A Concise Manual on Anxiety Disorder – LORazepamum Medical Blog
Anxiety is a natural response of the brain to stress and fear. It serves as a reminder of potential danger. Occasional feelings of anxiousness are normal and not a cause for concern.
People may experience anxiety in various situations, such as moving to a new house, taking a test, or starting a new job. While this type of anxiety can be unpleasant, it can also motivate individuals to work hard and perform better. Typically, these feelings of anxiousness come and go with specific events and do not significantly impact other areas of life.
An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, is characterized by persistent and excessive feelings of anxiety. When these feelings last for more than six months and interfere with daily functioning, it is considered an anxiety disorder.
Causes of Anxiety
The exact cause of anxiety is still unknown, but researchers believe it is influenced by a combination of factors including brain chemistry, environment, genetics, and potential defects in the brain’s fear control mechanisms.
Several factors may increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder, including trauma, substance abuse, negative life events, low self-esteem, childhood sexual abuse, being shy as a child, and a history of mental health disorders.
Types & Symptoms
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, all of which involve significant levels of anxiety:
- Social anxiety disorder
- Illness anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Symptoms of Anxiety
The primary symptoms of anxiety disorders include excessive worry and fear, which can make it difficult for individuals to concentrate, breathe, stay still, or sleep. Other common symptoms include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, nausea, panic and fear, shortness of breath, inability to concentrate, dizziness, dry mouth, heart palpitations, cold or sweaty hands or feet, numbness, tense muscles, repetitive thinking about a problem, and increased irritability.
Treatment and Medication
There are various treatments available for managing the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a doctor may prescribe medications or recommend psychotherapy.
Medications can be used to treat anxiety disorders. It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with a doctor before starting any medication. Common medications for anxiety disorder treatment include benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, bupropion, buspirone, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Beta-blockers may also be prescribed to manage physical symptoms of anxiety.
In addition to medication, psychological treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often recommended. CBT helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety. It also teaches strategies for managing anxious thoughts and behaviors.
Managing Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
There are several habits that can help individuals manage the symptoms of anxiety disorder:
- Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly
- Adhering to the treatment plan prescribed by a healthcare professional
- Prioritizing quality sleep
- Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs
- Practicing relaxation techniques
- Seeking information about the disorder
- Keeping a journal to track thoughts and emotions
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Managing negative thoughts through cognitive techniques
- Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist