Feeling anxious is a normal part of our life. We all feel anxious every now and then, at one time or another. For example, having to present a project in front of a class, having dinner for the first time with the in-laws, or expecting a baby may make anyone feel anxious. It’s perfectly okay. It is when the anxiety is persistent, unexplainable, and intense that it interferes with an individual from having a normal day and disrupts one’s life goals, then it becomes a disorder. It’s when the autonomic nervous system is stimulated (Warren and Zgourides, 164).
It is when a person worry so much that it’s difficult on one’s concentration because the focus goes from worrying about one thing to worrying about another thing (Myers, 462). To protect themselves from the anxiety, the people then builds up mechanisms for avoidance by thinking of the things over and over, or perform a ritual. According to Sherman, environmental conditions, and psychological is a factor combinations that include social and genetic disposition, (Widerhold, 31).
Somatic symptoms of an anxiety disorder are dizziness, insomnia, weakness, fatigue, dry mouth, palpitations, diarrhea, nausea, hyperventilation, chest pain, rapid heart rate, paresthesias, restlessness, and frequent urinating (Widerhold, 33). Anxiety disorder is an exaggerated and excessive feeling of worry. (Warren and Zgourides, 164). The worries are often unrealistic and unreasonable. The person often worries about family, money, health, or work excessively (p165). It really is an unpleasant feeling.
High level of an anxiety disorder leads to hypertension, fatal heart attack, coronary heart disease, and a risk of myocardial infarction. In addition, there is a correlation between sudden death on heart attack and high anxiety. (Widerhold, 33). Anxiety disorder is considered the one with the biggest health problem in the United State (Winning Ghinassi, 7).
People in the United States who suffered from an anxiety disorder at one point in their life are about 60 million and counting (Winning Ghinnassi, 7). Two-thirds of women have an anxiety disorder (Myers, 462). Groups that are in lower socioeconomic, divorced or separated women, who are below the age of 45 have the largest incidence of the illness (Widerhold, 4).
According to Sherman, ones who had suffered with an anxiety disorder have had abdominal pain, insomnia, or chest pain by 33%. As well as joint or limb pain, fatigue, or headache (Widerhold, 4). Treatments for an anxiety disorder are exposure, role-play or modeling, which are behavioral. Thought stopping/recording, mental distraction, psychodynamic, medication, biofeedback, and family therapy are all cognitive, which is also another type of treatment, according to Goisman (p5).
According to Moffitt, children who were inhibited and maltreated often develop an anxiety disorder when they get older. However, the anxiety disorder becomes rare by the age of 50. Emotions tend to mellow as years passes according to Rubio and Lopez-Ibor. (Myers, 462).
According to Sigmund Freud, there are two types of anxiety disorders: anxiety hysteria and anxiety neurosis. The difference between the two is that the cause of anxiety hysteria is psychogenic, and the cause of anxiety neurosis isn’t psychogenic. Anxiety neurosis is extremely painful from the start, which is also known as panic attack or panic anxiety. And there is free-floating anxiety, which is when the anxiety happens slowly (Wolfe, 15).
Moreover, phobic reaction and anxiety reaction are the two disorders of the anxiety hysteria and anxiety neurosis (Wolfe, 18). Phobic neurosis means phobic reaction, which is an extreme fear of a situation or of an object (p18). Agoraphobia, an irrational fear of open spaces or public is a type of a phobic disorder (p18). On the other hand, panic disorder is a state of an anxiety (p18).
Panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety, and phobic avoidance behavior are what behavioral theorists consider as what agoraphobia consist of. Anticipatory anxiety and phobic avoidance are the main focus of behavioral theorists over panic attacks when treating an individual. It was discovered that panic attacks were able to block off without affecting generalized anxiety by antidepressant migraine (Wolfe, 18).
Furthermore, other types of anxiety disorders are obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (Wininning Ghinassi, 7). Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a repetitive thoughts and actions (Myers, 463). Phobia is an irrational persistent fear and avoids certain object, situation, or activity (p462). Post-traumatic stress disorder is when a person is haunted by memories and has nightmares after a traumatic experience (p464).
The common treatment for an anxiety disorder is pharmacological. But cognitive therapy, medication, behavioral therapy or a combination of them are the most effective treatment for an anxiety disorder. Prozac, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor is the most common choice because it’s not that addictive. Also, it has only a few of side effects. An anxiety may not be completely be eliminated by medication, but it reduces the anxiety’s level of intensity (Widerhold, 38)
Furthermore, beta blockers, anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin, antipsychotic, anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines and azapirones are the other effective medications (Winning Ghinassi, 98). They’re just as effective as antidepressants, such as serotonin-norephinphrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), SSRIs and retricyclics. In addition, the new miracle drug is Prozac. Prozac also helps patients deal with life’s stresses aside from treating depressive and anxiety disorders. It has become more popular than Valium. Then there’s also Paxil, but it has an unpleasant withdrawal syndrome (p99).
Clearly, it takes more than willpower of an individual to overcome an anxiety disorder. Also, understanding of anxiety disorder has progressed throughout the years and has led to more options for effective treatment, as well as for comprehensive assessment.