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Anxiety Disorders


If you are experiencing occasional anxiety, there's nothing to worry about. It's normal, happens to everybody, and it's a part of life. It might occur due to stress at work, lack of rest, or before making an important decision. 

But anxiety disorders are far worse; they can involve lasting worry or fear. The anxiety does not go away with an anxiety disorder and can worsen over time. This can interfere with daily chores and activities, daily work, performance at the workplace, and even relationships. 

An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that reacts to certain things and situations with fear and dread. One might also encounter visible signs of anxiety, such as heart pounding and sweating. 

It is natural to have anxiety. For instance, one may feel anxious or nervous to tackle a problem. In some cases, an anxiety factor can even be advantageous. For example, anxiety helps us discern dangerous conditions and directs our attention to stay safe. 

Anxiety disorder goes past the typical nervousness and slight fear, which occurs when: 

  • Anxiety deters the ability to
  • One frequently tends to overreact when emotions are
  • Unable to control responses to certain 

There are various anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and many phobia-related disorders. 


Anxiety disorders can make it challenging to get through the day. Symptoms differ with the kind of anxiety disorder one has. 

Suppose one has a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In that case, they display excessive anxiety or worry, almost every day for at least 6 months, about various things like personal health, work, social interactions, and daily routine life situations. Fear, worry, and anxiety can cause considerable hardships in multiple phases and parts of their life, such as social interactions and work. 

If one experiences panic disorder, they have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. These attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that quickly escalate and peak within minutes. Panic attacks can occur suddenly or be triggered, such as a feared object or situation. These individuals constantly worry about the next episode and actively try to prevent them by avoiding places, conditions, or behaviors they associate with it. Worry about panic attacks and the effort spent trying to avoid attacks cause significant problems in various areas of a person's life, including developing specific phobias. 

People with phobia-related disorders develop an intense fear of (or aversion to) specific objects or situations. Although it is okay to be anxious occasionally, these people's fear is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the case or object. Several phobias and phobia-related disorders, such as a phobia of flying, heights, blood, etc. Phobias could also be related to socializing, open spaces, standing in a line, being alone outside of the home, etc. 

Common signs of an anxiety disorder involve: 

Physical symptoms: 

  • Cold or sweaty
  • Dry
  • Heart
  • Numbness or tingling in feet or
  • Muscle
  • Breathing 

Mental symptoms: 

  • Panicking, fear and
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts and 

Behavioral symptoms: 

  • Unable to be still and
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as cleaning surfaces
  • Not able to
Risk Factors: 

Genetics and environmental factors contribute to the risks of developing an anxiety disorder. The risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder can vary from person to person. Some general risk factors for all kinds of anxiety disorders include: 

  • Hypersensitive characteristics of shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events in preadolescence or adultness
  • A history of anxiety or other mental illnesses in genes
  • Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid or heart problems or certain medications, can produce or aggravate anxiety symptoms; a physical health examination is needed in such 
Treatment and Therapies: 

Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent mental health issues and are highly treatable. Fortunately, there are numerous effective remedies for anxiety disorders. Once a person understands their anxiety disorder, their healthcare provider can tailor a treatment plan that works for them. Medication combined with psychotherapy can help to reduce the symptoms and regain control of life. 

Psychotherapy: Also known as "talk therapy," can help people cope with anxiety disorders. There are types of psychotherapy that can be tailored to a person's specific anxieties and needs, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which includes cognitive therapy and exposure therapy that treats social anxiety disorder. CBT can be conducted in person or with a group of people who have similar difficulties. 

Medication: Medication can help relieve specific symptoms of anxiety disorders, but unfortunately, it cannot cure them. A psychiatrist or a particular primary care provider can prescribe medication for anxiety disorders. The most common medications used to combat anxiety disorders are anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. 

Fact Check: 
  • Approximately 74% and 88% of Indians reported stress and anxiety, respectively, since lockdown in
  • It is said that there are more than 10 million cases of anxiety disorders per year in India.
  • Anxiety disorders are treatable, yet only a minority of those suffering obtain treatment.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric conditions than those who do not suffer from anxiety
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complicated set of risk factors, including genes, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
  • Three to five percent of people worldwide suffer from significant depression; the lifetime risk is about 17
PGC Resolution: To normalize and destigmatize mental health in India, provide accessibility for mental health care and advocate for it.