Signs and Symptoms of Severe Anxiety

December 15, 2023

Severe anxiety is a common mental health condition characterized by intense and overwhelming feelings of fear, worry, and panic. It goes beyond occasional stress or nervousness, significantly impacting daily life and impairing one’s ability to function normally. Symptoms and signs of severe anxiety can manifest in various ways, including physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects.

Anxiety: Facts and Figures

Anxiety is a widespread mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that approximately 275 million individuals suffer from anxiety disorders, making it one of the most prevalent mental illnesses globally.  Anxiety can manifest in different ways, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Each of these disorders presents unique symptoms and challenges for those experiencing them.

Furthermore, anxiety can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. It commonly starts during childhood or adolescence but can develop at any stage of life. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder compared to men.

Living with severe anxiety can have a significant impact on someone’s daily life. It can interfere with work, relationships, and overall quality of life. Fortunately, anxiety is a highly treatable condition, and various therapeutic interventions, including medication and therapy, can help individuals manage their symptoms effectively. Find the best anxiety treatment in Chattanooga TN and alleviate the symptoms of this condition.

Types of Anxiety

There are different types and levels of anxiety that individuals may experience. Some of the more common ones include the following.  

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry or fear about everyday events or situations. People with GAD often find it difficult to relax and may experience physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty concentrating.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves intrusive thoughts or obsessions followed by repetitive behaviors or compulsions aimed at reducing anxiety related to those thoughts. These obsessions and compulsions can significantly interfere with daily functioning and cause distress.

Mild Anxiety

Mild anxiety is a normal response to challenging or stressful situations. It typically does not impair daily functioning but can still cause mild discomfort or unease.

Moderate Anxiety

Moderate anxiety may lead to more noticeable symptoms such as increased heart rate, racing thoughts, sweating, and difficulty focusing on tasks at hand. It may affect an individual’s ability to perform certain activities effectively.

Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety involves intense feelings of fear and panic that can significantly impact a person’s life in various ways, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Their ability to function normally might be severely impaired as they struggle with debilitating symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, difficulty breathing, tremors, sleep disturbances, hopelessness, and avoidance of specific places and situations due to overwhelming fear or aversion.

a person suffering from severe anxiety
Severe anxiety goes beyond typical worry or stress

Understanding Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety is a debilitating mental health condition that goes beyond typical worry or stress. It significantly impacts an individual’s daily functioning and overall well-being. Here’s a closer look at its types, risk factors, and potential causes.

Types of Severe Anxiety

  • Panic Disorder: Characterized by recurrent panic attacks accompanied by intense fear or discomfort.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): Involves excessive self-consciousness in social situations leading to avoidance behavior.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life with no specific trigger or cause.
  • Specific Phobias: Intense fear responses towards particular objects or situations such as heights, spiders, and flying.

Risk Factors for Severe Anxiety

  • Genetics and Family History: A family history of anxiety disorders indicates a higher susceptibility to developing similar conditions.
  • Traumatic Life Experiences: Adverse childhood events like abuse, neglect, or witnessing traumatic incidents can contribute to the development of severe anxiety later in life.
  • Brain Chemistry Imbalance: Neurotransmitter imbalances in some regions of the brain involved in anxiety regulation may predispose individuals to experience more pronounced symptoms.

Potential Causes of Severe Anxiety

The causes of severe anxiety are not fully understood. However, some contributing facts have been found to occur in people diagnosed with this type of anxiety. 

  • Biological Factors: Ongoing research suggests that genetics, gene-environment interactions, and differences in brain structure and function may contribute significantly to the development of severe anxiety disorders.
  • Environmental Factors: Persistent high-stress environments, dysfunctional family dynamics, personal loss or traumatic events and situations, chronic illness or pain, and substance abuse may increase the risk of developing severe anxiety.
  • Psychological Factors: Certain personality traits such as perfectionism, low self-esteem, or a history of other mental health disorders can contribute to causing severe anxiety.
  • Cognitive Factors: Distorted thinking patterns like catastrophic thinking (expecting the worst) or irrational beliefs can perpetuate and intensify anxiety symptoms.

How Treatment Helps

Treatment for severe anxiety can greatly improve the well-being and quality of life for individuals experiencing this condition. Treatment approaches, such as therapy or medications, help reduce the intensity and frequency of anxiety symptoms. This can provide immediate relief and enable individuals to regain control over their lives. Luckily, there are various Tennessee mental health services that can contribute to healing.

Therapy sessions offer a safe space for learning effective coping mechanisms tailored to individual needs. These skills may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, stress management strategies, and challenging negative thought patterns. Through therapy and counseling, individuals gain insight into the underlying causes of their anxiety triggers. This understanding helps them develop a deeper awareness of their emotional responses and provides tools to navigate distressing situations. Treatment often includes recommendations for lifestyle changes that promote mental health and well-being, such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, sufficient sleep, and abstaining from alcohol and drugs that can worsen symptoms. 

A significant part of treatment is building and developing a support system that includes family, friends, and peers who are also recovering from severe anxiety. 

Biosound and Severe Anxiety

Biosound therapy, also known as vibroacoustic therapy, combines music, sound vibrations, and relaxation techniques to promote physical and mental well-being. It uses specialized beds equipped with transducers that emit low-frequency vibrations in sync with calming music or nature sounds.

The vibrations produced during Biosound therapy have been found to induce deep relaxation and help alleviate symptoms and signs of severe anxiety, stress, pain, insomnia, and other conditions. The combination of therapeutic frequencies and soothing auditory stimulation can create a harmonious sensory experience that promotes a sense of calmness and balance.

This non-invasive therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or alongside other therapeutic approaches. 

Anxiety Disorder and Severe Anxiety Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

Take control of your anxiety and regain peace of mind at Time Wellness Tennessee. Our experienced team specializes in treating anxiety disorders and severe anxiety. Whether you’re struggling with panic attacks, social anxiety, OCD, or general anxiety symptoms, we offer evidence-based and holistic therapies tailored to your needs.

Contact us today to regain control of a life free from the grips of severe anxiety.