Anxiety disorders are mental conditions that involve excessive worrying or stress about specific situations or aspects of a person’s life. Anxiety can disrupt a person’s life by impacting their relationships with others, self-confidence and ability to complete daily tasks at work or school.

One of the main symptoms of anxiety is rumination, which is ooveranalyzing negativefeelings or thoughts. Rumination can cause mental exhaustion, distract people from their work and lead people to feel paranoid about their words, actions or relationships with other people.

There are numerous forms of anxiety disorders and each disorder can affect people in different ways. The types include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Agoraphobia or a specific phobia disorder
  • Panic disorder

Someone with social anxiety disorder may avoid social interaction due to fearing how their peers perceive them. Someone with agoraphobia may avoid environments that they fear and miss out on opportunities. A person with a panic disorder may feel embarrassed after experiencing a panic attack in public.

Substance abuse is another possible result of living with overwhelming anxiety. Feeling anxious or stressed can cause people to rely on drugs or alcohol to decrease their rumination or stress levels. The effects of certain substances can release feel-good chemicals that counteract anxiety and stress. However, consistently turning to alcohol or drugs can lead to developing an addiction, which can worsen anxiety overall or cause additional mental disorders.

If someone’s anxiety has negatively affected their life, they should consider seeking medical treatment. Mental health professionals are available to provide therapy, help people manage their stress and improve their quality of life. Some people may need medications along with therapy to reduce the effects of their anxiety.

If anxiety has led to substance abuse and addiction, there are rehabilitation centers that specialize in treating co-occurring disorders. The Recovery Village can help people manage their anxiety while removing drugs or alcohol from their life.

    

Barrera, Terri. and Norton, Peter. “Quality of Life Impairment in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, and Panic Disorder.” Journal of Anxiety Disorders, July 14, 2009. Accessed February 20, 2019.

WebMD. “How does social anxiety disorder affect my life?” (n.d.) Accessed February 20, 2019.