House Call: Anxiety Disorders – Signs & Symptoms

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Anxious or tense emotions are normal feelings to experience when under pressure or facing a stressful situation. 

A certain amount of anxiety can actually be a good thing, by helping you stay alert and focused, spurring you to action, and motivating you to solve problems.  When anxiety begins disrupting your daily life though, it becomes an actual disorder. 

Signs of an anxiety disorder may include constantly feeling tense, worried or on edge, anxiety that interferes with work, school or family responsibilities, irrational fears that you cannot shake, avoidance of everyday situations or activities, and sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic. 

Physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include a pounding heart, sweating, upset stomach, dizziness, frequent urination or diarrhea, shortness of breath, tremors or twitching, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. 

Anxiety disorders are serious conditions that have been linked to another harmful disease, depression. They are categorized into six major types, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder (anxiety attacks), phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. 

It is important to discuss any symptoms of an anxiety disorder with your doctor.  Your doctor can refer you to a behavioral health specialist who can properly evaluate, diagnose and treat your condition.  Our area is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of behavioral healthcare providers dedicated to treating individuals in the community suffering from anxiety disorders and other behavioral health conditions.

Counselor Background:

Shawn Godfrey is the vice president of Cone Health Behavioral Hospital and a Registered Nurse with Psychiatric Certification.  Godfrey received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University and Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University.