Doctor's Notes on Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear, and/or worry. An anxiety disorder is when anxiety reactions interfere with normal functions and sleep. Signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder include panic attacks (associated with four of the following):
- short of breath,
- sense of choking,
- feel like your mind is blank,
- feel like you are detached from the world,
- fear of dying,
- chills, and
- hot flashes.
Signs and symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder are defined as excessive, unrealistic, and difficult to control worry over a period of a least 6 months and are associated with three of the following:
- tires easily,
- difficulty concentrating,
- muscle tension, and
- sleep problems.
- reliving trauma (flashbacks) or having nightmares,
- being hypervigilant,
- being depressed or gloomy,
- avoiding activities, places, and people, and
- having difficulties with sleeping and concentration.
Anxiety disorders may be caused or triggered to occur by mental conditions (stress at work, viewing or participating in a traumatic event), physical conditions (angina, congestive heart failure), drugs (heroin withdrawal), and/or a combination of all of these.
What Are the Treatments for Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders have two main treatment methods:
- Psychotherapy: You and a therapist reduce the anxiety symptoms by learning skills to reduce your worries and gradually return to normal.
Often, treatments by your doctors may use both psychotherapy and medicine.
Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder) : Test Your Mental Health IQ QuizQuestion
Panic attacks are repeated attacks of fear that can last for several minutes.See Answer
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.