Essay on Anxiety Disorder
Number of words: 1606
In a world full of socialization and interaction, individuals are known to be affected by mental disorders resulting from environmental and genetic factors. These factors lead to a wide range of behavioral mental patterns, which affect the thinking and behavior of an individual. Therefore, anxiety disorder is a mental illness that accompanies extreme and persistent fear, worry, and anxiety that makes it difficult for an individual to perform their daily events. The challenge in accomplishing the daily events is associated with increased tension, making it hard for the individual to have a stable mental state. Besides, the common anxiety disorders are panic attacks and social phobia. Research shows that approximately 30% of the US population experience anxiety disorders, with women recording high figures. Moreover, scholars have noted that false alarms may be experienced frequently by people with anxiety disorders, causing their bodies to cultivate the flight-or-fight manner in an environment where there is no threat. Further, the false alarms result in uncued panic attack responses on the patients. Remarkably, the panic attack responses are initiated by life stressors such as pregnancy loss and loss or separation of a loved one.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
With proper medical attention and care, the devastating anxiety disorders can be managed. Therefore, individuals experiencing anxiety disorders show symptoms such as fatigue. Individuals experiencing the disorder often complain of feeling tired easily. The fatigue mostly happens due to the arousal or the hyperactivity associated with anxiety. However, the fatigue may be related to chronic hormonal effects of anxiety or be aftermath of other anxiety symptoms such as muscle tension or insomnia (Coon et al., 2018). Notably, fatigue is highly recognized to be an anxiety disorder when accompanied by extreme worrying. Secondly, excessive worrying is a significant symptom of anxiety disorder. In response to normal daily situations, hormones may trigger a worry inconsistent with the happening event increasing anxiety. The worrying is disturbing and severe, making it challenging for the affected individual to accomplish their daily tasks. Besides, excessive worrying is considered a symptom of anxiety disorder if it occurs almost daily for more than half a year.
Restlessness is another indicator commonly exhibited by people experiencing an anxiety disorder, and more so in teens and children. Besides, individuals experiencing the disorder may have recurring restlessness in at least six months, making it hard for them to desire to move. Remarkably, restlessness is the most looked at symptom by doctors when making anxiety disorder diagnoses. Moreover, circumventing social situations is evidence of anxiety disorder. For instance, approximately 12% of the adults in America have experienced social anxiety (Twenge et al., 2020). This symptom makes the affected individuals feel humiliated as they address or stand in front of other people, avoid social activities, worry about upcoming social events, and fear being judged by others in social situations. Moreover, individuals having social anxiety appear to be quiet and shy in a group of people and may have depression and low self-esteem.
Showing irrational fears is another anxiety disorder symptom. For instance, individuals express extreme fears towards certain things such as heights, some insects, injections, and closed places. This extreme fear prohibits an individual from functioning normally. Research shows that approximately 12.5% of the American population experience irrational fears in their lives. Lastly, individuals experiencing anxiety disorders show panic attacks (Twenge et al., 2020). The attacks accompany an intense fear, which results in shortness of breath, nausea, rapid heartbeat, trembling, and losing control. Besides, if panic attacks recur, they may be a good sign of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
For the necessary medical care, medical practitioners can examine and diagnose the disorder in the affected person by conducting a physical exam. The test helps establish whether the person has anxiety signs, which may be associated with primary medical conditions, hormonal changes, and alcohol or coffee consumption. In addition, for the doctor to diagnose the mental illness, he or she can order urine or blood tests (McDowell et al., 2019). This happens only when a medical ailment is assumed. Therefore, medical professionals can use the blood and urine test to establish whether the patient has hypothyroidism, which may be associated with the displayed symptoms. Moreover, a doctor may ask comprehensive questions to the affected individual concerning their prevailing medical history as well as any symptoms they may be experiencing. Further, doctors can utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria to analyze and diagnose the disorder.
Notably, doctors might conduct a psychological assessment to diagnose any fundamental cause of the symptoms shown by the patient. In this diagnosis, a doctor inquires from the affected individual about the symptoms they are experiencing, when they began, what period they have lasted for, and whether they experienced similar symptoms before. The psychological questionnaire may as well ask the patient the ways in which the symptoms affect their day-to-day functioning and activities (McDowell et al., 2019). Besides, scales such as Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Social Phobia Inventory, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, and Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale are used to evaluate the patient’s anxiety level.
Treatment and Psychological theories
The anxiety disorder treatment entails a blending of behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and medication (Bandelow et al., 2017). For instance, psychological therapy is a typical way of treating anxiety. Besides, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly advised in the treatment of anxiety disorder. The CBT comprises efforts to alter and modify the thinking patterns of the affected individual. For instance, CBT can be applied by the counselor, who advises and provides strategies in which the affected person can change their way of thinking, and the meaning they accord to certain events in their lives (Carl et al., 2020). Besides, CBT is applied when addressing panic attacks, depression, social phobia, insomnia, and chronic pains. Therefore, this helps the patient cease fearing that the worst may happen to them; delve into confronting their fears rather than dodging them, and understand, accept, and describe themselves instead of judging themselves. Further, CBT is highly employed where the patient is continually exposed to things that cause them fear, for modeling them.
In addition, behavior therapy can be employed in the treatment of anxiety disorder. The behavior therapy theory is used to model the affected individual’s new behaviors, which they can employ as they respond to their fears, worries, and emotions. This theory is applied by employing negative and positive reinforcement and negative and positive punishment to change the patient’s behavior (Hebert & Dugas, 2019). For instance, the patient is advised to replace maladaptive responses such as fear with adaptive behaviors such as confronting fears or showing courage to overcome. Additionally, the modeling technique employed in Behavior therapy helps individuals imitate the behavior of others facing similar situations as them. Therefore, Behavior therapy is successful as it helps individuals adopt positive responses to different situations.
Lastly, medication can be used to cure anxiety disorders. This may involve medication therapy, which may entail administering medicine such as benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and tricyclics. Besides, this therapy ensures successful treatment of the disorder as it helps prevent some mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. For instance, antidepressants are useful in curing depression. Therefore, medication therapy treats anxiety disorder by providing medication necessary in countering the mental illness.
Summing up, anxiety disorder is associated with extreme and persistent fear, worry, and anxiety that limit the performance of daily activities of the affected individual. The disorder’s most common forms are panic attacks and social phobia, which have claimed approximately 30% of the American population. Besides, research shows that women are the most affected individuals of the disorder compared to men. Notably, the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include fatigue, restlessness, circumventing social events, extreme worries, irrational fears, and panic attacks, among others. Remarkably, in diagnosing the disorder, strategies such as administration of the psychological assessment, conducting a physical exam, which entails urine and blood test by doctors, and utilizing the DSM-5. Furthermore, in treating the disorder, medication, behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy are utilized to ensure proper treatment. This leads to the employment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Behavioral therapy theories to ensure modification and change in the behavior of the patient for their benefit. Therefore, these theories are highly recommended for positive changes in the patient’s conduct as well as their mental health.
Coon, D., Mitterer, J. O., & Martini, T. S. (2018). Introduction to psychology: gateways to mind and behavior. Cengage Learning.
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Twenge, J. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2020). US Census Bureau assessed the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in 2019 and during the 2020 COVID‐19 pandemic. Depression and anxiety, 37(10), 954-956.
McDowell, C. P., Dishman, R. K., Gordon, B. R., & Herring, M. P. (2019). Physical activity and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. American journal of preventive medicine, 57(4), 545-556.
Bandelow, B., Michaelis, S., & Wedekind, D. (2017). Treatment of anxiety disorders. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 19(2), 93.
Hebert, E. A., & Dugas, M. J. (2019). Behavioral experiments for intolerance of uncertainty: Challenging the unknown in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 26(2), 421-436.