Anxiety is a very common human emotion which comes from an experience that one is in a dangerous situation. In this sense anxiety has evolutionary value as it is an important emotion that alerts to danger and threat in the environment. When individuals suffer from anxiety their experience of fear becomes overgeneralised as they begin to experience that in reality are not threatening to them as posing a significant threat.
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder you might find yourself unable to stop worrying and being in a state of heightened stress most of the time. This can become an all consuming experience taking over your life.
1.Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)- If you suffer from GAD you are likely to feel anxious about most things and in most situations rather than have a specific focus for your worries. This could have an effect on your concentration, sleep and appetite and is likely to be an obstacle to being able to live your life as you would like.
2.Panic disorder - If you suffer from panic disorder you might find yourself experiencing intense panic and this could be in relation to specific situations or more generalised. Over time people who suffer from panic attacks become anxious about experiencing another panic attack so the focus of anxiety becomes the anticipation of anxiety.
At times, the symptoms of anxiety disorder are not all that obvious as they develop slowly over times and, given that most of us experience some amount of anxiety at different points in time, so it is difficult to know how much is too much. People suffering from anxiety have any or few of the following symptoms:
There are various reasons for a person to feel anxious such as financial or relationship or work issues. These anxious feelings which a person experiences under different circumstances are quite normal for a person. Anxious feelings slowly and gradually begin to take the form of disorders and this could start at any point in one's life. When the anxiety moves from mild to severe form, a person may start to have difficulty in performing his daily activities. The causes of anxiety disorders are still not known. But scientists have unraveled that the wiring of some area of the brain are affected in those suffering with anxiety disorders. Research is on to see how this understanding of the brain can help in providing better treatment to the patients of anxiety. It is also observed that people who are more prone to suffer from anxiety disorders have a history of a family member suffering from any one form of anxiety disorder. Exposures to stressful situations when they were growing up and how they learnt to cope with them are risk factors for anxiety disorders.
Tests are available to specifically diagnose anxiety disorders. Though it can also be assessed with clinical judgement of health professionals. The onset, intensity, duration and course of the condition are elicited with a detailed history to understand the problems in best possible way. Medical records are taken into consideration to rule out any medical cause. Panic attacks can subsequently develop into panic disorders if they are not attended to in the beginning. Panic disorder often involves physical symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, sweating and others.
In the short term anxiety can be regulated through medication.If you require pharmacological treatment for your anxiety, the next step will be an assessment for a psychiatric review. In the long term the most effective treatments for anxiety are psychological and the approaches with the best evidence are acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). The emphasis on these treatments is on the individual's thinking and how this influences their experiences of anxiety, behaviours that might maintain anxiety and the acquisition of new skills including mindfulness.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is very useful in treatment of anxiety disorders. It helps in assessing your negative thoughts which contribute in aggravating the anxiety symptoms. CBT also helps in managing emotions and bringing positivity in life.