Acute Anxiety Disorder  
Handling Extremes

Acute anxiety disorder can push you right over the edge. But, simple steps can dull reactions to your symptoms. And, be the ticket to control dread.

3 words paint the picture of what's 'acute' in the disorder:

  • Sudden
  • Severe
  • Short-lived

They'll turn up in...

  • A panic attack.
  • Facing a phobia.
  • Acute stress reaction.

Acute anxiety disorder's 4 signs

The Acute in Anxiety Disorder

We sense danger before we even realize it. The amygdala, located deep in the brain, plays a part. And, couldn't care less if the threat is real or imagined. You may even tips for anger, a possible side effect of anti anxiety medications.

The amygdala's job is to turn on the alarm. With sound, images, smell and memories to make it happen. As fear and anxiety increase, characteristics appear: 

  • Hypervigilance – Fierce alertness of what could be a threat. You're guarded to the extreme. 
  • Anxiety Sensitivity - Afraid of anxiety symptoms. Believe they'll hurt you. Worry others notice your malaise. 
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection can be excruciating in social anxiety disorder. Flashbacks, bad dreams, in post traumatic stress disorder, can upset to no end. Fear of suffocation, common in panic disorder, can make you hyperventilate.
  • Startle Response - Gets stronger in generalized anxiety disorder as worries increase. It's excessive in post traumatic stress disorder. Fear can make your startle response intense.

Too much, too fast

So, how do you cope before it drives you crazy?

Avoid these...

  • Caffeine.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Refined sugar.

Check out how “4 Ways Sugar Could Be Harming Your Health” by Dr. David Sack. Be sure to click on the infograph link at the bottom of the article. What happened to our waistline over the last 50 years is scary.

One more thing...

Other sneaky causes can be found, for example, in pickles or flavored drink mixes. If you suspect it could be a problem, stay clear of them. You'll do better. Find out why in how to overcome depression. 

While we're at it...

Clinical depression affects how you function. It isn't a good thing when this mood disorder partners with your anxiety disorder. Bad sleep doesn't help. Neither does dizzying stress.

Tackle these early on. You'll have a better chance of keeping the 'acute' out of your life.

Want to feel better?

Facing what makes you anxious is the answer to conquering fear. But, slotting in a timeout, here and there, adds balance so you can feel safe. And, minimizes acute reactions.

  • Fresh, gentle, breezy air makes for easy breathing. Well-ventilated areas are perfect. Find this environment and stay in it, as often as you can. You'll feel rejuvenated.
  • Exhaling slowly can be relax tension. It arrests shallow breathing when you're scared or anxious. Keeps you from hyperventilating. And, it's an astounding remedy for panic attack symptoms.
  • Pleasant, soothing smells ease nervousness. Lavender calms. Scent your pillows with it. 
  • Essential oils, geranium and sandalwood, relieve stress and anxiety. Blend in a lotion or oil for a massage. Or, add drops to your bathwater. You won't be disappointed.

Know these can soften the effects of acute anxiety disorder. Really.

For a profound effect, though, consider hiring a therapist, you actually like, to toughen your resolve to get better.


  • Dark bedrooms make for better sleep. But, pitch-black can make you nervous. Get around this with a night light. Soft glow comforts. And, helps you feel safe. Put it outside your room so it doesn't disturb.
  • Drown out noise to kill jumpiness. Custom-fitted ear plugs give a better seal. Or, wear musician earplugs for day use. Sound volume is reduced but not completely cut out.
  • An alarm clock, copying sunrise light,  gently wakes you up. A watch, with a soft beeping alarm, works, too.

    Purple is a calming color. To get the effect, use a piece of soft, purple, transparent plastic. Trim till it covers the time. Stick it on with invisible scotch tape. 

As an aside...

There's a repeat winner in overcoming social anxiety. When it's practiced, it can momentarily halt the nervousness you can feel. Try it, you might like it.

Acute anxiety disorder, with its 'hyper' traits, can jolt. But, instead of feeling victimized by the effects, it can force you to take control of your symptoms. And, live the life you want.

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