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What Is The Definition Of Anxiety

Panic Attack Vs Anxiety Attack

What is Anxiety?

Panic attacks are oftentimes more intense than anxiety attacks and they can also be much more unexpected. Anxiety attacks are often associated with a trigger whereas panic attacks are not.

Overall, panic attacks usually occur without a trigger. Anxiety attacks are a response to a perceived stressor or threat.

How Is Anxiety Diagnosed

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Often they will use a detailed questionnaire to do this. The more detailed answers you can give about what you’re experiencing, the better.

You may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if the symptoms are affecting your ability to function in some way, either at work, school or socially. The questionnaire may also pick up if you have depression and how severe the problem may be.

Your doctor will diagnose the type of anxiety disorder you have based on recognised criteria such as those listed in the DSM-5 .

Why Anxiety Is On The Rise

Anxiety is now the leading mental health problem around the world, and the incidence of anxiety is still rising, especially among youth. Increasing numbers of children and adolescents are being diagnosed with the disorder.

One often-cited reason for the general rise in anxiety is the burden of uncertainty in almost every domain of modern life, in response to an array of economic and cultural shifts. Uncertainty doesnt cause anxiety, but it provides breeding grounds for it.

Two important factors contributing to anxiety among the young are parenting practices that overprotect children and the rise of social media. Technology provides new opportunities for connecting people, but it also leads to new experiences of negative social comparison and new pathways for social exclusion.

For more see Children and Anxiety

Read Also: Why Do I Get Random Anxiety

Choose The Right Synonym For Anxious

eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest. eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint. eager to get startedavid adds to eager the implication of insatiability or greed. avid for new thrillskeen suggests intensity of interest and quick responsiveness in action. keen on the latest fashionsanxious emphasizes fear of frustration or failure or disappointment. anxious not to make a social blunderathirst stresses yearning but not necessarily readiness for action. athirst for adventure

What Are Anxiety Disorders Symptoms


Specific symptoms vary by type of anxiety disorder, but typically, anxiety disorders are defined by:

  • Feelings of being on edge or restlessness
  • Feelings of being fearful or powerless
  • Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, sweating or heart palpitations
  • A sense of doom or impending danger
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances

The definition of an anxiety disorder also includes an impairment of day-to-day functioning. A person with an anxiety disorder often experiences a significantly reduced quality of life and anxiety disorders are associated with possibly fatal heart conditions.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Anxiety Panic Attacks

Are There Tests That Diagnose Anxiety

A single test cant diagnose anxiety. Instead, an anxiety diagnosis requires a lengthy process of physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and psychological questionnaires.

Some doctors may conduct a physical exam, including blood or urine tests to rule out underlying medical conditions that could contribute to symptoms youre experiencing.

Several anxiety tests and scales are also used to help your doctor assess the level of anxiety youre experiencing. Reach about each of these tests.

Does Your Therapist Say Face Your Fears And Theyll Go Away

Sorry, but this therapist does not understand the dynamics of social anxiety. We, as people with social anxiety, have constantly faced our fears ever since birth weve had to and we feel more fearful now than we did in the past.

In this case, seek another therapist. It is imperative you find a psychologist who understands social anxiety disorder completely because if they dont even know what it is how will they know what to do to help you overcome it?

Getting over social anxiety disorder is not an easy task, nor is it a difficult one. Many thousands of people have already done it.

While youre in the middle of the social anxiety syndrome, it feels hopeless it feels that youll never get any better. Life is just one gut-wrenching anxiety problem after another.

But this can be stopped, quenched, and killed in a relatively short period of time by finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist who understands and specializes in the treatment of social anxiety.

Recommended Reading: Does Pristiq Help With Anxiety

How Can I Best Cope With An Anxiety Disorder

There are several steps you can take to cope with anxiety disorder symptoms. These strategies can also make your treatment more effective:

  • Explore stress management: Learn ways to manage stress, such as through meditation.
  • Join support groups: These groups are available in-person and online. They encourage people with anxiety disorders to share their experiences and coping strategies.
  • Get educated: Learn about the specific type of anxiety disorder you have so you feel more in control. Help friends and loved ones understand the disorder as well so they can support you.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine: Many people with anxiety disorder find that caffeine can worsen their symptoms.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Your provider is your partner in your care. If you feel like treatment isnt working or have questions about your medication, contact your provider. Together, you can figure out how to best move forward.

Further Information On Cme

A Brief Definition of Anxiety
  • Participation in the CME certification program is possible only over the Internet: This unit can be accessed until 9 December 2018. Submissions by letter, e-mail or fax cannot be considered.

  • The following CME units can still be accessed for credit:

  • Arterial Hypertension until 11 November 2018,

  • Drug Hypersensitivity until 14 October 2018.

  • This article has been certified by the North Rhine Academy for Continuing Medical Education. Participants in the CME program can manage their CME points with their 15-digit uniform CME number , which is found on the CME card . The EFN must be stated during registration on or else entered in Meine Daten, and the participant must agree to communication of the results.

  • CME credit for this unit can be obtained via until 9 December 2018.

    Only one answer is possible per question. Please choose the most appropriate answer.

    Question 1

    What is the approximate 12-month prevalence of anxiety disorders among 14- to 65-year-olds in Europe?

    What is the most common type of anxiety disorder?

  • Selective mutism

  • What percentage of the development of anxiety disorders is accounted for by genetic factors?

  • 127%

  • What type of psychotherapy is the treatment of first choice for anxiety disorders?

  • Psychoanalysis

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

  • Question 5

    What psychoactive drug is/are the first line of drug therapy for anxiety disorders?

  • Benzodiazepines

  • T tricyclic antidepressants

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    Examples Of Anxiety In A Sentence

    anxietyanxietyanxietyanxiety Los Angeles Timesanxiety Washington Postanxiety CNNanxiety EW.comanxietyoregonliveanxietyVarietyanxiety ajcanxiety Forbes

    These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘anxiety.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

    A Single Term With Many Meanings

    There is more than one type of anxiety. That means that you can experience anxiety in many different ways, and the idea that it has a specific meaning is a false one. Those that feel anxiety all the time are said to have “generalized anxiety,” since the anxiety is fairly persistent and recurring. However, there are other types of anxiety as well:

    • Panic Attacks Panic attacks are severe bursts of physical changes related to anxiety that resemble a heart attack. They have a mental component, and are almost entirely physical.
    • Obsessions and Compulsions Obsessions are persistent thoughts that cause fear, followed by compulsions behavioral modifications and rituals that reduce some of the anxiety that happens with recurring thoughts.
    • Phobias Phobias are intense anxieties that are related to a specific event. Rather than general anxiety, where the anxiety is caused by multiple issues, phobias are fears of specific subjects that cause intense anxiety reactions, like a fear of spiders.

    These are just a few of the many different types of anxiety. People can also experience some variation of the above, or experience some physical symptoms more than others.

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    What Causes Generalised Anxiety Disorder

    The exact cause of GAD is not fully understood, although it’s likely that a combination of several factors plays a role.

    Research has suggested that these may include:

    • overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour
    • an imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which are involved in the control and regulation of mood
    • the genes you inherit from your parents you’re estimated to be 5 times more likely to develop GAD if you have a close relative with the condition
    • having a history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse or bullying
    • having a painful long-term health condition, such as arthritis
    • having a history of drug or alcohol misuse

    But many people develop GAD for no apparent reason.

    Cognitive And Behavioral Symptoms


    Cognitive and behavioral symptoms can include avoiding situations that involve testing. This can involve skipping class or even dropping out of school. In other cases, people might use drugs or alcohol to cope with symptoms of anxiety.

    Other cognitive symptoms include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and negative self-talk.

    Read Also: How Common Are Anxiety Disorders

    Choose The Right Synonym For Anxiety

    care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this. care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension. a face worn by years of careconcern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection. crimes caused concern in the neighborhood solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another. acted with typical maternal solicitudeanxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure. plagued by anxiety and self-doubt worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety. financial worries

    What Is The Best Therapy For Anxiety

    The first-line treatment for anxiety is some form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Practical and present-oriented, therapy helps people recognize the cognitive distortion that anxiety forces on them, helps them confront their fears safely, and provides techniques for reversing reactivity.

    Like all treatment, the goal is to restore calm. But it does much more. It helps people regain control over themselves when worry threatens to overtake them.

    Therapy has the added value of taking place in the presence of a real human being. As social creatures, we have nervous systems exquisitely attuned to the influence of others. The presence of a helpful person constitutes a powerful signal of safety, directly and deeply countermanding the alarms of threat that define the disorder of anxiety.

    For more see Therapy for Anxiety

    Also Check: What Is The Root Cause Of Anxiety

    When To Call The Doctor

    A qualified mental health professional should be consulted if a child’s anxiety begins to affect his or her ability to perform the three main responsibilities of childhood: to learn, to make friends, and to have fun. Often fears and anxieties come and go with time and age. However, in some children, anxiety becomes severe, excessive, unreasonable, and long-lasting , interferes with the child’s ability to function normally, and causes the child to be distraught and easily upset, thus necessitating professional intervention.

    Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented

    The Definition of Anxiety

    You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:

    • Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
    • Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
    • Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
    • Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.

    Read Also: Do Anxiety And Depression Go Together

    An Anxiety Definition From The Medical Community

    According to the anxiety definition in Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions, anxiety is the anticipation of impending danger and dread accompanied by restlessness, tension, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing that may or may not be associated with a certain event or situation.

    While technically accurate, this anxiety definition fails to explain that anxiety is a normal, and possibly life-saving, reaction to danger. Imagine that you’re walking down the street, alone at night. A couple of the street light bulbs need replacing, causing darkness to overtake the normally well-lit area. Suddenly you hear footsteps behind you rapid footsteps getting closer by the second. Your heart begins to pound, your mind races with impulses about what to do run or fight. In this case, your anxiety may save your life. Of course, the person running up behind you may be out for a late evening jog and pose no threat to you. But it’s your body’s fight or flight reaction to the sound of footsteps that could save your life if the runner meant you harm.

    Causes Of Anxiety Disorder

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Anxiety Nausea

    Panic Disorders Are Characterized By:

    Repeated and unexpected panic attacks with both physical manifestations and mental ones .

    Anxiety disorders are among the so-called complex genetic diseases characterized by a complex pathogenetic interaction of environmental factors with multiple genetic variants at different chromosomal loci. Family studies have shown that first-degree relatives of patients with panic disorders have a three- to fivefold elevation of the risk of developing such a disorder themselves, compared to the general population. Familial clustering is also seen in generalized anxiety disorder and in the specific phobias. The heritability of anxiety disorders, i.e., the degree of participation of genetic factors in their development, lies in the range of 3067%, with the remainder of the variation accounted for by individual negative environmental factors, such as life events . These include, for example :

    • Abuse and neglect

    • Sexual violence

    • Financial difficulties.

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