It is normal to feel anxious or depressed sometimes. Difficult life situations like losing a loved one, going through a financial downturn or getting “downsized,” going through a divorce, and other stressors can cause a person to feel sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious. But for some people, these feelings linger even after the stressor is gone. They may experience these feelings daily or nearly daily – seemingly for no good reason – making it hard to function normally. These people may have an anxiety disorder, depression or both.
Anxiety and depression are different. Each disorder has its own causes and its own symptoms. However, it is not uncommon for someone with one of these disorders to have the other, as well.
For people with anxiety disorder, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, even immobilizing. There are a number of types of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms vary depending on the type, but common symptoms include:
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- An inability to be still and calm
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Muscle tension
While the exact cause is unknown, anxiety disorder is not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. Research indicates that anxiety disorders, like other mental illness, are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress.
Effective treatment includes psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, lifestyle (and sometime dietary) changes, and, for some, medication. Life Care Wellness therapists are trained in the treatment of anxiety. Call Life Care Wellness today at 630-423-5935 to begin your healing.
~Rhonda Kelloway, LCSW, SEP