Anxiety and fear occur daily and are part of life for a normal human being. However, these emotions become debilitating for many people and significantly affect the quality and standard of their lives. Basically, it develops in the form either of the 3 main disorders, namely:
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
Moreover, there are 3 varieties of phobia too. They are:
- Social phobia
- Specific phobia
All the kinds are characterised by unique contributing factors and symptoms involving experiences of anxiety and fear that extends beyond usual response to stressful events.
Who are at risk?
Investigation on the exact causes of these disorders is still underway and there is no solid proof to pinpoint a specific cause for the disorder. However, studies have raised the speculation that the parts of the brain that generate fear responses in people who have developed any of the disorder varieties are considerably different from that of a regular person. People who belong to families in which one or more members have or have had any disorder face greater risk of developing one of these disorders. Thus, it indicates that there genes may have a role to play in development of the anxiety disorders in a person too.
Anxiety disorders symptoms
There are unique and separate sets of symptoms for the 3 anxiety disorder types. The acuteness of symptoms, the duration for which the symptoms persist (typically 6 months) and the degree of damage that they cause are taken into consideration for diagnosis of the disorder.
Types of disorders
Panic Disorder: Panic attack is the main symptom of panic disorder. Panic attack can be described as irrepressible experience of psychological and physical distress. A person in the state of a panic attack may experiences a combination of 2 or more of the following effect:
- Fear of death
- Fear of loss of control
- Feeling disconnected to unreal
- Hot flashes or chills
- Abdominal pain or nausea
- Choking sensation
- Short breath
- Racing or pounding heart
While in the state of panic attack, many people perceive that they are in some kind of life threatening situation such as heart attack. The symptoms and the perceived cause of the symptom can be strong and convincing enough to trigger second panic attack. Thus, most of the sufferers evade being in certain situations as an attempt of prevention.
Phobias: Phobia can be described as persistent and excessive fear of specific activities, situation and/or objects. Therefore, people tend to avoid those activities, situation and/or objects that they fear. Thus, it prevents its sufferers from engaging in regular activities.
General Anxiety Disorder: The continuous and simultaneous worry in a person about different facets of his life and its impact on the day-to-day function of that person is classified as general disorder. Lack of concentration, chronic headache, irritability and sleep issues are common symptoms.
What to do?
Proper diagnosis is essential for anxiety treatment, if any symptom occurs in anyone. Psychotherapy and medication have been found encouragingly effective against the disorders.
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