What is Anxiety? What are the Diagnosis and Treatment Methods?

Anxiety disorder, also known as anxiety disorder, is a psychological condition. Experiencing anxiety from time to time in our daily lives is common. Because over time, we can worry about events we face or have material and spiritual concerns about the future. Although experiencing anxiety in daily life is normal, if there is an excessive amount, then we can talk about a medical condition.

In individuals with anxiety disorders, there is intense, continuous anxiety and fear of everyday situations. It can also manifest itself with panic attack episodes. This excessive worry, anxiety, panic situation disrupts the continuity of daily activities. It is difficult to control and manage, and cannot be predicted in terms of time. The symptoms of this condition can start in childhood, adolescence, and continue into adulthood. It tends to decrease after adulthood.

Anxiety disorders have their own divisions; such as social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, specific phobias, generalized anxiety, etc. In this context, you may suffer from not just one but multiple anxiety disorders. Sometimes medical treatment may be necessary to find a solution.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety prepares you to cope with the problems you encounter in daily life, enabling you to make decisions more quickly. Anxiety is actually your brain’s response to stress and a way to warn you about potential dangers you may face in the future.

Approximately 18% of the population suffers from an anxiety disorder problem, and the severity of the problem can fluctuate along with the level of the disorder. A person with anxiety always thinks of the worst-case scenario, and these thoughts often do not materialize within their control.

Constantly experiencing anxiety and worry can disrupt a person’s social life, deteriorate their mental health, and reduce productivity in daily tasks. Therefore, the quality of life for individuals with anxiety disorders is significantly diminished.

Who is More Likely to Experience Anxiety?

According to statistics, anxiety disorders are more commonly seen in women compared to men. Individuals who have been raised in overly protective environments, received consistently negative feedback from their surroundings, and those with suppressed personalities are more prone to anxiety.

As negative experiences, traumas, and unhappiness increase during childhood, so does the risk of anxiety. Additionally, having anxiety present in the family or among relatives increases the risk, as genetic transmission is possible with this condition.

What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?

There are several types of anxiety disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Excessive worry and tension without any apparent reason.

Panic Disorder: Sudden and intense fear that can lead to panic attacks. During these episodes, you may feel chest pain, experience sweating, and notice an increase in heart rate. Sometimes the process can be so severe that you might think you’re suffocating or having a heart attack.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Fear and stress about being judged or ridiculed by others in your personal relationships.

Specific Phobias: It can manifest as fear of heights. Individuals with this fear may feel anxious about flying or living in high-rise buildings.

Agoraphobia: Fear and anxiety in crowded places where your mobility may be restricted during an emergency.

Separation Anxiety: Experiencing excessive worry when loved ones are away from you and wanting them to be constantly present.

Selective Mutism: Some children can communicate with their families but cannot speak in public. This social anxiety is referred to as selective mutism.

What Are the Causes of Anxiety Disorders?

The causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood. However, traumatic events, various experiences, health problems, and genetic factors are known to trigger anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders can arise from genetic factors. Therefore, if someone in your family has this condition, you are at risk.

Faulty connections in the parts of the brain that control fear and emotions can lead to anxiety disorders.

Experiencing traumas in your environment (such as childhood abuse, the death or assault of a loved one) can lead to anxiety disorders.

Health issues such as heart, lung, thyroid, or diabetes problems can lead to anxiety disorders.

The side effects of medications you take can also include anxiety disorders.

If there is no one among your family or relatives who suffers from anxiety disorders, if you didn’t have such issues in childhood, and if it is emerging recently, there may be a medical reason underlying it. It’s essential to be examined by a doctor and follow the appropriate course of action accordingly.

What is Anxiety

What Are the Risk Factors for Anxiety?

Some factors may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder:

  • Experiencing sexual abuse or neglect during childhood significantly increases the risk of anxiety.
  • Individuals exposed to traumatic events are at a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety disorders.
  • Being depressed increases your risk of anxiety.
  • Worrying about your health or the health of people around you can increase anxiety disorders.
  • Substance abuse increases the risk of anxiety.
  • People who are shy, withdrawn, or have difficulty communicating in childhood are at higher risk.
  • Lack of self-confidence, negative thoughts, and perceptions, such as being the subject of ridicule, can lead to anxiety disorders.
  • Certain personality types are predisposed to anxiety disorders.

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Some symptoms of anxiety disorder include:

  • Feeling tense, restless, or panicky
  • Shortness of breath, dry mouth
  • Feeling anxious as if something bad is about to happen
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling in the hands
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Digestive problems
  • Avoidance of triggering effects that cause anxiety
  • Sleep problems are among the main symptoms.

What Are the Diagnosis Methods for Anxiety?

If you are sure of the presence of symptoms, your doctor will conduct a physical examination and then fill out an anamnesis form based on your medical history.

Your doctor may request some tests to eliminate some health conditions that could trigger anxiety. None of the laboratory tests can specifically diagnose anxiety disorders, so the tests, medical history, and examination stages together are important for the diagnosis of the disorder.

Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health professional as needed. These professionals may ask you various questions, use specific tools, or administer certain tests to understand whether you have an anxiety disorder or not.

An important point in the evaluation stage is how long your symptoms have been present and how intense they are. It is crucial to inform doctors whether anxiety is preventing you from enjoying daily life activities for the diagnosis.

What Are the Treatment Methods for Anxiety?

There are many treatment options available to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorder and manage the condition. However, the two most common treatments are psychotherapy and medication. Which treatment method will work better for you can be determined through trial and error.

Psychotherapy: Also known as psychological counseling or talk therapy, psychotherapy involves going through the process with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. In this type of counseling, you may witness how your emotions affect your behavior. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for understanding and managing your anxiety disorder.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This type of psychotherapy guides you on how to turn negative thoughts and behaviors that create panic into positive ones. You will learn how to approach situations that cause fear and anxiety without feeling anxious and how to manage them effectively.

Medication: Your doctor may prescribe various antidepressants, medications, or sedatives to alleviate anxiety symptoms. The main purpose of medications is short-term relief, and long-term use is not intended. Additionally, it would be beneficial to meet with your doctor to discuss which medication would be more suitable for you and its pros and cons.

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety

What does anxiety mean?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry and distress that a person experiences without any apparent reason. Also known as an anxiety disorder, anxiety can cause sudden sweating, rapid heartbeats, sweating, rapid breathing, and other symptoms.

How is it understood whether there is anxiety or not?

  • Sudden panic, restlessness, and feeling
  • Sudden sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Mental changes
  • Concentration problems
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache
  • Experiencing the above symptoms may indicate the presence of an anxiety disorder.

How does anxiety feel instantly?

Anxiety attacks are usually short-lived, lasting only a few minutes. Symptoms of anxiety attack include sudden feelings of anxiety, fear, palpitations, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking, feeling like you are suffocating, and chest pain. This condition is referred to as an anxiety attack.

How common is anxiety?

Anxiety disorder is a common psychological disorder. It can be seen in many people for various reasons. Anxiety is more common in adults than in children.

At what ages is anxiety seen?

Anxiety is more common in adults than in children. Some childhood traumas or other environmental factors emerging in adulthood increase the risk of anxiety.

Does anxiety cause weight gain?

Anxiety can often lead to eating disorders. Being under intense stress can lead to symptoms such as overeating or undereating. This situation varies depending on how the person copes with anxiety.

Does sports help with anxiety?

As with many things, sports are also essential for mental balance. Sports, which have many psychological benefits, are also an effective method for increasing self-confidence. One of the problems underlying anxiety is lack of self-confidence. People who exercise are positively affected by confidence, and sports also have the effect of reducing or eliminating stress.

Does anxiety cause forgetfulness?

Anxiety can create a feeling of involuntary physical movement. These movements usually occur during anxiety attack symptoms and continue to be ticklish in subsequent processes.

Why does anxiety occur at night?

Anxiety attacks can occur at any time due to specific situations. Anxiety attacks are less common during daytime hours due to the brain being more active and the functioning of human life. Nighttime increases the brain’s work rate, which increases thinking tendency. Especially bedtime is the time with the most thinking. This increases the likelihood of anxiety attacks occurring.

Does anxiety cause tics?

Anxiety disorders can cause some involuntary physical movements. These movements usually occur during anxiety attack symptoms and continue to be tic after the subsequent processes.

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