Anxiety disorders are a group of conditions characterised by extreme worry which affects daily functioning.
Anxiety Disorders Scientific Explanation
Anxiety serves an adaptive and life-saving function — it serves as a warning of threats to us. It becomes a disorder when the anxiety overwhelms an individual to the point of him/her not being able to function. There is evidence to suggest that anxiety disorders result from abnormal neurotransmitter function. There are also psychological theories that try to explain the cause for anxiety disorders.
What are the Common Types of Anxiety Disorders in Asian Women?
There is little evidence that Asian women are different from any other population.The common types of anxiety disorders are: Social phobia, simple phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that occurs in people who have had especially traumatic experiences.
What are the Main Causes of Anxiety Disorders?
There are many ways to view the causes of anxiety disorders – biological (genetic, neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes), cognitive (the way one learns to perceive self and threats in the environment), developmental (the way one builds secure relationships to protect against threats) and psychodynamic (how one copes with unconscious fears and conflicts) – and there is a multitude of evidence for each of these pathways. It seems likely that for any disorder to develop, there is a confluence of factors.
What are the Ways to Treat these Disorders?
The main methods of treatment are medication and psychotherapy. The form of psychotherapy chosen will reflect the particular circumstances of the therapist, the patient and the presenting situation.
Are Anxiety Disorders curable? What is the Proportion of patients who actually Overcome their Conditions?
The response to either medication or cognitive-behavioural therapy in anxiety disorders is in the range of 55-65%. There are variations according to the medication used, concomitant therapy and the population studied. Some studies have shown that a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioural therapy is superior to either for long-term prevention of relapses.
Can a Patient “Snap out of it”? If so, in what Cases do they do so?
The Patients with definite anxiety disorder probably cannot ‘snap out of it’. I think anybody who has had these distressing symptoms would probably have done so on their own, if they could. Hearing such advice from other people often worsens their sense of guilt and helplessness.
What is the Difference between Anxiety Disorder and Paranoia?
When lay people use the term ‘paranoia’, they often mean the same thing as anxiety. E.g. “I’m paranoid about getting a speeding ticket”. What psychiatrists call paranoia is something quite different. Paranoia refers to having ideas which are delusional in nature – they are ideas arrived at by illogical and pathological means, and firmly believed in the face of all evidence to the contrary. This is usually found in psychotic disorders. In anxiety disorders, the focus of worry is logical and understandable but the reaction is excessive and has disabling symptoms like insomnia or avoidance.