Category: Anxiety

What Are Anxiety Disorders and When to Seek Help

It is safe to say that everyone experiences stress or anxiety in their life occasionally. It could be preparing for  an interview, waiting to hear about that new job, giving a presentation to peers, or simply meeting a new group of people. That kind of stress can fine tune your skills, and the anxiety is normal and actually is expected. When those anxieties become part of your everyday life and affect your ability to function, you have stepped into another realm—a disorder. Let’s dive into what anxiety disorders are and when to seek help.


Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry, and unease. These disorders can manifest in various ways, and there are several different types of anxiety disorders.

It’s important to note that these are not the only types of anxiety disorders, and the symptoms and severity of these disorders may vary from person to person. It is important to consult Dr. Gardner for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan


A women that is struggling with anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This is a common type of anxiety that leads to fear of almost anything; what could happen in the person’s life, what might happen in the world, any potential fear making them perpetually worried.


This is an extreme fear of being somewhere you cannot escape. This fear takes over someone’s life and causes them to be fearful of going anywhere. They fear they will panic in front of others and therefore avoid most, if not all, social situations. Extreme cases cause someone to be afraid to leave their home entirely.

Panic Disorder

Someone with a panic disorder can be suddenly afraid of nothing in particular. They occur without warning and are accompanied by rapid heartbeat and pure terror. Panic attacks have no rational cause.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Someone with this disorder fears being in any social situation. They assume they are being scrutinized by everyone else, so they avoid going out in public. Physically they may shake, have a stomach upset, or an exaggerated heartbeat.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and PTSD

These two are no longer officially known as anxiety disorders, but they do have symptoms of anxiety.

Risk Factors

There are risk factors that can contribute to developing anxiety disorders.

They include the following:

  • Someone who has experienced abuse or those who have witnessed a traumatic event are more prone to anxiety disorders.
  • Stress from illness caused by significant worry about treatments and the future can increase an individual’s risk for anxiety disorders.
  • Stress buildup from life situations can trigger excessive anxiety. Examples include death, work stress, and financial worries. COVID may have added to this factor.
  • Certain personality types can be more prone to an anxiety disorder.
  • Other mental disorders like depression can increase someone’s risk.
  • Having a blood relative with an anxiety disorder increases a person’s risk.
  • Drugs and alcohol use or misuse can increase an individuals’ risk.

Schedule an Anxiety Consultation

If you recognize yourself in any of these anxiety disorders, get help early. If your anxiety is interfering with work or relationships, if it is difficult to control, if you are becoming depressed, or if you are having suicidal thoughts, do not wait to get help.

Contact Pathway Psychiatry at 214-997-4459 for help with anxiety disorders in Wylie, TX before it becomes worse.

Managing Anxiety While Social Distancing

There is a lot of uncertainty and fear due to the COVID-19 global outbreak and the majority of us have been negatively affected in some way, shape or form, whether it is the loss of our jobs, transitioning to working from home, or coping with increased stress as our children’s schedules are disrupted. Millions of people are socially distancing to control the spread. The daily news coverage, with occasionally confusing and conflicting reports about the pandemic, has caused the incidence and severity of some people’s anxiety to skyrocket. In times like these, even if we had previously been able to manage our stress and anxiety, we may find it more difficult to manage our mental health and anxiety levels.

Woman sitting on a dock at the lake.

Here are a few ways to cope during this trying time:

  1. Take Care of Your Body and Spirit
    • Remember to drink water. Hydrating can improve your energy levels and brain function.
      Take at least ten minutes to exercise every day. Even a 10-minute walk can boost your mood, help you think more clearly and sleep better at night.
    • Get enough sleep. This can help reduce stress and improve productivity. Maintaining a sleep schedule can also help us cope with the schedule disruption that working from home can create.
    • Take note of your diet. It is common for us to either skip meals or snack more than usual during times of stress. Try adding something healthy you enjoy to your diet, and make sure you are taking note of how certain foods help you feel. It’s helpful to check-in with yourself after a snack or meal to note how it made your body and mind feel. Try to eat more foods that leave you feeling healthy and content.
  2. Stay Connected
    • Share any concerns you may have about the outbreak to a friend or family member. Maintain relationships through your social networks wither this is by scheduling regular phone calls, Facetiming family and friends, or communicating online with friends and family. Staying connected can help you to stave off feelings of depression, anxiety and anger.
  3. Take Mental Breaks
    • Take time to unwind. If the weather permits, reap the benefits of sunlight! Sunlight can boost your mood, increase your Vitamin D levels (which helps with your mood, immune function, and energy), and help you feel calm and focused.
    • Take some deep breaths, stretch or meditate. There are several smart phone apps which can be helpful if you prefer guided relaxation. Check out the Pathway Psychiatry Facebook Page to learn more about some options.
  4. Stay Updated
    • Watch news updates from trusted sources so you can take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and family. Focusing on what you can control will help you feel less overwhelmed by things that you are unable to control.
  5. Minimize Unhelpful Media Consumption
    • Avoid spending too much time watching news that causes you to feel anxious or overwhelmed.
  6. Find a New Hobby or Rediscover an Old Hobby
    • Trying to do something new or challenging like finishing a book or trying a new recipe in the kitchen can help you reduce stress.
    • This may be the perfect time to pick up a hobby you previously enjoyed. Try making a list of fun things you enjoyed in the past, and think of how you could incorporate them throughout your week.
  7. Ask for Help
    • If you are feeling anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, reach out to a supportive person whether this is a clergy member, counselor, or doctor.
    • You can also contact The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or calling the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Asking for help reveals strength, not weakness.
  8. Remember you’re not alone
    • Know that feeling stressed, down, guilty or angry during this unusual time is not unusual. Focusing on what we can control is important, and it can be helpful to remember we are not totally helpless and can choose how we respond to times of stress, and measures we take to help manage this stress.
    • If you know someone who is struggling, reach out and let them know that you care and are available to talk if they need a listening ear.

Stay tuned for more related topics and strategies for managing stress and maintaining your mental health.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Request an Appointment