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ANXIETY DISORDERS

Anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  2. Panic Disorder
  3. Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Symptoms

  1. Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that's out of proportion to the impact of the event
  2. Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  3. Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  4. Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind "goes blank"
  5. Worrying about excessively worrying
  6. Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  7. Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  8. Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

Causes

The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown; but anxiety disorders -- like other forms of mental illness -- are not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. As scientists continue their research on mental illness, it is becoming clear that many of these disorders are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress

Diagnosis

The disorder is diagnosed clinically but to exclude other medical conditions Electroencephalography (EEG), lumbar puncture, head imaging, ECG, Arterial blood gas analysis, electrolyte profile, chest radiography, thyroid function test etc. are performed.

Preventions

Anxiety disorders cannot be prevented; however, there are some things you can do to control or lessen symptoms:

 

  1. Stop or reduce consumption of products that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate.
  2. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms.
  3. Seek counseling and support if you start to regularly feel anxious with no apparent cause.

Risk Factors

 may be hereditary predisposition

Complications

  1. Impair your ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently because you have trouble concentrating
  2. Take your time and focus from other activities
  3. Sap your energy
  4. Disturb your sleep
  5. Depression (which often occurs with generalized anxiety disorder)
  6. Substance abuse
  7. Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  8. Digestive or bowel problems
  9. Headaches
  10. Heart-health issues

Treatment

Drugs used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing drugs.

Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a particular type of psychotherapy in which the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings

 Dietary and lifestyle change

 Relaxation therapy