Anxiety Disorder

Blog Home December 05 2019 Uncategorized
The image shows a lady that suffering from anxiety disorder and she covers her face from her hand due to the anxiety disorder

Mental disorders in the world are coming highest of all disease today. It will the most common health problem in the future. Mental health is a part of the person’s well-being, healthy and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to spend a productive and meaningful life.

Anxiety disorders are a common mental disease in the present. There are common characteristics like excessive and persistent fear, worry, anxiety and related behavioural disturbances. It affects all age group. All people have experienced regarding fear, anxiety in some conditions. But it is not a mental illness. The symptoms go away after the situation settled down. Someone may not like that, their symptoms may not leave on their own and if left untreated. Anxiety involves the anticipation that a future threat may arise. So it’s better to know regarding the disease.

There are different types of anxiety. They are;

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The image shows a lady with an anxious face due to suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generally, most people feel fear, stress and anxiety on special occasions like facing the exam, interview, competition etc. This kind of anxiety can make you confident and interest, promoting you get the job done to perform at your best. Because of that anxiety not bad in every time and situations. But a person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder feels the most time anxious, feer and worried without control in their day to day works. They worry even when they need to choose something in the home. Due to that, they miss their normal works also. And they may abuse alcohol or other drugs.

Mostly affect to the women more than men. It can occur in all age group.

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Can not completely explain what is the reason for generalized anxiety disorder. But can be one or combination of these factors.

Medical Causes

Some times patients other medical condition may be linked to the anxiety disorder. Examples are heart diseases, diabetes, drugs or alcohol withdrawal, tumours that produce certain fight-or-flight hormones, Thyroid disorders, respiratory diseases etc.

Sometimes anxiety can be a side effect of certain medications.

Biological Factors

Some changes occur in brain functioning can be caused to anxiety disorder. Heredity also affects to occur disease. If a person’s blood relations may have the illness that person also more prone to affect the disease. Women are more vulnerable to affect disorder more than male. After the 30 years starts to appear characteristics.

Life Experiences

Persons social, psychological experience and environmental factors are highly affected to occur anxiety disorder more than heredity or biological factors. If someone has a stressful life experience like abuse, separate or death of a family member, there is a chance to he/she become a mentally ill person. Childhood stressful experiences are highly affected. When treated the anxiety patients, his/her family and social history are very important to identify the disease and treated them.


The lifestyle of each person changes from others. Eating patterns, relationships, a profession like things consider in this topic. Due to changes in each person lifestyle, their risk factors also differ from each other.

Eating pattern – Someone taking some foods as a habit. An example is if anyone takes foods high in caffeine, increase their feelings of worry, anxious and restlessness leading to the development of anxiety.

Profession – The profession can not be a punishment to the human. But this can be the main source of anxiety. They hope a high level of performance from the employee. It also can be affected badly. Some time loss of a job also is a cause to the anxiety.

Relationships – Though relationships should a cool, joyful thing for our lives, sometimes those become very painful and stressful. Women are twice as likely as men to develop a general anxiety disorder.

Psychological Factors

The personality of someone leads to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. They are very sensitive, nervous. Ability to tolerate is very poor. They cant face stressful life events, and more prone to become a Generalized Anxiety Disorder patient.

Brain Functions

The area of the brain which controls our emotional reactions is called the limbic system. There is a place called amygdala that controls our automatic feer responses. Shows elevated amygdala activity during the processing of negative emotions in Generalized Anxiety Disorder patients. The increased activity within the amygdala may affect the false interpretations of social behaviour for patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder patient.

Increasing the grey matter in large amount at the right putamen of the brain (The putamen is the outermost portion of the basal ganglia) is the character of GAD patients. Childhood malnutrition is a reason to increase grey matter in the putamen.

Signs and Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The first thing is anxiety, fear like symptoms can appear for more than six months. Most of the days in a particular time duration present symptoms. Because of the illness patient miss his/her normal works like education, relationships, profession. Normally these patients related to diseases like depression or social phobia.

  • Feeling fear, anxiety or worry most of the activities which you do in normal life
  • Can not stop those feelings though you want
  • Missing day to day activities due to anxiety feeling
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bowel complications
  • headache
  • Signs related to feer like sweating, increased heart rate

Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This is a treatable disorder. Psychological, self-help and medical treatments can be given. The aims of the treatments are patient gather with society, works and people without fear. According to the severity of the disease changes the treatment type. In mild anxiety disorder physicians help to decrease anxiety by changing your thinking pattern and lifestyle. In modern and severe illness there is need medical treatments also.

Psychotherapy Treatments

Psychotherapy or talking therapy help to the patient to change their thinking pattern and reduce anxiety. Talking with the patient is a better way to decide the next treatment and this a very common method in GAD. There are a few types of Psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A short-term structural treatment method. This is helpful to the therapist to identify the reason for anxiety and change the patient’s anxious life-style. In this method, patient educates regarding, how to prevent worries and solve problems, Relaxation exercises, how to control Physical symptoms of anxious.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a therapy which counselling and analysing the person’s clinical behaviour. Also a problem-focused talk therapy. The goal of the ACT id reduce the anxious thoughts, feelings and improve meaningful activities that align with chosen life values. Most suitable for old people.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is also a talk therapy which talks about patients relationships with his/her external world.

Interpersonal psychotherapy

A method used to resolve interpersonal problems. It is a time-limited, present-focused treatment. More effective when used in combination with psychiatric medications.

Medical Treatments

For moderate and severe generalized anxiety disorder needs medical treatments. There are several types of medication used for the disease condition. A qualified physician completely decides medications, that used to treat this. Here are the group of medications;


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) classes are commonly used as medical treatment. Examples; Escitalopram (Lexapro), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)

Anti-anxiety medication

These are called buspirone also. Examples; Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Escitalopram, Citalopram, Sertraline, Amitriptyline, Mirtazapine


Benzodiazepines use in some certain occasions like, acute anxiety to prevent symptoms on a short-term basis. Not suitable for patient with alcohol or drug abuse due to these drugs also having addiction characteristics.


Self-help therapy is a psychological therapy that patients can do in themself. Allow the patient to refer to data sources like books, internet to gain knowledge.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

The image shows a person who hide from society due to social anxiety disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder is called also social phobia. Can occur in all age groups though normally appear in teenage. Irrational fear in social situations like under others attentions and judgements, come. Normally most people have some fear in front of the public, this patient can’t do any work like conducting speech in front of an audience. When this fear affects normal life needs medical treatments. This occurs in two situations mainly such as performance situations and situations involving social interaction. Performance situations are conducting speech, present presentation.
Social interactions mean to cope with others like taking foods with friends. Some times this may affect in special situations only.

Causes for Social Anxiety Disorder

The exact cause for the disease is unknown. But believes it may occur due to the combination of environmental and genetic factors.

Genetic Factors of Social Anxiety Disorder

If parents have Social Anxiety Disorder that person has 30-40% of chance to occur the disease. A brain chemical called neurotransmitter serotonin, that regulates mood and emotions may lead to develops the social anxiety disorder. When increasing the serotonin increases the symptoms. The serotonin of a Social Anxiety Disorder patient produces consistently without changes.

Brain Functions

Brain part called amygdala is hyperactive in the patient with Social Anxiety Disorder. The amygdala is the brain part of which responsible for the physiological changes associated with the “flight-or-fight” response. Due to the increased activity of the amygdala raised heartbeat, sweating, deep Breathing, tight the muscle, raise blood sugar levels likewise symptoms can be seen.

Generally when raising the action of the amygdala (in anxiety patient) sent shift to the prefrontal cortex. Then it starts to react to the amygdala action and send signals to the amygdala that defuse its anxious response. But in Social Anxiety Disorder patients action of the amygdala more than the prefrontal cortex.

Environmental Factors

Several stressful life experiences occur in childhood can affect the disease condition. Here are some examples;

  • Childhood sexual abuse,
  • Tough parents
  • Teasing by society
  • Domestic violence
  • Death of or separate by a parent
  • Social withdrawal

Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms can be seen in three types. they are;

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Fear or worry about situations in which he/she may be judged
  • Fear of becoming embarrassed or humiliated
  • Fear of interacting or talking with strangers
  • Fear or worry that others will notice him/her anxiety
  • Fear or worry that others will notice him/her physical changes like sweating, trembling, blushing

Physical Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Blushing
  • Shaking hands
  • Shivering lips and cheeks
  • Raising heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Chills
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • SOB- Shortness of breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle tension

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Avoiding situations which have to go audience
  • Escape from social or performance-related situations
  • Follow safety behaviour in social or performance-related situations

Treatments of Social Anxiety Disorder

Severe social anxiety patients can’t live without fear and can’t cope with their personal life in-home or professional life. So they need treatments for a comfortable life. The treatments include medical treatments, psychotherapy and Complementary treatments. Treatments type or duration varies according to the severity of the condition. The best treatment is the combination of both medical treatment and psychotherapy.

Medical Treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder

There are several types of medications groups use to treat SAD.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Though there are medications, generally use first-line pharmacotherapy treatment. SSRIs are considered as the first type of drug. Side effects and tolerated ability are friendly to the sufferer. In the beginning, drugs start in small doses to decrease the risk of side effects and gradually increases. Examples are; Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine, Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram etc.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are antidepression take the treat to anxiety disorders also. Examples are; Venlafaxine, Duloxetine etc.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Though these drugs used to treat SAD in past, now not often use because of side effects. Examples are; Phenelzine, Tranylcypromine, Isocarboxazid etc.


These are decrease symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder. It slows down the central nervous system. Lorazepam, Diazepam, Clonazepam are examples.

Other Medications

Beta-blockers other anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs are used to treat to SAD.

Psychological Therapies for Social Anxiety Disorders

In this method can understand patients negative thoughts and those are important to help the patient to improve confidence for doing social activities.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most effective and common first-line treatment of psychotherapy for Social anxiety also. This modifies the patient’s thoughts and behaviour.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

is a method that developed according to Buddhist philosophy. It teaches the patient how to face anxious situations and acceptance of those things in discernment mind is better than neglect the situations.


is a therapy help to understand past issues that cause to the disease. It is important to treat patients unsolved issues related to the anxiety of his life.

Complementary treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder

Complementary treatments are considering about personal hygiene, dietary supplements, exercise, relaxation techniques, yoga etc.

Panic Disorder

The image shows the face of a lady which faced a panic attack due to panic disorder

This is a type of anxiety disorder can be randomly at any time, any place. This is characterized by extreme and frequent panic attacks. A panic attack is random, sudden periods of heightened fear that come on suddenly and reach their peak within a minute. Anyone can have faced to a panic attack in their lifetime but it is not panic disorder. There is no specific reason for this.

Causes for Panic Disorder

It is no exact cause. It can come with genes. Brains of the patient with panic disorder may especially sensitive to fear. Symptoms of the disorder are worse in people who taking alcohol or any drugs. Though have not evidenced, depressed patients also more prone to occur panic disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder

The symptoms of panic disorder can be miss understand and patients say that they having a heart attack. These symptoms disappear within five to ten minutes. If symptoms having about an hour it may be a heart attack. So caregivers should be careful when a patient complains.

  • Feelings of fear that occur suddenly
  • Heart palpitation
  • Increasing heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Numbness in the hands and feet
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breathing
  • Faintness
  • Uncontrollable fear
  • Fear for dye
  • Negative social experiences like social isolation, stigma

Treatments for Panic Disorder

Psychotherapy and medical treatments are the treatments for panic disorder also. Combination both of these are better. The physician can understand patients negative thoughts, unresolved problems, underline causes affect to the disease, how patient react to anxiety. And also differences of thoughts when him/her cure.


Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of psychotherapy that suitable for panic disorder to treat effectively. Hope to develop skills of the patient and change negative thinking patterns like false belief and behaviour.

Panic Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PFPP)

PFPP is a common popular method applied to treat panic disorder. Hope to detect bad experiences and emotional problems occur earlier that may have influenced the patient’s panic disorder and resolve them.

Medical Treatments

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are used to treat panic disorder. These drugs decrease the severity of the panic attack and anxiety feeling.


Antidepressants are applied to treat depression, bipolar affective disorder and anxiety disorder. These drugs (belong to the SSRI group) decrease the hardness of the panic attack and anxiety. The drugs of this group affect the neurotransmitters called serotonin (chemical messengers in the brain). SSRIs balance serotonin levels which control the people’s moods. They help prevent mood changes, decrease anxiety, and improve sleep. SSRIs drugs can increase the frequency of panic attacks and limit side effects. Examples; Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Citalopram and Paroxetine etc.

Anty-anxiety Drugs

Anty-anxiety drugs have a sedentary effect and slow down the central nervous system. Due to that, this can calm down the patient’s feelings and then reduce the symptoms.

  • Benzodiazepine – A safe and effective drug for the patient with panic disorder. These are reduced severity of the disorder. Due to the sedentary effect of the drug calm down the patient and relax. Ex: clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam etc


Agoraphobia relates to a panic attack. This is a type of fear of having a panic attack in a situation which can’t escape. The person with agoraphobia avoids the places and occasions in which a panic attack may occur due to they think escaping the situation (being in open area or crowd) may difficult while occurring attack symptoms. In most times, agoraphobia develops after having one or more panic attacks. People worry panic attack may occur again after one or two incidents. So they avoid the situations. These kinds of people are isolated from society. Finally, they can’t leave even at home. Agoraphobia can occur without panic disorder. But it is a very rare condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Agoraphobia

Physical Symptoms Agoraphobia

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Exessive sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Diarrhoea and upset stomach
  • Inability to control feelings
  • Dizziness
  • Dysphagia (difficult to swallowing)
  • Faintness

Cognitive Symptoms of Agoraphobia

  • Fear that panic attack will come in public
  • Fear that panic attack may life-threatening
  • Fear that patient’s feelings may can’t control in public
  • Thoughts that others will help him/her
  • Fear to live alone

Behavioural Symptoms of Agoraphobia

  • Avoiding specific places and situations that may lead to panic attacks, such as crowded and public places
  • Trying to stay at home and avoid going outside
  • Need a trusted person to leave home or go to public places

Treatment for Agoraphobia

If not treat to agoraphobia as soon as symptoms arise, can get worse. Combination of both medical treatments and psychotherapy is best. Family, supports and professional help are very important to these patients.


Psychotherapy helps to reduce fear. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most effective psychotherapy for agoraphobia. In this method, teaches to tolerate the fear and gather with previous activities which patient give up earlier due to anxiety.

Medical Treatment

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications used to treat agoraphobia. But anti-depressants are more effective.

Antidepressants – SSRIs are used commonly. Ex; Fluoxetine, Sertraline Citalopram, Paroxetine

Anti-anxiety medication – Anti-anxiety called as benzodiazepines are temporarily relieving anxiety symptoms, worry and fear. Generally used only for relieving acute anxiety in short period due to patients become dependent on them. The effectiveness of these drugs are can be seen in a short time period. The dose of these drugs is gradually decreased and not stop suddenly. Because if not, they may have withdrawal symptoms or their anxiety may return. Ex; Clonazepam, Diazepam, Lorazepam

For getting knowledge regarding anxiety disorders and other mental disorders search website.