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Anxiety disorders cover a wide range of clinical conditions where the patient is in an anxiety state i.e. when anxiety dominate a person's life. Generalised anxiety disorder is the most common, and detailed below. Other types are:
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
A state of anxiety present most of the time without appropriate stressors.
It affects 2% of the population and women twice as much as men.
There is no clear cut, or commonly accepted theory. It appears to run in families, so possibly has some genetic component.
- Stressful life event
- Childhood trauma
- Family history of anxiety
- Family history of alcohol abuse.
- Severe long-lasting anxiety
- Generally, no precipitating reason
- Feeling of anxiety
- Lack of sleep/low quality sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and vomitting
- Muscle tension
There are lots of others, but these ones are key.
Diagnosis itself is done clinically. However, other stuff needs ruling out:
- Caffeine abuse
- SSRI side effect
- Illegal drugs
- Heart conditions which cause palpitations
- Phaeochromocytoma (very rare)
- If that doesn't work, try tricyclic antidepressants.
- If they are really hyper, knock them down to a normal level with Benzos.
- Otherwise you can try cognitive behavioural therapy - which is more effective than medication.
Almost all patients, with treatment, will become stable. Once diagnosed, however, the condition is likely to become chronic