Health Management

Anxiety Disorder: symptoms, causes, types & treatment

Anxiety

“Well, if nature has planned everything already for a human and he/she is unaware of what will happen in future then there is no point for worrying about future.”
Anxiety is a mental health condition. The disturbed feelings of a person regarding future concern are usually what people call anxiety. It is more prevalent in women. Such people are so much so worried about their future, plans and goals that the forget to live in present happily. These people are always stressed and show general stress symptoms. Occasional anxiety is considered normal in life but for people to develop anxiety disorder, anxiety remain persistent for prolonged periods. People with anxiety have greater tendency to develop long term depression and chronically live on anti-depressant.

Anxiety

Types

Anxiety can be of many types,

  • Panic disorder,

Intense sudden anxiety

  • Phobias,

Fear of something.

  • Selective mutism,

Inability of a person to speak in public or social gathering due to anxiety.

  • Separation anxiety disorder,

Feeling of being lone due to living away from family, is a type of anxiety.

  • General anxiety disorder (GAD),

Worrying about things without any reason.

  • Drugs induced anxiety,

Anxiety due to prolonged use of some medicines

  • Illness induced anxiety,

Anxiety due to some chronic health conditions

Diagnosis

Anxiety is diagnosed by physical examination of a patient by a doctor. It cannot be self-diagnosed. Only A professional health care provider can diagnose anxiety and prescribe appropriate medicine to treat the condition. Hamilton test is used for the diagnosis of anxiety by doctors in a clinical setting. It is a scale use for rating the symptoms to diagnose anxiety. The test is Based on questions regarding person’s behavioural and physical trait to rate on a scale. Cortisol test in blood is carried out as confirmatory test for anxiety. High levels of cortisol confirm presence of anxiety.

Causes

Difficulties in childhood or later life for e.g., childhood trauma, family problems or bullying experiences in school, death of spouse, etc. such experiences always leave a mark on person personality that later expressed as anxiety. It’s been observed that the children that are brought up by single parent or divorced mother suffer with anxiety more than children brought up in a happy family. A trauma or accident happened in past may play important role in developing anxiety in people. People witnessing death in family of their loved ones are more likely to undergo anxiety for weeks to months. Anxiety disorders may also be familial (through blood relative), side effect of some drugs overuse, as a result of some personality disorder or stressed due to health condition Such people are referred to psychiatrists to help them get over an accident.

Anxiety

Pathophysiology

The pathophysiology manifest as a pathway through anxiety develops. A biopsychosocial model of disease is best way to describe how anxiety develops in person. It states that a disease always occurs when three factors (bio, psycho and social) combine. That mean a disease occur when a psychological, biological and social factors meet, one factor will result in disturbance in other which will cause a health condition or vice versa for e.g., when person is psychological disturbed, his social circle will be affected he might do not want to spent time with friends or family and this loneliness might result in biological disturbances (health problems).
When talking about anatomical str involved in anxiety, Amygdala plays important role in regulating and controlling fear and anxiety. Hormones such as Cortisol, norepinephrine and adrenaline are generally involved in mediating anxiety.

Signs and symptoms

People suffering with anxiety present with Excessive sweat, stressed, increased muscular tension, headache, laziness, cognitive disturbances trembling body, fatigue, sleeplessness or prolonged sleeping, panic, fear, suicidal thoughts, uncontrol unstable behaviours, nervousness, attention deficit, loss of appetite, disturbed emotions (uncontrol emotions for example crying over small issues or being excessive happy on usual things) and disturbed general body health (hyperventilation, tachycardia, weight loss). These signs later, progress to panic attacks and ultimately depression. Such symptoms should be controlled at the initial stage otherwise the management of such problem become difficult.

Treatment

Anxiety is a treatable mental health condition. Numerous treatment methods are present to help people suffering anxiety out of which are given as follow,

  • Lifestyle changes (remedies)

Lifestyle changes such as daily physical exercise, positive social circle, spending time in positive, productive activities, meditating, learning to stay focus by using 3 3 3 rule or use one of the 4 As (avoid, adapt, accept, alter) of anxiety. Managing time also help in improving anxiety conditions. To manage anxiety effectively patient should quit all kind of addictions. Lastly follow healthy sleep habits.

  • Diet.

Water significantly improve anxiety that is why at the time of intense emotional breakdown either drinking a glass of water or taking bath is suggested. Magnesium is prescribed as a major part of anxiety free diet as it makes person calmer. Magnesium rich diet have showed to boast serotonin (happy hormone) and decrease cortisol production that in turn help fight anxiety. Taking calming drinks such as chamomile tea help reduce anxiety.

  • Medications

Benzodiazepine, alprazolam, buspirone and antidepressant such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reabsorption inhibitor), SNRIs (serotonin and nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitors), TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) MAOs inhibitors (monoamine oxidases inhibitors) and beta blockers are widely prescribed to Help ease anxiety in a patient, but such medicines have major side effects one of which dependency on these medicines. If anxiety is in result of some medical condition, then treating the main disease is best option rather than taking medicines for anxiety.

  • Psychiatrist/ psychotherapy

Best method for treating anxiety is psychotherapy (CBT) as there is no side effect of such therapy yet discover. This Prolonged Psychotherapy sessions are provided to people suffering with anxiety. Prolonged talk sessions with psychologist help to get over their fears and improve anxiety. Psychotherapy may also include cognitive behaviour therapy or psychosocial therapy in a single session beside talking.

Research

Epidemiologists and WHO (world health organization) have calculated the prevalence of anxiety to be 3.6% globally. Due to high incidence and prevalence of anxiety around the world the research is directed to discover the causes of anxiety, risk factors and their association with anxiety and best medication to treat anxiety with none or minimal effects possible.

Anxiety

Conclusion

Anxiety is a mental health condition that can be due to environmental or genetic factors. Due to multiple reasons, it effects female more than males such as hormonal disturbances, social disturbances and sensitive nature than men. Females suffer more with anxiety when comparing with males. Most people consider visiting a psychiatrist a shame, but Anxiety should be considered serious mental health condition and patient should seek a professional psychiatrist for medical help rather than suffering alone in a dark corner of a room. Meditation and time management is the keyway to reduce anxiety. Having fear or money, future goals or dangers should be overcome by practicing staying calm in difficult situations.

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