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Can You Be Diagnosed With Anxiety

What Are The 4 Levels Of Anxiety

How to Diagnose and Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder? – Insights from Dr Sanil Rege (Psychiatrist)

A psychologist, Robert Sapolsky, has identified 4 levels of anxiety in his research. They are Anxiety about what might happen this is the basic anxiety which gets triggered when your mind starts generating negative thoughts about future events. Anxiety about being anxious this happens when you think about your anxious feelings. Anxiety about being anxious about being anxious what happens when you think about your anxious feelings about being anxious. Anxiety about being anxious about being anxious about being anxious this is the 4th level of anxiety. It happens when you think about your feelings about your feelings about your feelings..

Dual Student Highlights Mental Health Journey And Awareness


Aryana Altaha is many things: a sophomore at Paradise Valley High School, a dual enrollment student at Rio Salado College, a boxer, K-drama fan, and, like a typical teen, an avid social media user.

But unlike a typical teen, Altaha focuses her social media use on promoting mental health awareness.

For most of my life I had diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder, Altaha said. And for a couple of years, I had diagnosed depression. I struggled a lot with it. Recently I have been able to improve my mental health. Thats what motivated me to spread awareness.


Altaha takes to TikTok to create videos that speak to mental health issues. And with 2.3 million likes and 25K+ followers, many of her videos are clearly hitting a mark.

I think the videos resonate because they tell people they are not alone, Altaha said. People who dont struggle with mental health issues dont know how hard it can be. A lot of people think if you have depression, you should just smile.

Her most popular TikToks discuss topics like narcissist personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, bulimia, symptoms of anxiety and signs of depression.

Judging from the comments section in her videos, Altaha is succeeding at creating an online environment where people come together and share their firsthand experiences with mental health.

Three sample comments:

Creating Content

TikTok Interviews featuring Dr. Melanie Abts

Self-Care and Mindset

How To Get A Diagnosis

There are multiple steps that can be followed to get an accurate diagnosis for a mental health disorder, summarized by Mayo Clinic. The first step is to see a doctor regarding the symptoms. This can rule out any physical conditions that may be contributing to the condition. Sometimes, chronic illnesses like diabetes or acute onset of conditions like cancer can cause changes in mood or ability to cope. As a second step, lab tests may also indicate that theres a physical component to the mental symptoms and behaviors.

Its important to bear in mind that physical ailments can also result in mental health disorders, so just because theres a physical reason for the issue does not mean a mental health disorder is not present. For this reason, seeing a mental health professional as a follow-up step, such as making a visit to a psychiatrist or psychologist, can help. The type of mental health professional selected may depend on the type of mental health disorder suspected. For example, if substance abuse is the potential disorder, it can help to select a professional addiction treatment or rehab center to determine the diagnosis.

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How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated

An anxiety disorder is like any other health problem that requires treatment. You cant will it away. Its not a matter of self-discipline or attitude. Researchers have made a lot of progress in the last few decades in treating mental health conditions. Your healthcare provider will tailor a treatment plan that works for you. Your plan may combine medication and psychotherapy.

What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

How Is an Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed?

If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
  • ask for a second opinion,
  • get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

Treatment options

You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.

Second opinion

A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis. You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.


An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard. There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service

You can find your local PALS details through this website link:

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How Are Specific Phobias Diagnosed

If symptoms of a specific phobia are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a medical and psychiatric history and may perform a brief physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose specific phobias, the doctor may use various tests to make sure that a physical illness isn’t the cause of the symptoms.

If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use clinical interviews and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a specific phobia.

The doctor bases their diagnosis of specific phobias on reported symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms. A specific phobia is diagnosed if the person’s fear and anxiety are particularly distressing or if they interfere with their daily routine, including school, work, social activities, and relationships.

Avoid Smoking And Drinking

Smoking and alcohol have been shown to make feelings of anxiety worse. Only drinking alcohol in moderation or stopping smoking if you smoke may help reduce your anxiety.

The Department of Health recommends that men should not drink more than three to four units of alcohol a day and women no more than two to three units.

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Diagnosed Gad That Has Not Improved After Step 1 Interventions

Low-intensity psychological interventions for GAD

For people with GAD whose symptoms have not improved after education and active monitoring in step 1, offer one or more of the following as a first-line intervention, guided by the persons preference:

  • individual non-facilitated self-help*
  • psychoeducational groups.

*A self-administered intervention intended to treat GAD involving written or electronic self-help materials . It is similar to individual guided self-help but usually with minimal therapist contact, for example an occasional short telephone call of no more than 5 minutes.

Key points to raise related recommendations:

Individual non-facilitated self-help for people with GAD should:

  • include written or electronic materials of a suitable reading age
  • be based on the treatment principles of cognitive behavioural therapy
  • include instructions for the person to work systematically through the materials over a period of at least 6 weeks
  • usually involve minimal therapist contact, for example an occasional short telephone call of no more than 5 minutes.

Individual guided self-help for people with GAD should:

  • include written or electronic materials of a suitable reading age
  • be supported by a trained practitioner, who facilitates the self-help programme and reviews progress and outcome
  • usually consist of five to seven weekly or fortnightly face-to-face or telephone sessions, each lasting 2030 minutes.

Psychoeducational groups for people with GAD should:

Learn What Anxiety Is

How Do Doctors Diagnose Anxiety?

The first step to getting officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is to learn what anxiety is. This can help you start differentiating your everyday worries from symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, but when we talk about anxiety, were usually referring to something called generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. GAD is a clinically diagnosable mental health condition that requires treatment. The symptoms of GAD include:

Excessive worries about a broad number of things, like work or school, that are difficult to control

Frequently feeling restless or wired

Having a hard time concentrating

Fatigue or exhaustion due to your worries

Physical symptoms like tension in your muscles or a racing heartbeat


Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much because youre worrying

Most importantly, as with any diagnosable mental health condition, these symptoms must cause significant impairment in your life and daily functioning to be considered a mental illness. For example, perhaps your symptoms are hurting your relationships or making you unable to be productive at work.

GAD isnt the only type of anxiety that you can be diagnosed with, though. Other, less common types of anxiety disorders include panic disorders, specific phobias, and social anxiety disorder. All of these disorders cause the same symptoms of anxiety but could vary in intensity or revolve around a specific theme.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Specific Phobias

Symptoms of specific phobias may include:

  • Excessive or irrational fear of a specific object or situation
  • Avoiding the object or situation or enduring it with great distress
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack, such as a pounding heart, nausea or diarrhea, sweating, trembling or shaking, numbness or tingling, problems with breathing , feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling like you are choking
  • Anticipatory anxiety, which involves becoming nervous ahead of time about being in certain situations or coming into contact with the object of your phobia for example, a person with a fear of dogs may become anxious about going for a walk because they may see a dog along the way.

Children with a specific phobia may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent, or throwing a tantrum.

How Can I Get Help If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder

You should make an appointment to talk with your GP if you are worried about your symptoms. Or they are causing problems in your day to day life.

Your doctor will look at different things when deciding on your treatment such as the following.

  • Your diagnosis and symptoms.
  • Any other conditions you have.
  • Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .

Talking therapiesThe NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has made psychological therapy more available on the NHS. IAPT services mainly provide support for low to moderate anxiety and depression.

The service can be run by the local NHS Trust or a non-NHS agency, like a charity who work with the local Trust.

IAPT should be available in your area. You can often self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.

To find your local the IAPT service you can search online here:

You can also ask your GP or PALS service for details of local IAPT services.

You can get more information about:

  • GP: What to expect from your GP by clicking here.
  • Medication. Choice and managing problems by clicking here.
  • Talking therapies by clicking here.

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Get Help Finding Treatment

Here are tools to find a healthcare provider familiar with treatment options:

Video Series Mental Health In Primary Care

Anxiety: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Seminar series of 7 video updates about “non-drug therapies for common mental health conditions in primary care: depression, anxiety and distress. With the aim being to encourage practitioners to talk first, get patients being physically and socially active, and see how they do. With prescribing coming later, if and when needed” from 13th April 2017.

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How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed

If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.

There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.

How Do I Get Tested For Anxiety

While online quizzes like this can help someone understand their feelings, they should be followed up with a professional assessment. Your medical doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, can help.

According to NYU Langone Health, an anxiety test for adults from a health care professional will include a physical exam, a lot of questions about your symptoms and any medications you are taking , and potentially a blood test, to rule out any physical conditions that could be causing anxiety like hypothyroidism.

If physical or pharmaceutical causes are ruled out, a health care professional will then conduct a psychological evaluation, asking more questions about your symptoms including how long youve experienced them and whether they persist or come and go and whether anyone in your family has had a history of anxiety disorder or depression. This eval can also detect or rule out the presence of conditions like PTSD or an eating disorder, which can accompany anxiety disorders.

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Can Anxiety Be Cured

Yes, anxiety is a mental health disorder, and may be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medications. Mental health professionals can help a patient identify thoughts and patterns that reinforce anxiety and can help a patient find alternative ways of coping with life. Stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, can help reduce anxiety..

Avoid Using Substances To Cope

Explaining PDA, OCD, SPD, Anxiety & how to help your child with a dual diagnosis

It might be challenging, but avoiding alcohol and drug use when you suffer from chronic anxiety can be a good idea. For many people, substances are taken in an attempt to numb the pain or to try and feel normal. However, more often than not, alcohol and drugs do more harm than good, and can lead to substance abuse. They do nothing to address the underlying psychological issues that are causing the anxiety.

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How Do You Get Diagnosed With Anxiety

Anxiety can be diagnosed by a medical professional, whether thats your GP or a mental health specialist. Theyll be able to assess your symptoms and the impact theyre having on your life, and use this information to identify whether youre suffering with an anxiety disorder.

If youre struggling with anxiety, opening up to someone about how youre feeling can be daunting. However, speaking to a qualified professional about what youre going through means youll be one step closer to getting a potential diagnosis for anxiety and starting your journey towards recovery.

A good first port of call when it comes to getting a diagnosis for your anxiety is to make an appointment to see your GP. Theyll be able to talk to you about how youre feeling and the symptoms youre experiencing. Using this information, your GP will be able to either diagnose anxiety themselves, or refer you to a mental health specialist for further review. Its likely that a GP will also conduct a physical examination to rule out any other causes for your symptoms.

Alternatively, you may wish to get in touch with a mental health provider, such as Priory, directly. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be able to put you in contact with the most appropriate mental health expert for your individual needs, to receive a consultation and diagnosis.

Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter

Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.

Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:

  • problems with sleep
  • sudden loss of interest
  • feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.

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When To See Your Gp

Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, you should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.

Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and your worries, fears and emotions to try to find out if you could have GAD.

Read more about diagnosing GAD

Causes Of Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety

Some causes of anxiety disorders are:

  • Genetics. Anxiety disorders can run in families.
  • Brain chemistry. Some research suggests anxiety disorders may be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that control fear and emotions.
  • Environmental stress. This refers to stressful events you have seen or lived through. Life events often linked to anxiety disorders include childhood abuse and neglect, a death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence.
  • Drug withdrawal or misuse. Certain drugs may be used to hide or decrease certain anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder often goes hand in hand with alcohol and substance use.
  • Medical conditions. Some heart, lung, and thyroid conditions can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorders or make anxiety symptoms worse. Itâs important to get a full physical exam to rule out other medical conditions when talking to your doctor about anxiety.

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