Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are mental health issues that can be debilitating and have a significant impact on an individual’s life. It is estimated that around 45–50 million people in India are affected by this condition, making it one of the most common mental illnesses after depression . Anxiety disorders are usually characterized by persistent and excessive worry, fear, or dread, as well as physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, and restlessness.

Types of anxiety

Anxiety disorders is an umbrella term for a variety of mental health conditions that cause people to experience extreme fear, worry, and unease. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD ), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders. Of these, GAD (5.8%) is the most prevalent anxiety disorder, and here in this article we will be talking about it. Other notable anxiety disorders, explained elsewhere in detail (just click on the link), are:

4.2% Social anxiety disorder or social phobia

3.1 % Obsession or OCD (Obsessive -Compulsive disease)

4.5 % Panic disorder or Hysteria

3.6 % Phobia

1.8 % PTSD

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD )

A generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is usually characterized by a continuous feeling of fear or anxiety that might interfere with day-to-day activities. It is not the same as occasionally worrying or feeling anxious as a result of demanding life situations. For months or perhaps years, people with GAD endure regular anxiety.


GAD symptoms include:

  1. Feeling tense, anxious, or restless
  2. being susceptible to weariness and having trouble focusing
  3. Having a bad mood
  4. Experiencing headaches, muscular aches, stomachaches, or other ailments without apparent cause
  5. Controlling worries is difficult.
  6. experiencing issues with sleep, such as trouble falling or staying asleep


Like other types of mental illness, anxiety disorders are debilitating. They are not caused by character defects, personal weaknesses, or issues with upbringing. But the specific source of anxiety problems is unknown to academics. They believe a number of variables are at play:

  1. Stress: Prolonged or severe stress can alter the chemical equilibrium that governs your mood. An anxiety disorder might develop if you are under a lot of stress for an extended period of time.
  2. Environmental factors: Having a traumatic experience might set off an anxiety condition, especially in people who were already predisposed to it genetically.
  3. Genetics: It frequently runs in families due to heredity.

Risk Factors

An individual's chance of acquiring anxiety disorders may increase due to a combination of genetic and environmental variables. If you have experienced or have ever experienced:

  1. Certain personality qualities, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition, cause people to feel uneasy with strangers and avoid such circumstances.
  2. unpleasant or stressful experiences in adolescence or maturity.
  3. Anxiety or other mental health disorders run in the family.
  4. Several health ailments exist, such as thyroid issues and heart arrhythmias (unusual heart rhythms).



How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?

Speak with your healthcare professional if you experience any symptoms of an anxiety problem. A thorough medical history and physical examination will be the first things they do. Anxiety disorders cannot be diagnosed by lab or imaging studies. To rule out physical diseases that might be the source of your symptoms, however, your doctor may do some of these tests.

Who can diagnose anxiety disorders?

Your healthcare practitioner might recommend a psychiatrist or psychologist to you if they discover no symptoms of a medical illness. These specialists in mental health are focused on identifying and managing mental diseases. To determine if you have an anxiety problem, they could employ specially created interview and evaluation methods. Usually, the medical professional bases a diagnosis on:

  1. Your listed symptoms, their severity, and how long they have lasted.
  2. Talk about how the symptoms affect your daily life.
  3. Your attitude and actions as seen by the provider.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is used by healthcare professionals.


How are anxiety disorders treated?

Anxiety disorder is similar to any other health issue that needs to be treated. Nothing can be wished away. It has nothing to do with attitude or self-control. In the past few decades, research has advanced significantly in the field of addressing mental health issues. A treatment strategy that is right for you will be created by your healthcare practitioner. Your strategy can include both medicine and counseling.

How does medication treat anxiety disorders?

An anxiety disorder cannot be cured by medication. But they can help you feel better and perform better. Commonly prescribed drugs for anxiety disorders are:


  1. Benzodiazepines: Your anxiety, fear, and worry may lessen if you take anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines. They are effective quickly, but you can get used to them. As a result, they gradually become less efficient. Your doctor might give you a short-term prescription for an anti-anxiety drug, taper you off of it, or add an antidepressant to the mix.
  2. Anti-depressants: Anxiety disorders can benefit from antidepressants as well. They alter how specific chemicals are used by your brain to boost mood and lessen stress. Be patient, as antidepressants may take some time to start working. Speak with your provider first if you think you're ready to stop taking antidepressants.
  3. Beta-blockers: The common blood pressure medication beta-blockers can help lessen some of the physical signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can calm trembling, shivering, and rapid heartbeat.

The ideal drug regimen and dose will be determined in collaboration with your healthcare professional. Without first consulting your provider, don't adjust the dose. They'll keep an eye on you to make sure the medications are doing their job without having any unfavorable side effects.

How does psychotherapy treat anxiety disorders?

You can deal with your emotional reaction to the sickness with the assistance of psychotherapy or counseling. A mental health professional explains techniques to help you comprehend and manage the disease better. Methods include:


  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

The most popular kind of psychotherapy for anxiety problems is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT for anxiety allows you to identify the mental processes and actions that result in unsettling emotions. Then you go to work modifying them.

2.Exposure therapy

The goal of exposure treatment is to address the concerns that underlie the anxiety condition. It enables you to interact with things or circumstances that you might have been avoiding.

3.relaxation techniques

4.guided visualization.

Coping Strategies

You can take a number of actions to manage the symptoms of an anxiety illness. The following techniques can also help your treatment be more successful:

  1. Learn how to handle stress by exploring various techniques, such as meditation.
  2. Join a support group: There are both live and online groups available. They urge those who suffer from anxiety disorders to talk about their struggles and coping mechanisms.
  3. Gain knowledge: To feel more in control, find out what kind of anxiety issue you have. Give your family and friends information about your disease so they can support you.
  4. Caffeine should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether because it can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety in many people.
  5. Speak with your healthcare professional: Your healthcare provider is a caring partner. Ask your healthcare practitioner these questions if you have an anxiety disorder:
  • What medical treatment is best for me?
  • Do I require medicine? What kind?
  • How long do I need to take the medicine?
  • What kind of therapy will be most effective?
  • What other steps can I take to control my symptoms?
  • What additional illnesses am I susceptible to?


Anxiety disorders are a common mental illness, affecting millions of people around the world. Anxiety can manifest in different forms, such as panic attacks, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Although there is no one specific cause of anxiety disorders, they can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Symptoms may range from mild to severe and can be both physical and psychological.