Patients Care

ANXIETY


Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear.

Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional and behavioral components. These components combine to create an unpleasant feeling that is typically associated with uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry. Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that can often occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which occurs in the presence of an observed threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.

Causes

  • The exact cause of anxiety is not fully known, but a number of factors including genetics, brain chemistry and environmental stresses appear to contribute to its development.
  • Genetics: Some research suggests that family history plays a part in increasing the likelihood that a person will develop anxiety. This means that the tendency to develop anxiety may be passed on in families.
  • Brain chemistry: anxiety has been associated with abnormal levels of certain chemical messengers in the brain. They help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If disturbed they can alter the way the brain reacts in certain situations, leading to anxiety.
  • Environmental factors: Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to anxiety. It may become worse during periods of stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can also worsen anxiety.
  • Certain drugs, both recreational and medicinal, can lead to symptoms of anxiety due to either side effects or withdrawal from the drug. Such drugs include: Alcohol, Amphetamines, Bronchodilators etc.
  • Anxiety can have a number of different causes. It is a multidimensional response to stimuli in the person's environment or a response to an internal stimulus.
  • A child's genetics, biochemistry, environment, history and psychological profile all seem to contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Most children with these disorders seem to have a biological vulnerability to stress.

Symptoms

  • Weight Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Tired
  • Irritability
  • Palpitations
  • Nervousness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lightheadedness
  • Missed Period
  • Diaphoresis
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headache
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Acting Out
  • Sleepwalking
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Increase In Blood Pressure
  • Difficulty Staying Asleep
  • Disturbed Sleep Pattern
  • Unrefreshed By Sleep

Management

  • If symptoms of anxiety are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by asking questions about your medical history and performing a physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose anxiety disorders, the doctor may use various tests to look for physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.
  • The doctor bases his or her diagnosis of anxiety on reports of the intensity and duration of symptoms including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms. The doctor then determines if the symptoms and degree of dysfunction indicate a specific anxiety disorder.
  • Anxiety is diagnosed if symptoms are present for more days, during a period of at least six months. The symptoms also must interfere with daily living, such as causing you to miss work or school.
  • If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental healthprofessionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses like anxiety. Treatment most often includes a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • People suffering from anxiety disorders often participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, in which you learn to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to anxious feelings.
  • In addition, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and biofeedback, may help to control the muscle tension that often accompanies anxiety.