The disorder is diagnosed when affected persons show excessive assessment of danger in their environment. As a result they tend to either not react at all or they react with an excessively protective response. There is accompanying impairment in the performance of normal duties. Put in other words, persons with anxiety disorder exhibit abnormal responses to normal situations as opposed to other people who respond normally to abnormal situations.
There are a number of different subtypes of the disorder recognized. They include obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, panic disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders, PTSD, specific phobias, social phobia and agoraphobia. There are minor differences in the symptomatic patterns as well as the therapies that are used. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one in which the client is anxious about a wide range of activities or events. They cannot identify the exact events.
GAD is usually associated with other comorbidities such as depression. There may be complaints such as generalized fatigues, chronic pain and insomnia. The symptoms are typically intermittent and tend to recur even after treatment. Patients become alcoholics after some time and a number of them even contemplate suicide. It is important that therapy is instituted promptly. The available modalities include hypnosis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, systemic desensitization and hypnosis among others.
Persons that have persistent intense fear that is associated with a compelling need to flee so as to avoid the phobic object or event should be evaluated for social phobias. Such people are extremely fearful of being publicly embarrassed by engaging in impulsive acts. As is the case with GAD, this fear interferes with normal routine and affects social activities and relationships. This phobia is the commonest of all phobias that exist and has a lifetime prevalence of about 8%.
Specific phobias are fears of specific objects or situations. These include animals, insects, heights of buildings and dental procedures among others. Simple phobias do not always impair normal functioning and many people with this problem lead near normal lives. The most important thing is to avoid the phobic situation. The onset is in the years of early childhood. Treatments for this therapy include pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
It is important that proper investigations are done. This is because there may be medical conditions that are presenting with these symptoms. This means that one has to undergo a physical and have some tests done. Imaging studies using the CT scan and MRI are some of the most sensitive investigative modalities.
There are many types of anxiety disorders that exist all with unique symptoms and treatments. The process of finding the effective therapy starts with classifying the disorder. Therapy is administered by psychiatrists, psychologists and other trained professionals.
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