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What is anxiety?

It is very to experience occasional anxiety in your life.

But when the experience of anxiety becomes persistent, overwhelming, and uncontrollable, it becomes bothersome. If it’s an irrational, excessive dread in routine life, it might be disabling. When chronic anxiety starts interfering with daily activities then it is actually anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are too serious medical conditions. Anxiety disorders are pervasive and common mental disorders in America.

It is specific psychiatric disorders involving extreme worry or fear. It includes panic disorder and panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),   social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, selective mutism, and specific phobias.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are closely associated to anxiety disorders.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, involves bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, cramping, gas, and diarrhea. 

What is Anxiety? 

It is an in-depth explanation and analysis of anxiety disorders.  Depression is a mental condition in which an individual feels unmotivated, sad, hopeless, discouraged, or disinterested in life for more than 2 weeks and the feelings start interfering with daily activities. Major depression can be treated and it affects the way a person feels, thinks, functions, and behaves. Facts and Statistics

National prevalence data reveals that that approx. 40 million people in America (18%) undergo anxiety disorder in a given year. 

Nearly 8% of kids and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder and many people develop symptoms before the age of 21.

Just about one-third of the one suffering from anxiety disorder get treatment, even though it is highly treatable.

Moreover, as per the World Health Organization, 1 in 13 suffers from anxiety globally. The anxiety disorders are too common mental disorders throughout the world as per the WHO report. According to a WHO report, major is depressive disorder, specific phobia, and social phobia are common anxiety disorders.

Types of Anxiety: 

There are several anxiety-related disorders, and they can be divided into 3 main categories:

  1. Anxiety disorders: They are characterized by excessive fear i.e. emotional response to a real or perceived threat and anxiety i.e. worries about some future threat. It can have negative emotional and behavioral consequences.
  2. Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: It involves obsessive and intrusive thoughts (e.g., constantly worrying about one’s body size or staying clean) which are triggering related, compulsive behaviors (e.g. excessive exercise or repeated hand-washing). Such behaviors are done for alleviating anxiety linked to obsessive thoughts.
  3. Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: Trauma- and stressor associated anxiety disorders are the experience of some trauma (e.g., a car accident, unexpected death of a loved one, or a violent incident like sexual assault or war) or stressor (e.g., beginning college, divorce, moving).

The anxiety disorder can be some specific phobia if you have a persistent fear of a certain situation or object like animals, heights, toilets, flying, or seeing blood. Fear is cued by the anticipation or presence of a situation or object and exposure to some phobic stimulus resulting in an immediate panic attack or a fear response. The fear is actually disproportionate to the real danger posed by the situation or object. Generally, people with a specific phobia will know that the fear is unreasonable or excessive. 

The excessive fear of becoming humiliated or embarrassed in some social situations leads to avoidance of behaviors which is an indicator of Social Anxiety Disorder.

 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as trauma- and stressor-related disorder. It is related to the experience of some trauma (e.g., a car accident, unexpected death of a loved one, a violent incident or combat) or stressor (e.g. beginning college, divorce, and moving). This category involves Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry over activities and events and negative outcomes. The worry and anxiety might cause distress or it might even interfere with a person’s daily life, academic, occupational, or social functioning to meet the diagnosis. The symptoms or signs cannot be accounted by some other mental disorder or be caused by medications, substances, or some medical illness. 

Panic Disorder is defined as the experience of sudden panic signs or symptoms (usually out of the blue occurring without any specific triggers) in combination with lingering worry, persistent panic attacks, and might return and the fear of such panic symptoms. The symptoms involve unexpected or recurrent panic attacks persisting from a few minutes to about an hour.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one among various related disorders that share a few characteristics. A persistent and repeated thought (“obsessions”) which usually leads to distress and that a person attempts to lower it by continuously performing certain actions (“compulsions”). Few examples of obsessions involve fear of failing to perform things in a certain way resulting in a negative impact to self or others, chronic anxiety about contaminated by germs or being dirty or, concern regarding forgetting to perform anything important which results in negative outcomes, or obsessions around symmetry or exactness. Examples of compulsions involve: checking (e.g., for an error or that the door is locked), ordering or counting (e.g., household items or money), and doing a mental action (such as praying). Other disorders involve hoarding, excoriation (skin-picking), trichotillomania (hair-pulling), and body dysmorphic disorder.

Other anxiety disorders involve Selective Mutism, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and Agoraphobia as well as disorders which are a result of other medical conditions or are substance-induced.

Dealing with Anxiety:

There are generally very effective treatment alternates present for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Such treatments are broadly categorized as: 

      • Medications
      • Psychotherapy
      • Complementary 
      • Alternative Therapies 

Patients who are diagnosed suffering from anxiety can get benefit from a combination of these different therapies. 

Counseling

Counseling is described as a type of talk therapy in which a mental health expert aids patients to develop strategies as well as coping skills to face specific issues such as interpersonal problems or stress management. Counseling is usually designed just for short-term therapy.

Psychotherapy

There are several kinds of psychotherapies helpful for dealing with anxiety. Psychotherapy is long-term and it targets a wider range of issues like patterns of behavior. The patient’s specific anxiety diagnosis as well as personal preference guide as to which therapies may be best suited for its treatment. The main goal with any kind of psychotherapy is mainly to help a person to regulate his emotions, understand patterns in the behavior, and manage stress which affects his interpersonal relationships. Evidenced-based therapies such as Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are few among the best effective for treating chronic anxiety.

Anxiety Relief Medications

Medications are helpful in conjunction with psychotherapy. Too commonly prescribed drugs are usually safe, though few do have negative effects to consider. The certain type of anxiety relief medications administered to the patients would be determined by the health expert depending upon the patient’s certain symptoms and various other factors such as general health.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are anxiety relief medications used to treat depression symptoms but it is also helpful in the treatment of chronic anxiety symptoms as well. In particular, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the primary group of antidepressants for dealing with anxiety. SSRIs mainly taken to treat anxiety are paroxetine (Pexeva, Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro). SNRI medicines which are used for treating anxiety involve venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are defined as the sedatives indicated for dealing with anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, epilepsy, and muscle spasms. They demonstrate short-term effectiveness in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder and it also helps with sleep disturbances. A doctor might prescribe such drugs for just a defined period to get relief from acute symptoms of chronic anxiety. However, long-duration usages of such medicines are discouraged as they have may show a strong sedative effect or might be habit-forming. Also, consuming benzodiazepines along with engaging in psychotherapy like PE may reduce the effectiveness of exposure therapy. Few well-known brand names are Xanax, Librium, Ativan, and Valium.