An Overview of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a feeling of intense, extensive and persistent fear and worry about daily activities which is difficult to control and can get worse over time if left untreated. At times, anxiety involves repeated occurrences of sudden feelings of worry and fear that can escalate to high level within minutes (panic attacks). Some of the common symptoms of anxiety are an increased heart rate, sweating, restlessness, and trouble in concentrating, sleep disorder and many more.

As per latest data received from the World Health Organization, women are more prone to face anxiety in their daily activities as compared to their male counterpart. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the india affecting approximately 38 million adults aged above 18 years every year.

Occasional anxiety is expressed by every individual but symptoms of anxiety disorder include social anxiety disorder (social phobia), generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, or a combination of any of these. Most of the anxiety treatment centers in India, especially in Delhi offer medication, psychotherapy, or combinations of both to treat anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety

As mentioned in the introductory section, anxiety can of different types and thus the symptoms also vary depending on the type of anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety consists of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of restlessness, nervousness, or tension.
  • Feeling tired or easily fatigued.
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Having a sense of irritation.
  • Frequent headache, stomach ache, or muscle aches
  • Difficulty in controlling worry.
  • Sleep disorder.

Panic Disorder consists of the following symptoms:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Frequent sweating
  • Feelings of tremble.
  • Pain in Chest.
  • A sense of impending disaster
  • Feeling out of control

Social Anxiety Disorder consists of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent perspiration, blushing, or shaking.
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Frequent stomach ache
  • Stiff body posture or speaking in a low voice 
  • Having a hard time making eye contact or being around strangers
  • Feelings of embarrassment or fear that people are making negative judgments 

Phobia-related Disorder consists of the following symptoms:

  • May have unreasonable or undue concerns about encountering the feared object or situation.
  • Taking positive steps for avoiding the feared object or situation. 
  • Experiencing immediate and intense fear when encountering the feared object or situation. 
  • Endure inescapable things and circumstances with intense anxiety.

Social Anxiety Disorder consists of the following symptoms:

  • Avoid meeting new people.
  • Avoiding performance in public.
  • Avoid making/ taking phone calls.
  • Avoid use of public restrooms
  • Avoid seeking help in a store, restaurant, or other public place.
  • Avoid answering questions in public.
  • Avoid eating out in public.
  • Avoid taking part in an interview.

Separation Anxiety Disorder consists of the following symptoms:

  • Recurrent undue stress due to expectations or absence from home or loved ones.
  • Constant and excessive worry about losing parents or loved ones to illness or disaster
  • Constant fear of being lost or kidnapped and separated from parents and loved ones.
  • Refuse to leave home for fear of separation
  • Don’t want to be alone at home without a parent or loved one 
  • Reluctance or denial to sleep away from home when a parent or loved one is not around
  • Frequent nightmares of separation.
  • Common complaints of headaches, stomach pains, or other symptoms when anticipating separation from a parent or other loved one.

Causes of Anxiety

Though researchers have not yet identified the exact cause of anxiety, several factors contribute to generation of this mental disorder which are illustrated below:

Genetics: The genes of an individual play an important role in the occurrence of anxiety.

Brain chemistry: Faulty circuits in the brain may trigger fear and emotions related to anxiety disorder.

Environmental stress: Stressful events encountered by an individual during his/ her lifetime contribute to anxiety, which may include childhood abuse and neglect, sudden death of a family member or loved ones, or witnessing violence or being attacked.

Chemical imbalance: Long lasting or severe stress can alter the chemical balance controlling mood. Experiencing stress for a prolonged period can lead to anxiety.

Drug misuse: Certain drugs or substances are used to decrease certain anxiety symptoms of which alcohol and cocaine deserves special mention.

Medical condition: Certain medical problems namely heart diseases, thyroid condition, respiratory disorder, diabetes, etc can cause anxiety disorder or worsen anxiety symptoms. 

Diagnosis of Anxiety

Based on symptoms health care providers offering anxiety treatment in Delhi will examine the patient and ask questions about his/ her medical history. Psychologist in Delhi and adjoining areas can diagnose anxiety and provide psychotherapy. 

For diagnosis of anxiety, psychiatrist may:

Give a psychological evaluation: In this process, best psychiatrist in Delhi discuss the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of the patient to diagnose the problem and check for related complication. Anxiety comes in combination with other mental health problems viz. depression/ substance misuse making detection of the disorder more challenging.

Compare symptoms with the criteria in the DSM-5: Mental Health care providers use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for diagnosing anxiety disorder.

Treatment of Anxiety

Most mental clinics or hospitals offering anxiety treatment in Delhi prescribe psychotherapy/ medications or a combination of both depending on the condition of the patient. 

Psychotherapy: Also called talk therapy or psychological counselling, this treatment involves learning how the emotions of a patient affects his/ her behaviour. It is considered an effective treatment for anxiety disorder. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): This is the most effective form of psychotherapy that teaches an individual suffering from anxiety disorder to turn negative thoughts and behaviours into positive ones. In this treatment, the patient learn ways to approach and manage troublesome and fearful situation efficiently. Some clinics for anxiety treatment in Delhi also offer family CBT sessions as a long-term solution.

Medications: Various types of medications are applied for anxiety treatment in Delhi based on the type of anxiety disorder. 

Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants (SSRIs and SNRIs) are prescribed by best psychiatrists in Delhi to treat anxiety disorder. Escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluoxetine (Prozac) belong to the SSRIs family while duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) belong to SNRIs.

Bupropion: It is an anti-anxiety medication used to treat chronic anxiety and works in a different manner than SNRIs and SSRIs.

Benzodiazepines: Patients with persistent anxiety or panic feelings are prescribed such medicines. alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are examples of benzodiazepines. These are prescribed as an add-on to other anxiety treatment and should not be consumed for a prolonged period to avoid dependency.

Beta-blockers: For symptoms like increased heart rate, or shaking, such type of high blood pressure drug is prescribed by mental health care providers. These offer patients relaxation during acute anxiety attack.

Anticonvulsants: These medications are prescribed for epilepsy patients to prevent seizures. In addition, for treating anxiety disorder, psychiatrist at times prescribe these medicines. 

Antipsychotics: These medications are prescribed in low doses along with other treatments for better and fast result.

Buspirone (BuSpar): These medications are prescribed to treat chronic anxiety and to be consumed for atleast few weeks to get full symptom relief. 

Though medications and counselling can provide relief from anxiety disorder, few changes in your daily routine, for instance staying active, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, following a healthy food habit and getting enough sleep can do wonders and keep away all such disorders.


Anxiety Disorder

Occasional anxiety is expressed by every individual, but if the anxiety persists for longer durations it gets transformed into anxiety disorder.
The various coping factors can be avoiding loneliness, maintaining a social circle, leading healthy social life, physical exertion and physical fitness and turning to religious and spiritual practices.
Some of the common symptoms of anxiety are an increased heart rate, sweating, restlessness, trouble in concentrating, sleep disorder and many more.
Anxiety is not gender specific, but as per data received from World Health Organization women are more prone to face anxiety in their daily activities as compared to their male counterpart. Hence anxiety is more generalized in female population.
Generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder(social phobias), generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder or a combination of any of these are the various in which anxiety can manifest itself.
Holistic Treatment of Anxiety and Stress