Anxiety can simply be a sense of worry or feeling of alarm for some specific reason or without any reason. This type of anxiety is experienced by everyone at some or other point in time. A certain amount of anxiety is natural and helps improve our performance. Normally anxiety lasts for a short duration and it does not affect the person socially or emotionally.
Anxiety disorder must be thought of when this anxiety becomes abnormal and tend to stay for a prolonged period. You must consult a doctor when anxiety starts affecting your performance either professionally or socially.
The common presentation of anxiety disorder
- You start feeling intense apprehension or uncertainty resulting in fear. It may be triggered by an event or a situation of extreme pressure.
- This apprehension may go to a level where it starts affecting your normal day to day activities. The trigger factor or the causative factor may be different for each individual. It is up to you to find out the causative factor.
- You may not be able to control your worries.
- Genetic tendencies play a role but trigger factors are also important. In many patients, this anxiety starts showing on the physical level as well.
- You start developing some physical symptoms or the other. It is common to have anxiety for a period of time and then there will be a symptom-free period and suddenly the anxiety recurs.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
- Causes are multifactorial in origin, which means more than one cause is involved in the development of anxiety. We will focus on each and every cause in details.
- Genetics and Heredity factors lead to the development of anxiety
- Although there is a clear study to state hereditary factors are responsible but it is observed that if one of the parents is having anxiety disorder then there are more chances of the child getting it.
- This does not mean that it is true in every case. Even though there is a genetic cause involved, anxiety disorder develops only when favorable circumstances are met.Genetic factors combined with external factors can form one of the potential cause for anxiety disorder.
The brain chemistry
- There are strong indications that chemical imbalance can be one of the causative factors in developing the anxiety disorder.
- It results from an imbalance in chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, etc. Why this chemical reaction is triggered is still a topic for research.
- Another important causative factor is the tendency of the person or it may be called as personality type. Your basic nature may act as a causative factor if you are low with confidence or low self-esteem.
- Upbringing may also be responsible if you have not been taught proper coping skills. Tendencies can be genetic or circumstantial where a person develops it while growing up.
- Social factors are important in the development of anxiety. If a person has been exposed to constant stressful situations like abuse, violence or poverty then there are more chances of developing anxiety.
- Family and social life have a constant impact on a person's emotions. Adverse social upbringing can lead to anxiety disorder.
Other chronic diseases
- In a few cases, anxiety develops as a result of long-term illnesses like cancer or thyroid disorders or heart problems. Anxiety develops as a result of constant sufferings the person goes through.
- Use of medicines and other substances
- Anxiety can be a result of side effect due to the use of some medicines. Medicines like steroids, sleeping pills, hormonal pills, contraceptive drugs, constant use of over the counter medicines, etc. can result in anxiety disorders. Overuse of alcohol and drugs may also result in chronic anxiety.
- An anxiety disorder may be a result of any one of the above cause or due to the combination of either of the causes.
The Classification and Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders
- The diagnosis of anxiety disorder is purely clinical. The examining doctor will take a detailed history of symptoms and try to classify them.
- A detailed classification is required as there are many causes and different presentation of anxiety disorders. The presenting complaints of the patient may be mixed and need to be sorted out before coming to the diagnosis.
- Once the diagnosis of anxiety is made and classified into a certain category of anxiety disorder the next step is to rule out the probable diseases that are known to cause anxiety. (refer the causes for clear understanding)
- Due to its complex nature a detailed history of present and past medication, dietary habits, emotional stress, work and family life, family history, etc. will be taken.
- Blood investigations can be done to rule out causative diseases like diabetes, thyroid disorders, etc. There is no specific test which can diagnose anxiety as earlier said it is diagnosed on clinical grounds.
- There are few methods to schedule an interview with the patient in order to judge the level of anxiety.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Feeling that something unfortunate, undesirable or harmful is about to happen, strong apprehension.
People suffering from anxiety disorder often share their experience as a state of intense apprehension, resulting in uncertainty and fear, mostly the outcome of a threatening event or situation. This goes to a level where normal functions cannot be performed by the suffering person.
The immediate cause, which resulted in this anxiety is commonly identified by the patient himself. The patient is unable to control their worries. These emotional symptoms start leading to physical symptoms. These episodes may remain for a few days to weeks. The patient may be better for a few days, or even months together, when suddenly these anxiety episodes may recur.
- Common physical symptoms during the episode are dry mouth, swallowing difficulty, hoarseness, rapid breathing, palpitations,
- twitching or trembling of the body, along with muscle tension, headaches or a backache.
- Excessive sweating,
- Cannot concentrate on work in hand,
- Feeling of dizziness or fainting,
- Nausea; diarrhea; weight loss
- Memory problems
- Sexual impotence
Different Category and Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Panic disorders
- Acute stress anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic anxiety disorder
- Social phobia
- Specific phobia
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- General anxiety disorders
- Anxiety disorder due to the medical cause
- Substance-induced anxiety disorders
Homeopathy Treatment for Anxiety and Depression
Homeopathy works well for the treatment for Anxiety Neurosis, anxiety disorders, depression, and related conditions.
Homeopathic medicines are prescribed after a detailed case taking of mind and physical symptoms. Individualized case analysis is done before prescribing the best suited remedy.
It helps in relieving anxiety state and panic attacks and brings on a sense of well-being and sound sleep.
In advanced cases or in cases where a person is already taking habit forming conventional medicines, homeopathic medicines need to be taken along with the continuation of conventional medicines. As suddenly stopping conventional medicines may lead to withdrawals symptoms. Slowly the conventional medicines can be reduced.
Homeopathic medicines are absolutely safe and without any side-effects. They produce no habit formation. It does not cause drug dependency.
Homeopathic prescriptions are based on a deeper understanding of your mind and emotions, your stress coping mechanism and your genetic tendencies.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Anxiety Disorders
1) I have anxiety disorder how much time it will take to recover?
There is no hiding from the fact that anxiety disorder is a chronic disease requiring long-term treatment. The total duration of treatment differs from case to case depending upon the severity and duration of disease. It also depends upon the associated diseases or causative diseases which results in anxiety.
As per our experience, it is fair to say that initial improvement can be expected in six to eight weeks in the majority of cases. The total duration of treatment may range from six months to over a year from case to case.