ANXIETY DISORDERS

Things You Should Know

These disorders can take over an individual's life with anxiety and an exessive irrational fear. They can be chronic and on-going and may become worse.

There are a number of types of anxiety disorders and they include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific or Focused Phobias

Signs and Symptoms

We shall identify symptoms associated with some of the types listed above:
 
 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • This individual worries excessively about many different issues and often believes something bad is about to occur. It is may be random but this individual's concerns can be focused at any one point in time and then another time about something else(health, family, finances, relationships, etc.).
  • They  often feel ill with headaches, tiredness, aches and pains, tremors, irritability, lightheaded, out of breath, etc.
  • They may also startle easily, find it difficult to relax and to concentrate, and have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • This individual has many thoughts and behaviors which can't be controlled. The thoughts may be constant and the need to engage in the behaviors tend to be urgent. .
  • The thoughts and the behaviors may have to do with everyday tasks which the person tries to repeat thru the day.  They may also be unwelcome or even repugnant.
  • The thoughts are the obsessions and the behaviors are the compulsions.
  • During an ordinary day the individual may be consumed with these obsessions/thoughts and find that these compulsions/behaviors interfere with daily life. 

These disorders are often accompanied by depression and sometimes by substance abuse.
 
Treatment:
Each disorder is different and the treatment course should be specific to a particular disorder and to whatever is going on with that individual(for example is there also something else like depression or substance).

There are two general types of treatments available: Medications and Counseling(talk therapy) or some combination

MEDICATIONS:

  •  Anti-depressant
             Some of these are more effective with specific anxiety disorders and some may be used more generally
  • Anti-anxiety
             They vary as to which ones are more effective for which disorder.

 COUNSELING(TALK THERAPY)

  • Cognitive-Behavioral
               Unlike Insight therapy this aims to change thinking patterns, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors There may be homework assignments or tasks to work on between sessions. There are often a limited number of sessions.
  •  Group Therapy led by a clinician 
  • Self help Groups
  • Stress Management


Some people may benefit when some of the above treatment methods are done in in combination with each other.
 
Resources
www.nimh.nih.gov
                
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