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Anxiety disorder

Anxiety is natural response of your body to a stressful stimuli and your brain’s way to alert us. It can be beneficial at some times. For e.g. The anxiety that comes and goes before an exam or before an interview is normal and drives you to work hard but when it becomes constant and disturbs day to day lifestyle, it becomes a disorder. It causes overwhelming fear and worry. It can affect at any age and is more common in women than men. It is associated with muscle tension and avoidance issues i.e. people tend to avoid situation that trigger stress in them.

In a survey conducted In 2017, 14.3% of total population in India suffered from mental health issues, depression and ⅝ being the commonest in them. According to WHO, 1 in 13 people suffer from anxiety globally.

There has been a steep rise in patients with mental illness since the coronavirus outbreak in the country. In a recent survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, the sudden rise in those suffering from mental illness is up to 20 per cent. According to the survey, at least one out of every five Indians is suffering from mental illness.

Causes

There are some probable factors that the doctors and scientist believe to cause anxiety issues. These are:

  • Genetics: It can run in families
  • Environment: Your life experiences or the situation around you
  • Brain chemistry: Due to faulty brain circuits which control fear and emotions.

Risk Factors

There are some factors which increase the chances of developing anxiety disorders in an individual. Some of them can be

  • Trauma (physical like an accident, an attack OR mental like abuse, toxic relationships etc)
  • Personality (If a person is pessimist, overthinker etc)
  • Drug withdrawal
  • H/O Chronic medical conditions, mental health problems

General Symptom

The main symptom of any anxiety disorder is that it triggers a panic attack in a stressful situation. Now What is panic attack? It is a wave of intense fear without any apparent cause which triggers physical symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, intense sweating etc.

Other symptoms that a person can experience in anxiety can be:

  • Panic, Uneasiness
  • Ttingling in limbs
  • Muscle tension
  • Cold or Hot flashes
  • Decreased attention span and restlessness
  • Insomnia, headaches and Fatigue
  • Dry mouth

Types of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is categorized under:

1. Generalized Anxiety disorder

Persistent chronic anxiety or feeling of panic or worry without little or no reason and causes difficulty in everyday life.

2. Social Anxiety disorder

It is driven by fear of humiliation and being judged by others in a social setting. These people avoid social situations, are very self-conscious and can have panic attacks.

3. Phobias

It is defined as strong and irrational fear of things. These fears cause such distress that some people go to extreme lengths to avoid what they fear

4. Panic disorder

Recurrent panic attacks with overwhelming physical and psychological distress

5. Agoraphobia

Fear of being trapped in an unwanted, embarrassing situation.

6. Separation Anxiety Disorder

The patient is in constant fear of losing someone they are attached to. It causes problems in normal functioning of the person

7. Post-traumatic Stress disorder

Persistent worry and fear after a traumatic event. It involves panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks of the concerned event.

Diagnosis

Anxiety is not a simple diagnosis as it is not caused by any germs or bacteria that can be detected in blood tests. But there are some symptoms that can easily be confused with the medical condition’s forex- heart diseases or hyperthyroidism. So, because of this, only a complete physical examination is required. This may help the doctor to know the physical history of the patient. Then if doctors do not find any reason related to a physical condition, he sends the patient to the physiatrist or therapist or counselors. These doctors will ask you a question and use tools and techniques to find out if you may have an anxiety disorder.

Some tools and techniques are:

1. Beck anxiety inventory (BAI)

The BAI helps measure the seriousness of your uneasiness. You can step through the examination without anyone else. It might likewise be given orally by an expert or paraprofessional.

2. Hamilton anxiety scale

The Hamilton test was one of the primary rating scales for uneasiness. It's still broadly utilized in clinical and research settings. It includes 14 inquiries that rate dispositions, fears, and strain, just as physical, mental, and conduct characteristics.

3. Social phobia Inventory

This 17-question self-evaluation gauges your degree of social fear. You rate your nervousness according to different social circumstances on a scale from zero to four. Zero demonstrates no uneasiness.

And there is various test which can be conducted by a counselor or therapist. But these tests should be conducted by the therapist or experts or counselors.

Treatment

It includes:

1. Psychotherapy

Trained psychiatrist or mental health professionals can help with understanding the symptoms and make sense of them. They can also help with the management of these symptoms. They use methods like Cognitive behavioral therapy which teaches the patient different ways of thinking, behaving and reacting to different situations. Second is Interpersonal therapy which helps the patient to communicate better and develop better relationships.

2. Medications

Most medications don’t cure anxiety but they help with the symptoms significantly like anti anxiety, antidepressants. Sometimes beta blockers are also prescribed for relief in physical symptoms but these medications should be taken with the consult of your counselors or therapist or doctors

3. Life style Management

Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and stay active. Avoid Alcohol and other drugs. You can participate in support groups and try grounding method when in panic attack. Talk to someone because you are not supposed to be alone.

4. Counselling

People can go for counselling too and now because of corona time online counselling are available where experts are sitting. The person can take online appointment and start his treatment as soon as possible.

Online counselling is easy to:

a.Accessible

Online counselling easily accessible to urban areas as well as to rural areas. Online counseling can also make comfortable to the children’s as well as youngsters as they are more comfortable with using the internet.

b. Convenience

It is more convenient because therapist and client can start their session on time. Therapist can reach in any region. And client can reach to any therapist. Those people who cannot talk face to face with someone about their problems. Then this online counselling more preferable

c. Affordability

Online counselling has been shown more affordable for both therapist as well as client.

Some of the tips managing anxiety disorder:

  • The most important learn about your disorder so that the more you know, the better you will be managed your symptoms. Don’t ever be scared to ask any questions from your doctor
  • Stick to those things which you planned. But pre-planning should be done with the permission of doctors only.
  • Cut down all those things which contain caffeine such as Tea, Coffee, Cold drink, soft drink, and chocolates, and any other things with the permission of your doctor only.
  • Eat the right things and do exercise like walk, jogging, aerobic or any other consult your doctor.
  • Get better sleep, manage your negative thoughts, learn to relax, talk to your friends.
  • Maintain your journal before day down so that it can help you get rid of all the negative thoughts
  • Avoid alcohol or drug use
  • Quitting smoking cigarettes

But these tips should be followed with the consult of your experts or psychiatrist or therapist or counselors.

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