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Anxiety And Panic Attacks

2 Pages 614 Words

Anxiety and Panic Attacks
THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEMAnxiety is a very common problem in the community. It has been estimated that in general practice populations, as many as 27% of patients with psychiatric symptoms have anxiety state.WHAT IS ANXIETY?Anxiety disorders can vary enormously from severe generalised anxiety in which there is a feeling of constant dread with unpleasant bodily symptoms, to panic attacks, which may be a sudden onset of these symptoms, appearing to come out of the blue. Fear of having a panic attack can be very disabling, preventing people from going about normal work or social activities and leading to agoraphobia. Other fears, (phobias) may focus on specific situations or objects. Many sufferers of anxiety have experienced a mixture of these conditions, possibly over a long period of time.MOODWith anxiety, the mood is one of feeling keyed up and irritable.COGNITIONSThe thinking patterns characteristically focus on excessive worry about things. There may be thoughts about being vulnerable or ineffective, or being threatened by events or other people. Often there is poor concentration.BIOLOGICAL FEATURESAn anxious person is in a state of high arousal: there may be increased heart rate, weating, shaking, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth and a range of other symptoms.BEHAVIOUR AND MOTIVATIONWith anxiety, the person may be uneasy, jumpy and restless, always on the lookout for possible danger or difficulty in an effort to avoid such situations. A sufferer may appear to have few distressing symptoms simply by avoiding situations in which they arise.CAUSESThere is no one cause for the onset of an anxiety disorder. There may be a family predisposition. Sometimes the onset coincides with a life event: bereavement, unemployment, childbirth etc., or with physical illness, or with a period of stress.TREATMENTIn the past, benzodiazepine medication has been prescribed, but the evidence of habituation and dependency has caused ...

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