Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders Types
Anxiety Disorder Flow Chart
Anxiety Treatments
Treatment ( Psychotherapy )
Treatment ( Pharmacotherapy )


Anxiety is a group of disorders ( Anxiety Disorders Types ) characterized by a number of both mental and physical symptoms, with no apparent explanation. Apprehension, fear of losing control, fear of going "crazy", fear of pending death or impending danger, and general uneasiness are among the most common mental symptoms. Common physical symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, chest / abdominal pain, nausea, increased heart rate, and diarrhea. Because there are so many physical symptoms, anxiety disorders may not be recognized and the symptoms only treated as physical disorders. Doctors and researchers believe that with both psychotherapy and medication over 80% of persons with anxiety disorders can be helped. Anxiety can also be one of the common symptoms of psychiatric disorders.

Anxiety disorders appear to have become more common in recent years , though this may be due to better diagnostics. And although women are treated for these disorders more often, psychologists believe that this is simply because men are less likely to seek treatment.
An anxiety disorder should not be confused with everyday stress and worry which, due to circumstances, can affect everyone at one time or another. Anxiety disorders, however, are persistent conditions, and should be diagnosed carefully by a licensed mental health professional after a full evaluation. While self care-options can benefit ordinary stress or anxiety, prescription treatments should only be used in clear cases of chronic and ongoing anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 19 million adults in the US suffer from one form of anxiety or another. Sleep disorders or early awakening, depression, tension, muscle aches, and fatigue can all accompany chronic anxiety.

Chronic anxiety, also referred to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, manifests as persistent worries, fears and negative thoughts which last a minimum of six months. Excessive worry over daily activities, and a tendency towards headaches and nausea are common.
Acute anxiety, or Panic Disorder, comes on as a sudden attack of fear accompanied by symptoms that may resemble a heart attack ( palpitations, chest pain, dizziness ). Shortness of breath, stomach upset, chills, cold sweats, hot flashes, or irrational fears of death can combine with these symptoms to create a terrifying experience for the individual experiencing them. Excessive levels of norepinephrine increase the rates of breathing and pulse in panic attack sufferers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is also classed as an anxiety disorder, and can be triggered in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a deeply traumatic event. Anger, depression, emotional numbness, flashbacks, nightmares, and a tendency to startle easily may be seen.

Phobias, or irrational fears, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a tendency towards repetitive or uncontrollable behavior, are also classed with anxiety disorders. These may co-exist, as many individuals with obsessive compulsive disorders have phobias about  germs or un cleanliness and may wash their hands or bathe excessively.

Anxiety disorders, like many other conditions, are an example of normal responses that appear at inappropriate times. Our fight-or-flight response, characterized most strongly by increased adrenaline or norepinephrine production, allows us to react promptly to dangerous situations. When lives are in danger we react quickly and get to safety or defend ourselves. But when we experience these reactions frequently during daily life, they can be very disruptive.

Chemical imbalances, allergies, nutritional deficiencies and other health problems, environmental influences, and stressful life events may worsen or trigger some of these conditions. Anxiety disorders may co-exist, or occur alongside other conditions, like depression, bipolar disorder, ADD / ADHD, an eating disorder, or a major life-threatening illness. If an anxiety disorder is severe enough to require prescription treatment, other conditions should be ruled out or treatment geared to avoid interfering with pre-existing health issues.

Even with a psychological condition like anxiety, the physical body is involved. Improved nutrition, adequate exercise, and relaxation techniques can significantly improve a person's sense of well-being. When the body is more resistant to the effects of stress, emotional stress may be easier to deal with.

Anxiety Disorders Types

Acute Stress Disorder
Agoraphobia Without History of Panic Disorder
Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition
Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified ( Anxiety Disorder NOS )
Generalized Anxiety Disorder ( GAD )
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder ( OCD )
Panic Attack
Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia.
Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Social Phobia
Specific Phobia
Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder.

Treatment ( Psychotherapy )

Adlerian Therapy
Behavior Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
Existential Therapy
Gestalt Therapy
Person-centered Therapy
Rational-emotive Therapy
Reality Therapy
Transactional Analysis

Treatment ( Pharmacotherapy )

Alprazolam Intensol
Lexapro ( Lexaprotm )

Anxiety Treatments

There are many care options that you can take advantage of if you suffer from excessive anxiety, from self-care to prescription treatments. The self-care options can and should be combined with any treatment suggested by your doctor, and can help some individuals regain a sense of control over their lives. Below are some self-care suggestions.

Anxiety disorders are conditions where the chemical flight-or-fight response may be tuned to react very strongly to minimal stress. Because of this physical component, some individuals find that they become far less anxious when they identify and remove allergens from their diet or eat a healthier diet. Any foods that are hard to digest or process strip nutrients from the system, and may themselves trigger an adrenalin response and contribute to muscle tension.

Avoid refined sugar, soft drinks, white flour products, and sweetened fruit juice. These high carbohydrate foods contain few nutrients and can cause blood sugar to fluctuate wildly . If you are hypoglycemic, this can be especially important as high sugar foods may trigger unpleasant side effects. Whole fruits and unprocessed fruit juices, however, are important sources of nutrients and contain substances which make their sugar content less problematic. Include more whole fruit in your diet as often as possible, and try to get used to substituting it for sweet snacks and desserts.

Fresh or lightly cooked (but not boiled) vegetables and whole fruit should be eaten as often as possible. When eating grain products, try to choose whole grain foods over refined foods. While organic produce and grain may have a higher nutrient content, all fresh whole foods are better sources of nutrition than highly processed or refined foods. If your susceptibility to stress is worsened by a depletion of vitamins and minerals, you can improve the situation by replacing empty calories with useful ones.

Try drinking more mineral water, which can improve the balance of trace minerals. Naturally sparkling water or spring water is preferred; avoid sweetened or artificially carbonated water drinks.

Exercise Lifestyle
A regular exercise program has proven beneficial for many mood disorders, including anxiety and panic attack. The chemicals released in the body during exercise have a positve and stabilizing effect on mood and a person's sense of well-being.
Participating in an aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, racquetball, or tennis for 30-40 minutes three times per week is a healthy goal. Exercise can help the production of chemicals in the body that make people feel good naturally, and helps many feel truly relaxed when not exercising.

Be sure to pay attention to your sleeping habits as well. When subjects are deliberately deprived of adequate rest their emotional wholeness begins to deteriorate. If you consistently feel tired, even in the morning, or have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, consider getting evaluated for a sleep disorder. Waking early is sometimes considered to be a marker for anxiety, but can be caused by other conditions.

Tobacco and caffeine are both stimulants. Avoiding these substances can have a positive influence on the steadiness of your mood and thoughts. While a feeling of well-being may result when caffeine and tobacco peak in your system, they cause your pulse to rise, blood vessels to dilate, and generally put your body in a state of over-heightened alertness. They may interfere with digestion by diverting blood away from the digestive system after a meal, which can create significant physical stress and malabsorption. Detoxifying these substances also strips valuable nutrients out of the body, and this can make the body more vulnerable to stress.

Try to remove stress from your personal life by eliminating unnecessary activities, taking time to enjoy a private hobby, or relaxing more often with loved ones. A counselor can often help you identify the areas of your life that cause the most concern to you, and may be able to help you come up with creative ways to improve your situation. It can be particularly helpful to have an objective opinion if you feel that you need to make major changes in your life to reduce tension, or if you feel that working on your communication skills could help you resolve certain difficulties.

Prescription Treatments
The following medications may not be suitable for all patients. Check with your doctor to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment possible:

  • Benzodiazepine Sedatives act as nervous system depressants, reducing the effects of tension and over- stimulation by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA. This class of medications carries a risk of chemical dependence if use exceeds prescription guidelines. These treatments may cause drowsiness. They should be avoided by people with other psychiatric conditions ( borderline personality, depression, or psychosis ), brain disease, porphyria, glaucoma, breathing difficulties, or sleep apnea.
  • Benzodiazepine Sedatives:
  • BuSpar ( buspirone ) is an anti-anxiety treatment that acts on the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin to calm the mind. It is considered an effective treatment for mild to moderate anxiety or tension, and may take a couple weeks for the full effects to be realized.


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