MetroPsychologist.com
All About Anxiety Disorders

In this article, I will explain some details about the anxiety disorder. In fact there is n’t  a single anxiety disorder but a few of them . I will be discussing them in his write up. As we go through our day day-to-day life we come across quite a few instances where one could feel stressed out or worried because of some kind of pressure. We could feel anxious about a problem which could be related to one’s work life or personal life. This is more so in today's modern world which is highly demanding.

These types of incidents do not characterize as anxiety disorder. The ones I described above are of temporary in nature whereas when it comes to anxiety disorder anxiety what a person experiences doesn't fade away in a short period of time. In a worst case scenario it could get worse as the time passes by.  As the condition worsens one could feel the anxiety disorder interfering with their daily life activities

It could be their work environment. There were complications or if it is in case of students, their college life or school life and it could also get into their personal relationships With their family members and loved ones , it can disrupt once life. Anxiety can have an impact in almost all areas of one's life. Now let's look at the types of anxiety disorders.

The first one is the generalized anxiety disorder and then the panic disorder and there is a set of phobia based disorders that forms the third type of disorders. Now let's look at each of these different types of anxiety disorders in detail.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Like I mentioned above it is very normal for one to worry about certain aspects of their life as part of the day today living. But people who suffer with the generalized anxiety disorder show excessive worry, anxiety about different aspects of their life. These include their professional life, work environment, social interactions, finances, person health and others. This could go on for several months and could even have impact on their physical being.

Now let us look at those physical symptoms what one could look for in a person suffering with the generalized anxiety disorder.

  • They tend to get tired easily
  • They get irritated easily
  • They experience muscle tension and
  • It will be difficult for them to gain control over the thoughts of worry and
  • They could also have sleeping problems, have trouble sleeping or sometimes when they wake up in the middle of the night they will not be able to go back to sleep.
  • Almost all the time they stay on the edge and when it comes to the school activities or work environment they will have difficulty in concentrating and other similar symptoms.

 

Panic Disorder

The next one is the panic disorder. Disorders are periods of intense fear the get started by a Trigger and go to peak levels within minutes. The person suffering from panic disorder might look alright and all of a sudden as he/she experiences a trigger which could be an object or a situation the panic sets in and they experience intense fear.

When people undergo panic attack one could clearly see certain physical symptoms. This include

  • sudden and excessive sweating
  • you could see them shaking visibly
  • pounding heartbeat
  • sudden increase in heartbeat
  • some people even experience trouble breathing, shortness of breathing
  • they feel like they are being choked.
  • Experience a feeling of not being in control of their own body and mind.
  • Some even get strong feelings of and upcoming Doom and gloom event.

Human body carries its own defence mechanism for both the physical and mental disorders. In case of those who are suffering with the panic disorder the defence mechanism usually makes the person try to avoid the objects, situations. Or places that seem to be triggering the panic attack. People suffering from the panic disorder try to do this over and over again. As a result of which they do not get a feeling that they are settled in their life and they feel like they are on the edge all the time.

Phobia-related disorders

Next let us look at the next type of disorders. These are different types of phobia based disorders. The dictionary defines phobia as “an extreme or irrational fear of or version to something”. This very clearly applies in case of phobia based disorders. People who suffer from phobia based disorders fear certain objects or situations and they get an intense fear when they come across those objects. These objects could be most commonly considered as completely harmless but people who are suffering from phobia based disorders might get into extreme fear when they come in contact with those objects or situations.

Examples include people getting extremely scared of birds, spiders. or getting into an elevator etcetera.

Over a period of time, people suffering from phobia based disorders understand what causes fear in them and take necessary steps to avoid such scenarios,objects or situations. Example could be people who are suffering from phobia related to lifts usually try to take the stairs and avoid using lift. It may not always be possible for them to avoidthose objects are situations. When it happens they undergo in extreme amount of anxiety and it makes them go through with that experience as there is no way for them to get out of that situation or not be in contact with that object.

 Some examples include

  • flying
  • blood
  • injections
  • certain Birds or animals
  • height
  • closed spaces
  • dark spaces
  • et cetera.

 

Social anxiety disorder

 Let's look at social anxiety disorder. It is usually referred to as a social phobia in the past. People with this disorder will get intense sense of fear or anxiety when it comes to social or performances situations. This could be a meeting or when someone is asked to deliver a speech in a public setting or when someone is caused sing a song in a public setting. This causes them to get worried thinking that actions and behavior that one shows  when they are under the influence of anxiety will have negative impact and it could be perceived as such by others. It results in them feeling embarrassed. As a result of which they usually tend to avoid such situations.

An example could be when someone is in a meeting and everyone is the expected to speak  They try to avoid that by any means they possibly could use. Similarly when they are asked to speak to a crowd they might find reasons and excuses to avoid such an event or occurrence.

 Agoraphobia.

 People who suffer from agoraphobia try to avoid situations like using public transportation, being in an enclosed space, or standing in a line for being in a crowd. They do this  simply because they think that when they are in those situations if a panic attack sets in it will be difficult for them to leave in  those situations. So they try to avoid being in those situations. I've read about cases where people have even Limited themselves to their houses as a result of an extreme form of agoraphobia.

 Separation anxiety disorder.

Separation anxiety disorder as the name suggests is the fear of being separated from the loved ones  It could be their family or friends and others. Usually separation anxiety disorder is thought to be present only in case of children but it is equally applicable and seen in in case of adults as well. People who suffer from this disorder usually believe that some kind of harm will happen to their loved ones or the people who they are attached when they are separated from them. Hence they try to avoid getting into those in areas where they are separated from those they are attached to.

If it so happens that they get separated from the loved ones or the people who they are attached to, they undergo anxiety and it could also result in physical symptoms.

Factors contributing to To anxiety disorders.

Now let us look at some of the factors that contribute to these disorders.

  •  Characteristics such as a shyness or behavioral inhibition during the childhood stage of a person could have them develop one of these anxiety disorders
  • Some kind of physical conditions may also contribute to who this disorders These could include thyroid problem heart arrhythmias etcetera.
  • If one is exposed to  negative life events or environmental conditions in early childhood
  • they undergo a very stressful childhood or adulthood  etc could also result in one developing anxiety disorders.
  • Having biological relatives with anxiety or other mental disorders can you contribute towards developing anxiety disorders.
  • Based on the above we could conclude that both genetic as well as environmental factors contribute towards developing and anxiety disorders.

Treatments and therapies.

Now what are the different options available to deal with anxiety disorders. Most often psychotherapy and medication are used to treat anxiety disorders. In my experience I believe that psychotherapy seems to be e sufficient in most cases but in some cases medication may also be needed.

 Psychotherapy is something that is the offered by both psychologist and psychiatrist. Psychotherapy does not involve any medication. It is based on counseling techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. In some cases medication may also be needed along with psychotherapy. These include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, beta blockers etcetera.

 One needs to work very closely with their doctor or psychologist to select the treatment that is best for them.

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