Anxiety disorders are characterised by an abnormal amount of fear, worry and anxiety when confronted with a certain situation. There are many forms of anxiety order with all being potentially debilitating for the suffer.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Some worry and anxiety is a normal Human function, however excess anxiety and anxiety without a cue is classified as GAD. In order to be treated for GAD, sufferers must show signs for a period of 6 months or longer, this is to eliminate certain life situations that may be causing GAD.
What treatments are available for GAD?
When an individual believed they are suffering from GAD, the first place to start is a doctor. A doctor may refer the patient to a Psychologist and or prescribe the patient with a class of drug called Benzodiazepines. The most common drugs from this class are Valium (Diazepam) and Xanax (Alprazolam).
Agoraphobia is defined by the fear of having a panic-attack or panic like symptoms in a situation that is either difficult or embarrassing to escape. These situations are but not limited too wide open spaces, social situations or crowds or uncontrolled social situations. In response to a traumatic event, anxiety may interrupt the formation of memories and disrupt the learning processes, resulting in dissociation.
What treatments are available for Agoraphobia?
Treatments for Agoraphobia can include Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) conducted by a qualified Psychologist. Psychopharmaceutical treatments is the most common form of treatment, with antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) being the most effective.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is characterised by the fear of social situations and social situations that are uncontrollable. The sufferer will feel an overwhelming fear and discomfort when in a social situation. According to the US National Comorbidity Survey, social anxiety is the number one most common anxiety disorder and is also the third most common mental disorder in the U.S.
What treatments are available for Social Anxiety Disorder?
Treatments for Social anxiety are very similar to treatments for other Anxiety disorders with Behavioural Cognitive therapy (CBT) being the most effective. When CBT is coupled with an antidepressant, most patients will see a significant improvement within 6 months.
Phobias are defines as a significant fear of a object or situation in which the sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid. Psychologists and Psychiatrists classify Phobias into three categories. Social phobias, Specific phobias (Such as spider, snakes ect...) and Agoraphobia.
Panic disorder is the an anxiety disorder where the sufferer has panic attacks, either with or without a cue. Sufferers can wake up in the middle of the night having a panic attack or it can be triggered by a cue such as violence. Symptoms of a panic attack are a rapid heartbeat, palpitations, sweating and an extreme feeling of discomfort. Often the feeling is so extreme that the person will feel as though they are dying, this feeling can make the panic attack worse.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a condition which is seen after a traumatic even has occurred. Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD)
SAD is a psychological disorder where an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (like a father, mother, grandparents, and brothers or sisters). SAD is most commonly seen in children, the child may refuse to go to places such as school out of fear of separation.
If you have ever experience or seen someone experience an Anxiety related disorder you will understand the debilitation that follows. If you feel you have a disorder listed above, contact a general practitioner as soon as possible as they will be able to work out the best treatment for you. There are also many online resources to those who suffer anxiety. In today's day and age there is no reason to let an anxiety disorder go untreated.