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What Are Anxiety Disorders?

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are the common psychiatric illnesses globally.

There is no test for anxiety like panic disorder, PTSD,OCD or social anxiety disorder and the diagnosis is based on a good history and examination. The signs and symptoms of anxiety are often missed or explained away. Anxiety disorders are also commonly comorbid with other psychiatric disorders particularly mood disorders.

There is no cure for anxiety but very effective treatments are available with a good evidence base. The treatments for anxiety disorders include medications like benzodiazepines, SSRIs or SNRIs or other new generation antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, as well as augmentation therapies.

Several proven therapies are also efficacious in patients with anxiety. These include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation training, and prolonged exposure therapy. Yoga and meditation have also demonstrated benefits.

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Anxiety disorders are partly genetic but may also be due to drug use including alcohol and caffeine, as well as withdrawal from certain drugs. They often occur with other mental disorders, particularly major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, certain personality disorders, and eating disorders.

The term anxiety covers four aspects of experiences that an individual may have: mental apprehension, physical tension, physical symptoms and dissociative anxiety. The emotions present in anxiety disorders range from simple nervousness to bouts of terror. There are other psychiatric and medical problems that may mimic the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, such as hyperthyroidism.

Common treatment options include lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. Medications are typically recommended only if other measures are not effective.

Children experience anxiety similar to adults.

A common anxiety disorder in children is school phobia, which in some cases can be a type of separation anxiety. Sometimes the anxiety has no obvious cause. In other instances, the child may experience bullying from classmates, or even a teacher. They could also be stressed from the workload they are given. School phobia may also be a form of social phobia, also known as social anxiety. Children with this disorder may avoid speaking in front of their classmates or meeting new people.

 Anxiety disorders occur about twice as often in females as males, and generally begin during childhood.  As many as 18% of Americans and 14% of Europeans may be affected by one or more anxiety disorders.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

 

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