Anxiety: Noun

  1. Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.
  2. Earnest but tense desire, eagerness
  3. Psychiatry – a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5™) states that anxiety disorders are excessive/persistent, continuing for extended periods of time – 6 months or longer.

Many of these disorders develop during childhood and without treatment continue into adulthood. They are more prominent in females than males, and diagnosed only after symptoms can’t be attributed to the physiological side effects of medications/drugs, or other medical problems better explained by a different mental disorder.

The DSM-5™ lists the different types of anxiety disorders as:

  1. Separation Anxiety Disorder
  2. Selective Mutism
  3. Specific Phobia
  4. Social Anxiety Disorder
  5. Panic Disorder
  6. Agoraphobia
  7. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  8. Substance/medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
  9. Anxiety Disorder due to another medical condition

We have all experienced anxiety at some point during our daily lives. Whether it happens at work, school, or home it usually happened when we are under some type of stress. Maybe you experienced it before a test or had a problem at work or home that required an important decision which caused you to feel anxious. These types of anxiety don’t last long and are over before we take the test or made that decision. And usually we realize everything turned out fine and there had not been cause for us to have experienced that anxiety. Maybe, if it has happened more than once you have developed techniques to help reduce/prevent the anxiety from happening again.

But for those who develop one of the anxiety disorders mentioned in the DSM-5™ their experiences don’t go away or become less overtime. Instead their symptoms get to the point where they can’t go about their day to day activities. Losing jobs, relationships, and even their identities. These are the people who need professional and medical help.

According to some of the signs and symptoms of these disorders are:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    1. Restlessness
    2. Easily fatigued
    3. Trouble concentrating
    4. Irritability
    5. Muscle tension
    6. Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
    7. Sleep problems
      1. Difficulty falling/staying asleep
      2. Restlessness
      3. Unsatisfactory sleep
  2. Panic Disorder
    1. Heart palpitations
    2. Sweating
    3. Trembling
    4. Shortness of breath
    5. Impending doom
    6. Out of control
  3. Phobia-related disorder
    1. Irrational/excessive worry about feared object/subject
    2. Go out of way to avoid object/subject
    3. Immediate and intense anxiety upon encountering feared object/situation
    4. Endure unavoidable objects/situations with intense anxiety
  4. Social anxiety disorder
    1. Intense fear of social/performance situations
    2. Worry about their behavior and how others will judge it
  5. Agoraphobia
    1. Intense fear of two or more of the following:
      1. Using public transportation
      2. Being in open spaces
      3. Being in enclosed spaces
      4. Standing in line or being in a crowd
      5. Being outside of the home alone
    2. People with agoraphobia will do what they can to avoid the above situations. In a real severe case, the subject will become housebound.
  6. Separation anxiety disorder
    1. Usually associated with children but adults can also be diagnosed.
      1. Hear about being taken away from people whom they are attached.
      2. Worry some harm will happen to those they are attached to
      3. Avoid being alone
      4. Nightmares about being separated
  7. Selective Mutism – RARE
    1. Person fails to speak in specific social situations despite normal language skills
    2. Usually occurs before age 5.
    3. Associated with:
      1. Extreme shyness
      2. Fear of social embarrassment
      3. Compulsive traits
      4. Withdrawal/cling behavior
      5. Temper tantrums
        1. Often diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.

What causes some people to develop these disorders? Why do only some develop them when we all experience anxiety in our lives?

            Researchers believe the answers lie in both genetic and environmental contributors.

How are the disorders treated?

            While each disorder will have different treatments that work best doctors will prescribe psychotherapy, medications, or in some cases both.

The different types of therapy are:

  • Psychotherapy – known as talk therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Helps by getting people to change the way they think, behave, react to the anxiety producing objects/situations.
  • Medications
    • Don’t cure anxiety disorders but can relieve the symptoms.
    • Different types of medications used:
      • Anti-anxiety
      • Anti-depressants
  • Support Groups
  • Stress Management Techniques

As you can see Anxiety is a lot more than just rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, talkative, and anxious. It is more serious than happening because you forgot to study for an exam or having financial problems. I’m not belittling those situations. They are very real and can be stressful, even scary at times. But those with true anxiety disorders experience that and a lot more and more often than you and I do.

Please, if you or a loved one do experience the anxiety disorder symptoms seek help from your medical provider.

For more information please click on the links below:

Worry gets out of control

When unwanted thoughts take over

When fear overwhelms

More than just shyness

Bullying exerts psychiatric effects into adulthood

3 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Nicely penned
    Stay wealthy healthy safe and happy

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