A typical complaint from a patient suffering from anxiety disorder to a Psychologist: “Sometimes I feel very worried, tensed and anxious, however, at other times, I am calm and cool. It happens like waves. I am not able to control my mind. I am always thinking about something or the other. Worrying thoughts can strike at any moment and fill my mind with all kinds of weird feelings. Even on the most pleasant and calm days, thoughts will be racing in my head. Several worries arise in my brain like, did something go wrong? How will I manage without help? Did I hurt someone? Etc. It makes me feel tired, irritable, nervous and exhausted. I can’t sleep well at night or function properly at work.”
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is nothing but worrying, thinking too much or getting scared. It is our body’s natural response to some stressful situation. It’s a feeling of apprehension about what is about to come. All of us experience some anxiety in situations like going for an interview, first day of school/college, some loved one falling sick, getting hurt etc. Anxiety or stress during above situations is quiet normal and short-term. However, if your feelings of anxiety are lasting for as long as 6 months and are interfering with your daily life you may be suffering from anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders often involve frequent episodes of intense worry and fear that may reach a peak within short time (Panic Attacks). These intense feelings of worry and fear disturb your daily life, are difficult to control and can last long. This can make you avoid situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms of anxiety disorder can start in childhood or teenage and continue into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders can include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias and
- Separation anxiety disorder
Sometimes anxiety may result from a medical condition that may need treatment
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Sweating or trembling
- Feeling restless, nervous or tense
- Having a fear of impending danger
- Weakness or tiredness
- Trouble concentrating in present
- Difficulty sleeping
- Uncontrolled thoughts
- Experiencing stomach problems
- Headache and chronic pain
- Social isolation
- Addiction or substance abuse
- Poor quality of life
How anxiety disorders are diagnosed?
To diagnose an anxiety disorder, your psychologist may:
Perform a psychological evaluation: It involves discussing your feelings, thoughts and behavior to find the cause and check for related complications. Anxiety usually occurs along with other psychological issues like depression, which can make the diagnosis more difficult.
How is Anxiety treated?
The 2 main methods for treating anxiety are psychotherapy and medicines. Usually patients benefit the most from a combination of the two. It may take some time for your psychologist to discover which treatment method is best for your specific case.
Also known as psychological counselling or talk therapy, it involves working with a psychologist to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. It is an effective treatment option for anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective therapy for treating anxiety disorders. It is a short-term treatment which focuses on teaching specific skills to reduce your symptoms and slowly return to your daily activities.
A psychiatrist can prescribe medicines which can reduce the intensity of anxiety symptoms. Several types of medicines are available which can treat anxiety however, they are prescribed depending on your specific condition and symptoms.
If you or your loved one is always worried, looks tensed, can’t sleep at night and has lost interest in daily activities then he/she might be suffering from anxiety disorder. At RxDx, we have well-qualified and highly skilled psychologist who have experience in diagnosing, managing and treating anxiety disorders. They can even refer you to a psychiatrist if you need medications. Therefore, book an appointment with a psychologist at any branch of RxDx Multispeciality clinic, Bengaluru!
Dr Manjari Bansal– Content Writer, RxDx
Inputs given by,
Ms. Trisha Ray – MS (Clinical Psycology), RxDx
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