Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Allied Sciences, Nehru Nagar, New Delhi

Anxiety and Panic

We all feel anxious at some point or the other. It could be an exam, an interview, or even meeting your in-laws. But normal anxiety appears to be limited in time and correlated with any unpleasant situation or occurrence. The type of anxiety felt by people with anxiety disorders is more severe or chronic, not always related to a particular obstacle, and affects their quality of life and day-to-day functioning.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder ( GAD) is a long-term disorder that can make you feel nervous about a wide variety of circumstances and problems, rather than one single instance.

  • Panic disorder – a condition where you have frequent, daily panic attacks.
  • Phobias – extreme or irrational fear of something, such as an animal or a place.
  • Agoraphobia – many phobias linked to conditions such as leaving home, being in crowds, or traveling alone.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder - a disease that typically includes intrusive thoughts or impulses, and excessive behavior.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – a condition caused by frightening or distressing events

Other anxiety related disorders:

Mixed anxiety and depressive disorder:

individuals with mixed anxiety and depression show a mix of both anxiety and depression which are comparatively mild and neither set of symptoms can be considered separately.

Although each anxiety disorder has its own unique characteristics, there are some typical symptoms, including:

Physical:

panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, pounding of the heart, squeezing of the throat, rapid breathing, restlessness, or feeling nervous, wound and edgy, trembling, muscular tension, gastric discomfort, disturbed sleep and appetite,

Psychological:

intense anxiety, concern, Fear of losing control/ Specific of something going wrong, or obsessive thought, difficulty in focusing or concentrating,. Irritability

Behavioral:

avoiding circumstances that make you feel nervous. This could have an effect on research, job or social life.

These are only a variety of symptoms that you may encounter. They're not built to give you a diagnosis as you'll need to see a Psychiatrist and Psychologist – but they can be used as a reference.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses. Phobias involve both fear and prevention. Avoidance can reduce the consistency and severity of distress and impairment in people who have specific phobias. However, because of their early onset and strong persistence over time, these are significant. Statistics show that the lifetime prevalence of different kinds of anxiety disorders around the world varies from 3% to 15%, with height and animal fears and phobias the most common

Psychological interventions (also known as talking therapies) will help you adjust your thoughts and habits so that you can manage and reduce excessive anxiety. Treatments such as Exposure Therapy, hypnotherapy combined with CBT have been found to be effective in many case studies. Specific medications for anxiety symptoms can be prescribed by a Psychiatrist. Call us for more information, or schedule an appointment with a consultant.

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