Anxiety Diagnosis

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It is a condition suffered by many but its diagnosis is not so simple. It can mimic other disorders such as depression, that, although are closely related, are very different and can happen independently.

In the development and maintenance of this disorder come into play several factors:

Predisposing factors

Genetics: Although not fully studied, it is well known that there is a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders.

Early education: As for many disorders, it is in childhood where we are intimately exposed to its influence. Though it has not been specifically tested, it is known that anxiety is a common disorder in children.

Triggering factors

In many cases, the disorder is triggered by one or more defined events, such as an accident, the loss of a loved one, a divorce, an excessively stressful lifestyle or in general, constant exposure to stressful situations.

Maintenance factors

Anxiety disorders have a strong tendency to become chronic, because generally the triggering events tend to persist and get combined with other stressors. This coupled with a negative attitude to the problem, prolongs the anxiety.

Some key symptoms in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders usually include:

  • Restlessness or impatience.
  • Constant tiredness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleep disturbances.

When someone suffers from anxiety and especially if from panic attacks usually have symptoms that are also characteristic of other diseases. For this reason it is recommended to rule out other possible conditions, taking into account the physical and psychological symptoms and medical history.

A panic attack often causes alarming symptoms that start suddenly. Normally,  the symptoms appear at the same time, increasing the fear. This happens because, a panic attack is a reaction generated by our sympathetic nervous system in response to what has been perceived as a threat, making many of our bodily functions suddenly change their rhythm, to awaken in us the instinct to flight or fight.

Here are some typical symptoms of a panic attack:

  • Tightness or discomfort in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A pounding heart.
  • Sweating.
  • Chills or hot flushes.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Feeling of choking.
  • Nausea or abdominal discomfort.
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • Instability, dizziness or fainting.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Feelings of unreality.
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy.
  • Fear of dying.

Depending on the level of anxiety and further study of the symptoms, it can deduced what type of anxiety disorder is and from there, pose an anxiety treatment plan. The pattern of panic attacks are also a guide to define the disorder profile.

If the attacks are completely unexpected and not related to a specific trigger, it can be generalized anxiety disorder and this may or may not be accompanied by agoraphobia. However, if the attacks are related to a trigger, it may be considered that it is a specific anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, post -traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, among others.

There are, of course, cases in which some of these disorders overlap such as anxiety-depressive disorder or symptoms of social phobia due to a traumatic event such as an injury or scar caused by an accident or illness.

If you feel you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is best to visit a specialist on the subject. The information in this article is for guidance only and does not certify any diagnosis. Only a psychiatrist or psychologist may perform an accurate diagnosis. Given the slightest doubt, it is best to consult a professional.

However, if you like learn more about anxiety, the Panic Away program by Barry McDonagh has got some good advice and insights about this disorder, you can access it on the link in the right panel. We also invite you to visit our recommended sites, where you will find excellent information about the different types of anxiety and its treatments.

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