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Anxiety Disorders: Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Introduction

According to Anonymous (Anxiety disorders, 2010), anxiety refers to a human reaction that is natural which involves both the body and mind. It is an alarm system that undergoes activation every time an individual perceives a threat or danger. At the time there is a reaction of the body as well as the mind, someone experiences anxiety sensations that are physical. Such sensations may involve such actions as the heart beating at a faster rate, tensing of the muscles, sweating palms, and trembling limbs among other activities. The above activities become part of the body’s fight-flight response. They are brought about by the secretion of adrenaline among other body chemicals that make the body ready to engage in a quick move away from danger. These sensations can either be extreme or mild.

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In considering anxiety disorders, this includes a range of conditions that have a common pathological or extreme anxiety as the basic disturbance of the mood. There may be the comprehension of concern as the pathological complement of typical fear and physiological activity and mood disturbances make it clear (Anonymous: Mental health: A report of the surgeon general, 2010). This paper examines diverse kinds of anxiety disorders. The disorders will be considered with the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of each type of the disorder.

Types of anxiety disorders

Generalized anxiety

This is a common anxiety disorder in which an individual has excessive worry about several things. A person experiencing this condition may be having such worries as those about the school, the safety of the family members and may also be about the future among the common worries. Such people think of the possibility of the worst coming to happen.

The symptoms observed in the person undergoing such a physical disorder may include pains in the chest, vomiting, stomachaches, fatigue, restlessness, tight muscles, absence of sleep or excess sleep, sweating among other physical signs. Along with these physical signs, there is the accompaniment of these signs with the psychological symptoms that may include excess worries, tension, irritability that seem to originate from nowhere among other signs.

The formal diagnosis is when the person takes a minimum of six months going through excess worry about day-to-day problems. The troublesome warning sign that calls for immediate medical attention may arise although it may last for a while.

With treatment of this disorder, anxiety is one of the most common and is among the most treatable mental disorders. The most effective treatments may include relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the use of biofeedback to offer control to muscle relaxation. Among some cases, there can be the need for the use of drugs like benzodiazepine together with its derivatives. There is the prescription commonly of anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam, diazepam, and alprazolam. For some individuals, the drugs like non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication called buspirone may be of help.

Panic attacks and Panic disorders

According to Anonymous (Mental health: A report of the surgeon general, 2010), a panic attack refers to a disconnected period of great fear that is linked to cognitive symptoms as well as somatic symptoms. Individuals experiencing panic disorder experience heart-pounding attacks that occur unexpectedly and without offering any warnings.

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The symptoms of this condition include chest pains, trembling, fear of dying, pounding of the heart, sweating, feelings of unreality, and a feeling of going out of control among other symptoms.

There is the diagnosis of this condition when an individual goes through sudden panic attacks for a minimum of two weeks and develops continuous concern regarding having more attacks in the future or adjusts the behavior to evade or bring down the number of attacks like these. Formal diagnosis involves four attacks in four weeks. It can also be at least one attack preceding a minimum of a month of continuous fear of having another attack. More so, there is a formal diagnosis when a person experiences at least four of the above-listed symptoms which developed in the cause of at least a single panic attack. Most of these attacks (panic) proceed for only a few minutes but on some occasions, they can go as far as ten minutes and at times even up to one hour.

Treatment of this disorder includes cognitive-behavioral medications and therapy like the use of alprazolam which is a high-potency anti-anxiety drug. There is consideration of the several classes of antidepressants as “gold standards” for treating this disorder (Anxiety Disorders Association of America, N.d). These antidepressant categories include paroxetine. In some cases, combining medication with therapy can be the most effective way to assist individuals to have control of their symptoms. The treatment that is carried out properly assists about 80 percent of the people with this disorder and this is normally in a period of between six and eight weeks.

Phobias

These refer to fears that are irrational that cause people to generally evade particular situations or things that instill in them great anxiety. The things or situations may not be dangerous and may include heights, and dogs to name just but a few. Phobias come in many forms. For example (agoraphobia) which is the fear of encountering panic-provoking situations where evasion might prove difficult. More so, social phobia is a fear of getting very much ashamed standing before other people and the most common type of this is the fear of conducting a public speech.

The symptoms of this disorder involve most of the physical symptoms associated with panic attacks. Such symptoms include sweating, increased heart bit, and trembling among other symptoms.

This condition is diagnosed when a person goes through intense anxiety with exposure to the situation or the thing. More so, it is diagnosed in the cases where the affected individual realizes that the fear he or she is having is unreasonable and discovers that the normal routines, as well as the social activities and relationships, are greatly impaired as a consequence of the fears he or she is having.

The treatment of phobias can be carried out by the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy. This has had an excellent track record for offering treatment to people and they have been able to get over most of the phobia disorders. This therapy’s objectives are to offer lessons to an individual on the way to recognize, relax, and put up with the thoughts of anxiety and feelings or to desensitize an individual to the situations or things that are feared. There can also be the offering of medication to individuals and such medications include anti-anxiety antidepressants or agents and this assists in relieving the symptoms. In some cases, the treatment of phobias can be carried out by combining therapy and medication. Most people have undergone the above treatment and have come out successfully.

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Posttraumatic stress disorder

This is a very powerful stress reaction that can develop in individuals after the occurrence of an invent that is traumatic. This involves one directly experiencing the event. Such events may include natural calamities like earthquakes, terrorist attacks, wars, serious road accidents, and rape among other events. The researchers are now aware that any person, even including children, can develop the post-traumatic disorder if these people have experienced, or have been eye-witnesses, or even participated in a traumatic event especially if this event was threatening life (Anxiety Disorders Association of America, N.d). The psychological destruction these events bring about can have interference with the ability of an individual to go on with his or her job or build up close relationships with other people (Anonymous: Post-Traumatic stress disorder, 2010).

The symptoms of this disorder exhibited in the affected person may stretch from persistently reliving the occurrence to a general numbing of the emotions. Some of the symptoms include nightmares, lack of concentration, insomnia, and startle reactions that are often exaggerated among other symptoms. People having this disorder usually evade the situations that can make them remember the traumatic event that they experienced because such situations rouse great distress or panic attack.

In formal diagnosis, even if the symptoms of this disorder may be the suitable early response to a traumatic occurrence, there is the consideration of them as part of a disorder at the time they go on for more than three months.

The treatment of this condition can be carried out by use of psychotherapy and this can assist the affected individuals experiencing this condition to get back control over their lives. Treatment may as well be carried out by use of the cognitive behavior therapy that will have to play a role to change intrusive patterns and painful conduct together with thoughts and to learn to adapt the relaxation techniques

The support that can come from the family members, as well as friends, can play a very great role in speeding up the recovery process and healing. There can also be the application of medications like anti-anxiety agents and antidepressants to bring down the level of anxiety. These medications can help in easing the depression symptoms and the problems of sleep. Usually, the treatment of this disorder involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Conclusion

In general, terms, as it has been looked at, anxiety disorders greatly affect people’s lives and may greatly interfere with the affected person’s carrying out of the day-to-day activities. It is necessary, where possible, to avoid activities or situations that may one to be exposed to these disorders. However, whenever the symptoms are detected in an individual, regardless of which kind of anxiety disorder, there should be immediate seeking of appropriate treatment.

Reference List

Anonymous, (2010). Anxiety disorders. Web.

Anonymous, (2010). Mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Web.

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Anonymous, (2010). Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Web.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America, (N.d). Anxiety disorders. Web.

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