Anxiety disorders are most common psychiatric illnesses and affects about 10-15 % of population. Anxiety in itself is a normal phenomenon of body and mind e.g. anxiety occurring while facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, a blind date, or a confrontation with a friend. However it becomes an illness when this feeling is prolonged and interferes with day to day activity. When prolonged it also cause marked distress to the patient.
Anxiety disorders include
Autonomic arousal symptoms
- Palpitations or pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate.
- Trembling or shaking
- Dry mouth (not due to medication or dehydration).
Symptoms concerning chest and abdomen
- Difficulty breathing.
- Feeling of choking.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Nausea or abdominal distress (e.g. churning in stomach)
Symptoms concerning brain and mind
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, faint or light-headed.
- Feelings that objects are unreal (derealization), or that one's self is distant or "not really here" (depersonalization).
- Fear of losing control, going crazy, or passing out.
- Fear of dying.
- Hot flushes or cold chills.
- Numbness or tingling sensations.
- Medication : anti anxiety drugs are mainstay of treatment
- Non pharmacological.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Relaxation techniques
- Breathing exercises