Saturday, April 6, 2013

How Do We Diagnose and Treat Anxiety?

How do we diagnose anxiety? A psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or other mental-health professional is usually enlisted to diagnose anxiety and identify the causes of it. The physician will take a careful medical and personal history, perform a physical examination, and order laboratory tests as needed. There is no one laboratory test that can be used to diagnose anxiety, but tests may provide useful information about a medical condition that may be causing physical illness or other anxiety symptoms. For a person to be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), they must:

Worry Excessively and be anxious about several different events or activities on more days than not for at least six months. Find it difficult to control their worrying Have at least three of the six symptoms associated with GAD on more days than not in the last six months. Those 6 are: Tense Muscles, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, irritability, restlessness and concentration difficulties.

Generally, to be diagnosed with GAD, symptoms must be present more often than not for six months and they must interfere with their daily living, meaning the sufferer to be unable to go to work or school.

If the focus of the anxiety and worry is confined to just one anxiety disorder, this will not be diagnosed as GAD. A physician or doctor may diagnose hypochondriasis if they are worrying about having a serious illness, a separation anxiety disorder if worrying about being away from a relation, anorexia nrevosa if worried about weight gain and social phobia if they are worried about being embarrassed to be in public. Patients with anxiety disorder often present symptoms similar to clinical depression and vice-versa. It is not uncommon for a patient to exhibit symptoms of only one of these.

How is anxiety treated?

With psychological counselling or with prescribed drugs, anxiety can be treated or certainly be controlled. The treatment path depends on the type of the anxiety and what the individual would prefer. Often treatments will be a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medications. Sometimes depression, alcoholism, or other coexisting conditions have such an effect on the person that treating the anxiety disorder must wait until the coexisting conditions are brought under control.

Self treatment

There are times when aniety can be treated in the home without having to visit a doctor but in only certain situations where the extent of the type of anxiety is fairly short and the actual cause is discovered quickly and can then be treated. The person can then take certain actions in the form of exercise that have been recommended by a specialist or doctor that can help relieve the symptom of anxiety. People get to learn and be able to manage and live with their stress. Keeping an eye on how they cope with the stresses and strains of family and work life by taking time away from daily activities with a variety of relaxation techniques. Reading books on relaxation, meditation and health food and acting on them can be simple ways of relieving the stress.

Practising deep abdominal breathing by breathing in slowly through the nose, filling the lungs taking it down to your stomach and then slowly breathing out also slowly through your mouth without doing this for too long as this could lead you to feel faint and dizzy from the extra oxygen.

Learn to replace "negative self talk" with "coping self talk." Make a list of negative thoughts you have, and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them.Then Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. Picture yourself as a successful person who has overcome their fear over and over and believe that you can talk yourself round this problem. Talk with a person who is supportive. Meditation. Exercise, this can be anything rigorous or gentle walking pace. Take long hot relaxing baths. Rest in a dark room.


Psychological counceling is regarded as normal methods of treating different aspects of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help and treat a patients thinking patterns that are related to stress, anxiety and troubled, irrational behavior. There are 2 parts to this type of therapy. There is behavioural part used to alter the way people behave to the situation, person or event that can start a panic or anxiety attack and the cognitive part is designed to reduce distorted thinking.

Say a person undergoing cognitive behavioural treatment for anxiety might work on how the panic attacks is not a cardaicarrest. The people receiving this treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder for cleaning their hands could work with a therapist to try and get their hands dirty and see how long they can cope with longer amounts of time before they are aloud to wash them. Therapists will work with post traumatic stress disorder sufferers by trying to get them to recall the event while they are in a safe environment to help reduce their fear and what reaction it produces.

Exposure-based therapies such as CBT usually have people face their fears and try to help them become desensitized to anxiety-triggering situations Psychotherapy is another type of counseling treatment for anxiety disorders. It consists of talking with a trained mental health professional, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other counselor. Sessions are used to help discover the causes of anxiety and possible ways to cope with symptoms.


Medical help for anxiety sufferers use several types of medication. If the cause of the anxiety is a physical ailment, treatment will be used to get rid of the particular ailment. This might involve surgery or other medication to try and reduce or eliminate a physical anxiety trigger. Often, though, medicines such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers are used to control some of the physical and mental symptoms. Medication tends to be used as a last resort.

Historically, anxiety has been used with a type of drug called benzodiazepines. Offering to treat the symptoms with drugs has been drastically reduced due to their addictive nature. These drugs tend to have few side-effects except for drowsiness and possible dependency.

How is anxiety prevented? Although anxiety disorders cannot be prevented, there are ways to reduce your risk and methods to control or lessen symptoms. Recommendations include: Reducing your intake of caffeine, cola, and chocolate. Herbal Remedies need to be checked if they contain chemicals that could contribute to anxiety or panic attacks with the pharmacist or doctor.

Exercising regularly, at least 3 times a week. This only has to be gentle exercise of 30 minutes per session. Eating healthy food; 5 fruit per day, brown bread, meat and 2 veg. Fibre and carbohydrates maintains energy levels. Keeping a regular sleep pattern. About 8 hours a night. Seeking counseling and support after a traumatic or disturbing experience. Considerate amounts of alcohol. Men should only drink 21 units per week women only 14 units. 1 unit is half a glass of beer or glass of wine. Avoid taking recreational drugs.

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