Anxiety Disorders Essay Research Paper We ve

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Anxiety Disorders Essay, Research Paper We ve all experienced minor anxiety at some point in our lives – It s the butterflies you feel in your stomach before a big date, the tense feeling you get when you know you re in danger. This stress response, or fight/flight response is what helps us deal with everyday problems and situations. In healthy individuals, this response is provoked by a genuine threat or challenge to help deal with a particular situation. Anxiety, however, is excessive or inappropriate arousal characterized by feelings of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear. Although these feelings are often not attributable to a real threat, they can paralyze the individual into withdrawal and fear. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric condition in the United

States. About 25 million Americans will experience a form of anxiety disorders at some point during their life. Although treatment is usually very effective, only a quarter of those who experience this problem seek help. Anxiety disorders are classified into five different categories: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Phobic Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects about 10 million Americans. It is characterized by a more-or-less constant state of tension and anxiety, which lasts more than six months. It was extremely difficult to control worry. Sometimes, they think something terrible will happen even though there’s no reason to think that it will. They may also worry about health, money,

family or work. They may feel tense without knowing why. A diagnosis of GAD is confirmed when three or more of the following symptoms are present: feeling on edge or very restless; feeling tired; having difficulty concentrating; feeling irritable; having muscle tension; experiencing sleep disturbances. These symptoms should occur for more than six months and impair normal functioning. Panic Disorder is characterized by periodic attacks of anxiety or terror, which usually last 15 to 30 minutes. The frequency of the attacks can vary from having daily attacks followed by weeks or months of remission from having frequent attacks (every week, for example) that occur for months. Panic attacks can occur spontaneously or in response to a particular situation. If the patient associates

fear with harmless circumstances surrounding the original attack, similar circumstances later on may recall the anxiety and trigger additional panic attacks. During a panic attack a person feels intense fear or discomfort with at least four or more of the following symptoms: rapid heart beat; sweating; shakiness; shortness of breath; a choking feeling; dizziness; nausea; fear of dying; fear of going insane; either hot flashes or chills; chest pains. A diagnosis is made when a person experiences at least two repeated, unexpected attacks followed by at least one month of fear that another will occur. Sometimes a patient will experience an attack with only one or two of the symptoms. These attacks are called limited-symptom attacks. They may either be residual symptoms from a

full-blown attack, or precursors to a major attack. Phobias are overwhelming and irrational fears. Although they are very common, phobias can vary in severity. In most cases the phobic situation can be avoided, but in some cases the anxiety caused can be incapacitating. One of the most common phobias is agoraphobia. This is especially seen in patients with panic disorders. Agoraphobia is characterized by a paralyzing terror of being in places or situations where the patient feels there is no escape. This can usually cause patients to avoid public places, because they no longer feel safe. Social phobia is the fear of being publicly embarrassed and scrutinized. The symptoms can range from mild anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Sometimes social phobia is evident by extreme