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Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a common occurrence in life. Many people are concerned about their health, finances, or family problems. On the other hand, anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. Anxiety does not go away in people with an anxiety disorder, and it can worsen over time. Symptoms can disrupt daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.
Anxiety disorders are classified into several types: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobia-related disorders.

Symptoms and Signs
Anxiety Disorder in General
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by a persistent sense of anxiety or dread that interferes with daily life. It is not the same as having occasional worries or experiencing stress due to stressful life events. GAD patients experience frequent anxiety for months, if not years.

GAD symptoms include:

Are you feeling restless, tense, or tense?
Being easily tired and having trouble concentrating
Being agitated
Are you experiencing headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or other unexplained pains?
Controlling worries is difficult.
Sleeping issues, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep
Anxiety Disorder
Panic attacks are frequent and unexpected in people with panic disorder. Panic attacks are brief periods of intense fear, discomfort, or a sense of losing control, even when there is no obvious threat or trigger. Not everyone who has a panic attack develops panic disorder.
Anxiety Disorder
A person may experience the following symptoms during a panic attack:

Heart pounding or racing
shivering or tingling
Chest ache
Fear of impending disaster
Feelings of being powerless
People with panic disorder frequently worry about when the next attack will occur and actively try to avoid future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors associated with panic attacks. Panic attacks can happen as frequently as several times per day or as infrequently as a few times per year.

Anxiety Disorder in Social Situations
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by an intense and persistent fear of being observed and judged by others. People suffering from social anxiety disorder may experience intense fear of social situations that appears to be beyond their control. This fear may prevent some people from going to work, attending school, or performing daily tasks.

People suffering from social anxiety disorder may experience the following:

Shivering, blushing, or sweating
Heart pounding or racing
Body rigidity or speaking in an overly soft voice
Difficulty making eye contact or being around strangers
Self-consciousness or fear that others will judge them negatively
Disorders associated with phobias
A phobia is a strong aversion or fear of a specific object or situation. Although being anxious in some cases is understandable, the fear that people with phobias experience is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the situation or object.

People who have a phobia:

Fear of encountering the feared object or situation may be irrational or excessive.
Actively avoid the feared object or situation.
When confronted with a feared object or situation, experience intense anxiety immediately.
With extreme anxiety, endure unavoidable objects and situations.
Phobias and phobia-related disorders are classified into several categories:

Specific Phobias (also known as simple phobias): As the name implies, people with a particular phobia have a strong aversion to or anxiety about certain objects or situations. Specific phobias include, for example, the fear of:

Flying \sHeights
Spiders, dogs, and snakes are examples of specific animals.
Getting injections
Social anxiety disorder (formerly known as social phobia): People who suffer from social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety about, social or performance situations. They are concerned that actions or behaviors associated with their concern will be judged negatively by others, causing them to feel embarrassed. People who suffer from social anxiety frequently avoid social situations due to this worry. Social anxiety disorder can appear in various settings, including the workplace and school.

Agoraphobia is characterized by an intense fear of two or more of the following situations:

Making use of public transportation
Being out in the open
Being in confined spaces
Being in a crowd or standing in line
Being alone outside of the house
People with agoraphobia frequently avoid these situations because they believe leaving will be difficult or impossible if they experience panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. Individuals suffering from the most severe form of agoraphobia may become housebound.

Separation anxiety disorder: While it is commonly assumed that separation anxiety affects only children, adults can also be diagnosed with it. People with separation anxiety disorder are afraid of being separated from those they care about. They frequently worry that something bad will happen to their attachment figures while they are separated. This fear causes them to avoid separation from their attachment figures and being alone. Separation anxiety patients may have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or experience physical symptoms when separation occurs or is expected.

Selective mutism is a relatively uncommon disorder associated with anxiety. Selective mutism occurs when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills. Selective mutism is most common in children under five and is frequently associated with extreme shyness, fear of social embarrassment, compulsive traits, withdrawal, clinging behavior, and temper tantrums. People with selective mutism are commonly diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.

Risk Elements
Researchers have discovered that both genetic and environmental factors influence the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder.

Each type of anxiety disorder has its own set of risk factors. However, some general risk factors are as follows:

Childhood shyness, distress, or nervousness in new situations
Stressful and negative life events or environmental events
Anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives
Anxiety symptoms can be caused or exacerbated by the following:

Some medical conditions, such as thyroid issues or heart arrhythmia
Caffeine, as well as other substances/medications
If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, a physical examination by a healthcare provider may help them diagnose your symptoms and find the best treatment for you.

Therapies and Treatments
Psychotherapy, medication, or both are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and you should consult a healthcare provider to determine which treatment is best for you.

Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy,” can help people suffering from anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy must be directed at your specific anxieties and tailored to your needs to be effective.

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy that can help people suffering from anxiety disorders. It teaches people different ways of thinking, acting, and reacting to situations to make them feel less anxious and fearful. CBT has been extensively researched and is considered the gold standard in psychotherapy.

Exposure therapy is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) used to treat anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underpinning an anxiety disorder to help people engage in previously avoided activities. Exposure therapy is occasionally used in conjunction with relaxation exercises.

Therapy for Acceptance and Commitment

Acceptance and commitment therapy is another treatment option for some anxiety disorders (ACT). When it comes to negative thoughts, ACT approaches them differently than CBT. It employs mindfulness and goal-setting techniques to alleviate discomfort and anxiety. Because ACT is a newer form of psychotherapy treatment than CBT, there are less data on its effectiveness.

Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help alleviate their symptoms. A healthcare provider, such as a psychiatrist or primary care physician, can prescribe anxiety medication. Some states also permit specialized training psychologists to prescribe psychiatric drugs. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines), and beta-blockers are the most commonly used medications to treat anxiety disorders.


Antidepressants are commonly used to treat depression but can also help with anxiety disorders. They may allow your brain to use certain chemicals that better control your mood or stress. You may need to try several antidepressant medications before finding one that relieves your symptoms while causing manageable side effects.

Antidepressants can take several weeks to begin working, so giving the medication a chance before drawing conclusions about its efficacy is critical. If you start taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them without consulting a doctor. Your provider can assist you in gradually and safely decrease your dose. Blocking them suddenly can result in withdrawal symptoms.

Children, teenagers, and adults under 25 may experience increased suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressant medications, particularly in the first few weeks or when the dose is changed. As a result, people of all ages taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, particularly during the first few weeks of treatment.

Medications for Anxiety

Anxiety, panic attacks, and extreme fear and worry can all be alleviated with anti-anxiety medications. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used anti-anxiety medications. Although benzodiazepines are sometimes used as first-line treatments for GAD, they have both advantages and disadvantages.

Benzodiazepines are effective at relieving anxiety and act faster than antidepressant medications. However, some people develop a tolerance to these medications and require increasing doses to achieve the same effect. Some people become completely reliant on them.

To avoid these issues, doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines for short periods.

When people stop taking benzodiazepines abruptly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, or their anxiety may return. As a result, benzodiazepines should be gradually tapered off. Your provider can assist you in progressively and safely decrease your dose.


Although beta-blockers are most commonly used to treat high blood pressure, they can also help with physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart, shaking, trembling, and flushing. When taken for short periods, these medications can help people keep physical symptoms under control. They can also be used “as needed” to reduce acute anxiety, including preventing predictable performance anxiety.

Choosing the Best Medicine

Some drugs may be more effective for specific anxiety disorders, so people should consult their doctor to determine which medication is best for them. Caffeine, over-the-counter cold medicines, illicit drugs, and herbal supplements may aggravate anxiety disorder symptoms or interact with prescribed medication. People should consult a healthcare provider to learn which substances are safe and which should be avoided.

Choosing the right medication, dosage, and treatment plan should be done under an expert’s supervision and based on a person’s needs and medical situation. You and your provider may try several medications before you find the right one.

Choose one anxiety disorder, besides GAD, that you are not as familiar with, and share what you have learned after learning more about it either from our recommended materials or your own research.
2. What are some other treatments besides medications and CBT that you have seen/recommended in practice that can be used and are well-researched for treatment in anxiety disorders in children and or adolescents?

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