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anxiety disorder
By RCM MATTER 2,364 views

A Comprehensive Guide to Mental Health

Psychological illnesses can often be overwhelming and triggering, disrupting and affecting our regular chores. The same is the case with anxiety disorders, which give a sense of being trapped inside our emotions, feeding on toxic thoughts. Cognitive impairment of the mind can lead to anxiety-related issues and should be consulted and addressed by a clinical psychologist as soon as possible when the symptoms worsen.

The intensity and symptoms may vary from person to person. Still, common characteristics of this type of disorder usually include a sudden panic attack, breathing issues, lightheadedness, throbbing headache, stomach ache, brain fog, numbness, palpitations, and many others.

Different types of Anxiety disorders

Our brain is a complicated yet intriguing subject to study. The human brain is designed to give potential signals or alertness that prepare our minds to provide a possible reaction to it. Similarly, anxiety plays a significant and vital role in informing our brain that danger is imminent and that we should respond accordingly.

Anxiety is a broad term that encompasses several disorders discussed further below.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Generalized anxiety disorder is a widespread type of anxiety is accompanied by a general feeling of restlessness, lethargy, being on the brink, lack of concentration, and insomnia. Those who experience anxiety typically go through this phase, including stress arising from family issues, financial issues, job burdens, health-related issues, petty matters such as household chores, etc. 

  • Social Anxiety:

The emotion is characterized by extreme hesitance, timidness, shyness around people, and a lack of self-confidence to speak boldly. A layman’s definition of such people can be categorized as an introverted-minded personality. 

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

A person gets recurring and irrational thoughts, often followed by repetitious, habitual behavior. In addition, individuals with this condition may exhibit weird and abnormal features such as frequently washing hands, organizing in a sequence, being cleanliness freaks, extreme self-doubt, counting orderly, etc.

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

This condition might occur due to a sudden disaster or susceptibility produced by a traumatic encounter. The triggers of PTSD are physical and mental abuse, violence, threats, and natural mishaps or calamities. 

  • Agoraphobia:

This type of disorder occurs when it might be difficult to escape, and help may not arrive as soon as the panic attack symptoms increase. Typically, claustrophobic mindsets make people more prone to this kind of disease.

Causes of Anxiety Disorder

It appears that neither researchers nor clinicians know the actual cause of anxiety. However, several factors may explain the underlying factors behind concern-based diseases, which are as follows:

1. Environmental factors:

External influences include peer pressure, losing a loved one, harassment, aggression, threats, and traumatic life events. 

2. Runs in the family:

Such disorders may have origins in a family history of a genetic disease, such as anxiety.

3. Medication withdrawal:

 Certain drugs that doctors prescribe shouldn’t be stopped without consulting a medical professional since self-medication or drug abuse of any kind can also induce the symptoms of panic attacks. 

4. Medical issues:

Anxiety disorders are a prerequisite or an early sign of any incoming disease, such as thyroid, heart, diabetes, and lung problems. Healthcare providers usually perform several tests to diagnose the reason behind anxiety. The prevalence of mental illnesses is also greatly influenced by vitamin deficiencies which are mostly neglected when triggering the cause behind anxiety disorders. 

5. Brain chemistry:

Certain chemical carriers known as Neurotransmitters can affect mood and thus resulting anxiety issues. In addition, our bodies can be impacted by neurological and neurohormonal abnormalities, which may be the apparent cause of anxiousness found in some people. Functional neurological disorder (FND) may also contribute to stress and anxiety-related symptoms. 

Anxiety is primarily and universally caused by the factors mentioned above. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not everyone who experiences anxiety will also be affected by the aforementioned causes. Each of us experiences a similar kind of chemical imbalance in our brains, but what makes us different here is how we respond ineluctably to a particular situation. Anxiety can be easily avoided by someone with a clear head, whereas someone who overthinks anxiety may imprison themselves by replying to it excessively. 

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

There are three distinct categories of anxiety disorder symptoms, which gives a glimpse into how a person suffocates inside without knowing anyone. Mental, behavioral, and physical. Anxiety may appear to be an invisible disorder, in contrast to physical diseases, but its effects are just as severe. Even though it may initially seem fine, if medical assistance is not sought, it can quickly deteriorate as it interferes with daily activities. Let’s take a look at the following categories:

Physical signs:

  1. Muscular exhaustion
  2. Dizziness/lightheadedness
  3. Brain fog/disorientation
  4. trouble breathing
  5. Hallucination
  6. Chest tightness
  7. Stomachache
  8. Puking
  9. A rapid increase in heartbeat

Mental signs:

  1. Unwanted/uncontrollable recurring thoughts
  2. Appalling nightmares
  3. Constantly feeling uneasy

Behavioral symptoms:

  1. Little to no sleep
  2. Inability to focus
  3. No interest in activities once addicted to, e.g., watching a movie or socializing with friends. 
  4. Easily irritated
  5. Getting little to no sleep
  6. Inability to focus
  7. No interest in previously addicted activities, such as watching a movie or socializing with friends. 

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder:

Numerous tests are necessary to diagnose anxiety, and an appropriate and successful course of treatment may follow. However, it’s important to note that any stress– or anxiety-related issues cannot be seen in any CT scan, MRI, or blood test reports before we move on to this section. Instead, the complex diagnosis of anxiety requires numerous thorough physical introspections based on well-structured questions, including family and personal history. 

Physical examination:

When visiting a hospital or clinic, bear in mind that nothing should be kept a secret from the attending physician, including the following:

  • Any prior illness
  • Certain usage of medicines
  • Alcoholic 
  • Excessive caffeine consumption

Physical examinations are additionally carried out to look for any early signs of disease so that immediate treatment or therapy can be conducted immediately to lower the symptoms if any. Some similar illnesses can be a triggering factor for anxiety to exist, which are as follows:

  1. Heart attack
  2. Lung issues  
  3. Blood pressure
  4. Hyperthyroidism
  5. Diabetes
  6. High cholesterol
  7. Angina
  8. Autoimmune diseases

Medical professionals also perform diagnostic procedures so that the patient’s condition can be clearly understood and the best course of action can be determined using modern techniques. The following diagnostic tests are:

  • Anxiety scale developed by Zung

This kind of examination is based on a questionnaire with 20 items. It’s a self-assessment test where responses range from “very low” to “frequently” for symptoms like shivering, a rapid heartbeat, and falling unconscious. 

  • Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A)

It is one of the most antique yet popular methods to measure anxiety. It is based on 14 questions ranging from mood swings, fear, and depression that lead to anxiety-provoking behavior. 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale

 This comprises short questions about any general feelings of getting agitated, nervous, or panicked. There are three options available for multiple selections: “almost every day,” “a few days,” and “lasting more than half the days.” 

Treatment or suggested therapy

A psychologist or concerned doctor will recommend any empirical therapy, cure, or session that can lessen the cause of anxiety after the challenging stage of diagnosing the cause of the disorder. Mindfulness is the primary suggestion, as suggested by many doctors. It can be practiced by leaving every chore behind that triggers anxiety, such as job work burden, social media, nagging thoughts, or by simply turning off the cell phone. CBT, also called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is an effective therapy for anxious patients. It merely entails evaluating how people think and perceives different situations to elicit different reactions from them. Antidepressants are a quick way to lessen anxiety symptoms where patients can quickly achieve their day-to-day tasks. 

RCM Matter

I am Kurt Goodwin and I am a blogger & Content Writer. I have been writing since 2018 and write about Health & Medical including healthcare management, Medical Billing, Telehealth & Telemedicine, and Business & Finance.