Is My Anxiety Going To Get Worse Over Time?
Anxiety is a very common mental condition. Millions of people suffer from anxiety each year. The commonly observed response to many mental and physical health problems is to avoid them and let them get better independently. Instead of going to a doctor or a therapist, people would say that it is just a phase and will eventually pass away.
However, anxiety is a very serious condition. It can have a lot of causes and types. Each type of anxiety would have slightly different causes, symptoms, triggers, and treatment plans. Similarly, it will change differently with time.
This article will talk about anxiety, its causes, and its symptoms. Then, we will discuss how each type of anxiety disorder changes over time.
What is anxiety in clinical terms?
Anxiety is the human body's natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear and worry about coming ahead. On the first day of school, job interviews or speeches can make most people anxious and nervous normally. This type of anxiety gets better within a few days at most.
However, if your anxiety condition is extreme, uncontrollable, affecting your life, lasting for more than six months, and interfering with your life, you may have anxiety disorders.
It is normal to be afraid to move to a new place, start a new job, take an exam, or go to a public gathering. This fear is unpleasant and problematic, but it does not interfere with daily life. On the other hand, anxiety disorders can always make you feel anxious. It is intense and sometimes debilitating.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect people of all ages.
What are some types of anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is an integral part of various medical conditions. These include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): is characterized by continuous and excessive worry about several things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues.
- Panic Disorders: Repeated panic attacks at unexpected times. People with panic disorder can live in fear of the next expected panic attack.
- Phobia: Excessive fear of a particular object, situation, or activity leading to an uncomfortable and stressful anxiety attack.
- Social anxiety disorder: extreme fear of being judged by others in a social situation or gathering.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Repeated irrational thoughts that cause certain repetitive actions to be performed.
- Separation anxiety disorder: fear of leaving home or loved ones
- Illness Anxiety Disorder: Fear of Your Health (formerly known as Hypochondriasis)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Post-traumatic event anxiety.
How does anxiety changes over time in different anxiety-related disorders?
Anxiety depends on the type of disorder. Let us see the chances of a person's anxiety increasing in the disorders mentioned above.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is a general and non-specific state of being anxious and worried. GAD is known to get worse over time. However, many people live with GAD and find ways to manage it successfully.
Panic disorders cause severe panic attacks at unexpected times without any obvious reason. Panic disorders cause severe anxiety. If the panic disorder does not get better over time, anxiety will worsen.
Phobias cause high anxiety levels in individuals when a specific stressor or trigger is introduced. Anxiety depends upon the amount of exposure to the trigger. If a person has to experience the trigger repeatedly, their anxiety levels will worsen eventually. Many people avoid the stressors to overcome anxiety, but it only subsides the problem.
Social anxiety disorder
Research has shown that people who intentionally interact socially despite their social anxiety are likely to overcome their anxiety or experience a decrease in it. However, the people who become scared and avoid social interactions altogether get increased anxiety levels.
Post Traumatic Stressor Disorder occurs after experiencing a traumatic event. Anxiety accompanies this disorder. Acute PTSD is likely to observe a decrease in anxiety, while chronic PTSD increases anxiety gradually.
What factors determine the change in anxiety with time?
Here are some major factors that determine the changes in a person's anxiety levels.
Insight is the most determinant factor when it comes to treating mental disorders. A major part of treatment relies on the patient's knowledge and awareness about their condition. Hence, someone aware of his anxiety condition is likely to get better over time. However, someone who does not accept his mental condition would worsen with time.
2. Professional diagnosis
The majority of people who suffer from anxiety do not seek medical help. Without the knowledge and exact diagnosis of their mental disorder, the condition and anxiety of a person are going to get worse. Moreover, with complete information about the mental disorder, the person can manage the stressors and triggers to control the anxiety.
3. Medical treatment
Medical treatment, including drugs, are therapy is the most successful way of reducing anxiety. Depending upon the client's condition, doctors can prescribe drugs that control the symptoms of anxiety. With the help of therapy, the patient's thought process is restructured and corrected. CBT techniques are one of the most successful methods to overcome anxiety.
It is the person suffering from anxiety who must take control of their life. With the right amount of effort and motivation, it is highly possible to beat anxiety.
Being careless and ignorant only increases the anxiety of the patient. The mental condition also deteriorates if the disorder is left untreated.
The bottom line is that anxiety is a prevalent and common mental condition that can significantly worsen if it is not treated. Moreover, the type of mental disorder highly affects the course of anxiety over time. This article lists some major factors that determine the anxiety levels in patients.
We highly encourage everyone who has been experiencing increased levels of anxiety to see a medical expert. It is important to seek help. You can make it happen, beat your anxiety, and live a happy, normal life. Anxiety is treatable, and researches show a significant decrease through the right treatment plan.