Mental Health

Anxiety disorder

Description

Anxiety disorder refers to a condition where a person gets anxious due to problems at work, home, depression, fear and stress, which don’t go away soon and begin interfering in leading a normal life. Getting anxious is a daily part of a life, however, when anxiety doesn’t leave the person for too long, it becomes a serious mental illness that can lead to many hazardous conditions and affect the person’s social life and relationships. An anxiety disorder can get worse over time, if not treated.

Types of anxiety disorders

  • Panic disorder: A kind of where a person feels overwhelming fear that strikes suddenly and repeatedly without any warning.

  • Social anxiety disorder: Also known as social phobia, this disorder makes the person’s self consciousness and extremely worried about everyday situations such as interacting with people or judged by others.

  • Specific phobias: This condition makes the person tremendously fearful of specific objects or situations such as flying or heights.

Causes and symptoms

The exact cause of the condition is still unknown, but it is considered as a form of mental illness or a result of personal weakness, poor upbringing, a character flaw or a combination of these factors. Environmental changes or problem in the functioning of the brain can also lead to anxiety disorders. Family history of anxiety disorder and significant traumatic events can also trigger this condition.

Symptoms of this conditions vary from one patient to another and the kind of anxiety disorder diagnosed with. Below are given some of the most common symptoms:

  • Sudden attacks of intense fear

  • Feeling of panic and uneasiness

  • Sweaty or cold hands or feet

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dry mouth

  • Tingling or numbness inn the feet or hands

  • Nausea

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dizziness

  • Muscle tension

  • Getting extremely worried

  • Insomnia

  • Inability to be calm

Diagnosis

There are no laboratory tests that can diagnose an anxiety disorder. The doctor can examine your symptoms and ask about your family history and medical condition. He/she may perform a physical test, and it couldn’t find any issues with your brain or body, the doctor will consult you to a psychiatrist or a mental health expert. A psychiatrist will ask some specific questions and evaluate if you are diagnosed with the condition.

Treatment

Treatment of mental illness like anxiety disorder was quite difficult in earlier times, but recent advancements in technology have found numerous ways to cure such disease. There are different treatment approach that can be followed depending on the kind of anxiety disorder. Here are some of the most successful treatment options:

  • Medication: Medications are the foremost treatment option, which are used to reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders. These medications include antidepressants, beta blockers and anti-anxiety drugs. It is also used with a combination of other treatment methods to provide better relief.

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a kind of counseling given to the patient by a mental health professional and talk him/her through to deal with their difficulties.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a therapy which helps the patient learn different ways of behaving, thinking and reacting during fearful situations. It is also an effective solution to learn and improve social skills and confront fears that provokes anxiety disorder.

  • Stress management techniques: This technique along with meditation can help the patient feel relaxed and calm, which can contribute highly in curing anxiety disorder. It can reduce the effects of symptoms and give the patient’s self confidence in dealing with fearful situations.

Complications

There may be some side effects associated with anxiety disorder treatment medications, which can be easily dealt with. Some potential complications are:

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Weight gain

  • Skin rashes

  • Muscle spasms

  • Abnormal heartbeat

  • Irregular menstrual period in women

  • Restlessness

Treatment of anxiety disorder takes time to show effects, but one can witness some behavioral changes after a few days of taking the prescription.

During the treatment, it is necessary to take a proper dose of medications. Do not stop taking medications if your symptoms are relieved without consulting with your doctor.

Join a relaxation therapy and meditation classes to keep your brain muscles calm and learn different ways to confront your fear.

Take all the support you can from your friends and family and give regular visits to your psychiatrist.

If you suffer from serious side effects, notify the doctor about it at once.