Common stresses cause a lot of us to experience some level of anxiety. Anxiety has beneficial effects, by making us to put more effort and attention into those matters which have impact on our well-being. The effect of anxiety only becomes damaging when it begins to become the focus of a person’s everyday life. At this point, it potentially has the severity to be considered a clinical issue by mental health workers. The trouble for most is in perceiving when anxiety crosses the threshold from normal to overwhelming. This fact is borne out by the fact that the casual use of the word anxiety hides its complexity as a whole group of disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Conditions range in degree of seriousness, from milder forms (e.g. generalized anxiety disorder or GAD), to more serious ones (e.g. obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD). Understanding the kind, origins and category of anxiety will send a person much nearer to a way of mitigating or eliminating intense anxiety.
Everyday stressors, including events such as switching jobs or quitting a career, are all causal factors of anxiety. Nervousness, jittery feelings, and extra attention to detail are responses to these events of normal intensity of anxiety. In contrast, those suffering from an anxiety disorder will experience much more intense versions of these feelings. Tellingly, physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, shaking and sweating afflict people with anxiety disorders.
The DSM-IV lists a substantial number of conditions that are categorized under the inclusive definition “anxiety. For the purpose of conferring to sufferers some understanding into their disorder, and to show the complexity of the condition three anxiety-related diseases are noted here. With apparently little trigger the first condition, called “panic attack”, makes sufferers prone to unexpected onset of panic accompanied by profuse sweating and chest pains. Unlike “panic attacks”, the second example is the condition of OCD, which makes patients feel continuous, persistent fear which compels them to repeat motions in an attempt to dampen the fear. For the third example, “social anxiety disorder” makes people be unable to interact with other people in a normal setting, instead feeling fear and humiliation when among them. The possibility of being a target for ridicule is the reason for these fears.
Diagnosis and categorization of an anxiety disorder relies on visual examination, interview responses to questions, and a litany of symptoms correlated with the disorder. The mental health physician will ask about particular symptoms, such as bad dreams, problems sleeping, level and persistence of feelings of fear. The list of seemingly subjective criteria implies such a diagnosis is not an easy task. It is true while each symptom alone does not signal indisputable diagnosis of anxiety disorder, the total effect of several symptoms can convince the mental health worker the case of and kind of anxiety disorder.
The root causes of all these anxiety disorder is the ultimate question in the thoughts of many. As is true for many psychiatric disorders, the answer is unclear because of our limited understanding of the nature and biology of the brain. The three major beliefs for the root causes separate (and overlap) into three kinds : environmental, neurochemical, and genetic. The environmental hypothesis finds anxiety to be like diabetes: prompted by lifestyle and habits. Type II diabetes is speculated to be caused by adopting a lifestyle characterized by habits that lead to obesity. Insulin resistance and thus diabetes are believed to be a response of the body to the environs. Similarly, permanently stressful situations can give rise to long term bodilly responses that morph into anxiety disorder. Likewise, brain chemistry is thought to be the basic cause of anxiety disorders. Stress responses that inhibit “calm” signals, under tranquil circumstances, are released by brain cells. But the brain may be be slave to continuous stimulation and anxiety levels can blow out of control if the emission of this chemical become misregulated. Finally, some believe that anxiety disorders arise out of genetic makeup. Indeed, anxiety seems to run in sibling relationships, constituting the proof of the idea. The complexity of anxiety disorders suggest proper diagnosis can yield a difference in procuring the correct solution.