Anxiety disorders affect more than four million Americans and are an excessive, illogical state of apprehension which paralyzes its victims into withdrawal.
Anxiety Disorders Defined
People that suffer from anxiety disorder are more prone to expecting the worst in any given situation, such as health, money, or work, going about life with a constant sense of dread or fear that is out of balance with what is there in reality. As this anxiety progresses, it begins to affect a person's state of mind to the point that it interferes with day to day living.
Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
There are a multitude of symptoms that are associated with anxiety disorder. They include: excessive, persistent worrying, inability to rest, an unrealistic outlook on problems and life in general, muscle tension, headaches, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and being easily frightened. In addition, many with anxiety disorder suffer from severe depression, and often abuse drugs and or alcohol to cope with their condition.
Diagnosing Anxiety Disorders
To diagnose anxiety disorder, a physician typically does a background check on the patient, checking their medical history and a thorough physical evaluation. There are no specific tests to diagnose anxiety disorder, however, there are signs that the doctor can look for that potentially indicate it in an individual. If these symptoms interfere with day to day living, then it is likely that anxiety disorder is the reason.
Causes Of Anxiety Disorders
Researchers have not pinpointed an exact cause of anxiety disorder but there are several factors, such as environment, family background, and environmental issues, that can contribute to the disorder in an individual. Studies have linked anxiety disorders to family history, establishing that anxiety disorder is passed on in families from one generation to the next. Abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain have also been found to lead to anxiety. Additionally, severe trauma, death of a loved on, divorce, and mental or physical abuse have all been found to result in anxiety disorder. Conversely, it has been established the the abuse of, or withdrawal of alcohol
, caffeine, and nicotine can heighten anxiety disorder.
Risk Factors Of Anxiety Disorders
Certain factors are more likely than other to lead to anxiety disorder. Women are twice more likely than men to suffer from anxiety disorder, and this has been in part attributed to hormonal factors in women. Age is also a factor and it has been proven that children and young adults have more instances of anxiety disorder than adults. Shy or hypersensitive people are also more likely than others to have anxiety disorder. And it has been proven through decades of research that anxiety disorder runs in families. The family link, combined with the family dynamics and psychological
influences contribute to the anxiety disorder that may be prevalent in a family.
Treatment And Medications For Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of drugs on the market today used to treat anxiety disorder in individuals. Many of these drugs are referred to as tranquilizers, because they give the user a feeling of calm and mild sedation. These drugs function by decreasing the physical symptoms associated with anxiety disorder, including muscle tension and restlessness.
Some of the drugs used for anxiety disorder, called benzodiazepines, include Xanax, Librium, Valium, and Ativan. Antidepressants on the market now that are used in treating anxiety disorder include Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
Typically, it takes a few weeks to a few months for these drugs to have an effect on an individual and they are used more for long-term treatment of anxiety disorder. Aside from medications, there is cognitive-behavioral therapy in which patients learn to change thought patterns and better process their feelings for better overall health. Other relaxation techniques and exercises have been shown to help sufferers of anxiety disorder.
Recovery From Anxiety Disorders
There is no exact road to recovery or immediate remedy for anxiety disorder. To recover successfully requires seeking out the right information, support groups and applying what is learned to everyday life over a long-term basis.
Prevention Of Anxiety Disorders
There is no definitive way to prevent anxiety disorder, however, there are ways to lesson symptoms and they include limiting the use of caffeine, and alcohol, using herbal remedies that can increase anxiety symptoms, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, stress management techniques and meditation have been proven to alleviate some symptoms.
Prevention Of Anxiety Disorders
There is no definitive way to prevent anxiety disorder, however, there are ways to lesson symptoms and they include limiting the use of caffeine, and alcohol, using herbal remedies that can increase anxiety symptoms, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, stress management techniques and meditation have been proven to alleviate some symptoms. To explore the options available in treating anxiety disorder, search our directory for a qualified physician today.