxiety include:
Social Anxiety Disorder – People with this disorder are worried that they’ll be embarrassed or rejected in some way during social interactions. They’ll often try to avoid situations like public speaking or meeting new people. The anxiety may be severe enough that they have trouble engaging in any social activity or creating/maintaining meaningful relationships.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – This involves ongoing and disproportionate worrying, usually about everyday challenges like chores, job or school responsibilities, your health or that of your family, or appointments. This can cause lots of physical symptoms tension and stress it induces, like problems sleeping or concentrating and feeling easily fatigued or restless.
Panic Disorder – Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks. Panic attacks can be triggered by certain stimuli or seemingly at random and can feel so severe that you may think you’re having a heart attack. Symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, trembling or shaking, numbness or tingling, and sweating, among other physical responses. Recurring panic attacks or daily fear of panic attacks often mean a person has panic disorder.
Specific Phobias – This widely known anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person is overly afraid of a specific object, situation or activity. The person is often, although not always, aware that their fear is unwarranted or over-the-top, but they can’t control their irrational response. Phobias of spiders, flying, and snakes are common.
Agoraphobia – Agoraphobia is an intense fear of being in places or situations that might cause or be difficult or embarrassing to leave in the event of a panic attack. This fear can cause them to avoid public places and situations like using public transportation, being in a crowd, or being outside the home at all by themselves. Agoraphobia often co-exists with panic attacks.
There are also other conditions related to anxiety, such as obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How Telepsychiatry Helps Those With Anxiety
Anxiety is a treatable condition. Yet many of these disorders can make it difficult for people to get the professional help they need because the symptoms interfere with the very act of seeking out wellness. Perhaps the best example is agoraphobia. For many, the very idea of leaving their home causes intense dread, and thus seeing a therapist is impractical. But with telepsychiatry, it becomes possible to get the help that one needs from the comfort of their own home, at a time that is convenient for them. Other forms of anxiety can cause similar challenges, such as feeling judged for one’s obsessions with obsessive compulsive disorder, feeling uncomfortable branching out socially, and so on. Telepsychiatry makes it possible to get psychiatric care from wherever you are comfortable, no matter where you live.