Anxiety: What it is, what to do
Anxiety is a normal physiological reaction to dangerous stimuli, but it can become a disorder if it is pervasive, irrational and/or disruptive to a person’s normal activities.
Anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety and others, and impact countless people every year. Anxiety disorders can place substantial stress on body systems and have a negative long term impact on health.
Luckily, there are a variety of treatments available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes and a diverse range of prescription drugs.
- There are several different types of anxiety, so treatment depends on the diagnosis.
- One treatment option includes avoiding caffeine or other things that might trigger anxiety symptoms.
- Therapy and medication are other treatment options anxiety sufferers can discuss with their doctors.
“Experiencing anxiety is normal,” says Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of the Clay Center for Healthy Young Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. “A certain amount of anxiety can even be helpful. The problem is that sometimes the systems underlying our anxiety responses get dysregulated, so that we overreact or react to the wrong situations.”