Anxiety Overview

hello and welcome to the answered patient I'm Jane Hansen in this episode you'll learn about anxiety disorders some of their symptoms how they're diagnosed and the treatment options that are currently available we all know that modern life can be stressful balancing the demands of our family and work lives can often cause feelings of stress and anxiety as we try to do all that we need to and for most people anxiety about deadlines or social situations is normal but for people suffering from an anxiety disorder this sense of nervousness is chronic lasting for six months or more these feelings can be overpowering and are often out of proportion with reality anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem affecting adults in the u.s. in our country we spend 47 billion dollars a year taking care of patients that have anxiety and that includes pharmaceutical support psychotherapy medical visits and so on and it also includes the economic aspect of lost wages while the exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown experts believe that heredity may be involved environment personal development even your diet may play a role in whether you have an anxiety disorder so what is anxiety in part it's a physiological response to a stressful situation it's related to the so called fight-or-flight response when faced with a dangerous situation anxiety can be a useful tool to help us anticipate trouble spurring us into action and keeping us out of harm's way in dangerous or frightening situations our heart rate goes up blood flow to the heart and muscles increases and production of the hormone adrenaline Rises under normal circumstances when the danger passes the physical responses and the heightened feelings of fear and stress that go along with them will pass too but with an anxiety disorder these feelings and physical symptoms are persistent and interfere with everyday life it's a normal emotion there are countless situations where anxiety is appropriate and a good thing if you're walking down a dark Street and you hear somebody walking behind you you want to be vigilant when it's interfering with your day to the point that you're unable to get basic needs completed basic job functions done school things that you need to do completed because all you're doing is worrying about it then it's a problem there are five types of anxiety disorders each is usually diagnosed by its symptoms there's generalized anxiety disorder obsessive compulsive disorder post-traumatic stress disorder panic disorder and social phobia also called social anxiety disorder generalized anxiety disorder or GID is one of the more common forms of anxiety disorders GID affects nearly 7 million people in the US alone it can begin at any age but many people develop GID in childhood or early adolescence women are twice as likely as men to develop this form of anxiety as the name suggests worries for people with generalized anxiety disorder tend to be general and are often related to everyday life obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a second type of anxiety disorder in this disorder a person persistently experiences troubling thoughts or obsessions which lead to rituals or compulsions that are used to try to control those thoughts for example someone with OCD may feel the need to perform certain acts like locking a door in a certain sequence or they may also do things repetitively these rituals may temporarily keep the obsessive thoughts at bay but many people with OCD are fully aware of their habits and are troubled by them obsessions are intrusive unwanted repetitive individual sees them typically as senseless they don't seem to to jibe with who they are as a person an anxiety disorder can also develop following a particularly stressful or traumatic event this type of anxiety is called post-traumatic stress disorder it often develops after an event in which a person has experienced the threat of physical harm war has actually been hurt people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may be emotionally numb or may startle more easily they may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy flashbacks or thoughts and memories about the event are common and tend to be persistent a person with panic disorder typically experiences a rush of panic which can involve a sudden feeling of Terror along with very frightening physical responses such as rapid heartbeat sweating palms and dizziness during a panic attack a person may feel as if they're having a heart attack social phobia also called social anxiety disorder is an intense fear of everyday social interactions a person with social phobia may feel that they are being watched and judged by others or they may experience intense dread about an upcoming social situation sometimes worrying over it for weeks in advance much has been learned in recent years about why anxiety disorders develop and how they can best be treated for many a combination of psychotherapy and prescription drugs can help keep these conditions under control as with any condition talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder he or she can work with you to find the best treatment anxiety is not a fear of a thing it's really a fear of the way we think about a thing it is something that can't be easily treated and something that has a great outcome if the medications work and therapy helps and it's possible to get better in the other chapters of this episode you can learn more about how anxiety is diagnosed get some science and how it works in your body and discover the various treatment options available to you and in our personal story chapter you'll meet a real doctor and patient who are successfully coping with an anxiety disorder finally if you would like to be kept up to date on anxiety disorders you can subscribe to this series on health answers


  1. Good, clear but level of info is pretty basic. First level information for those new to the disorder. Presenters are Americans and use American accents. Stats presented relate only to USA.. Andy Kelly, Australia

  2. is it possible to trip a circut breaker in youre brain? i had a ainx't attack, since then ive changed, something snapped! i used to be pretty tilerant, now wen someone pisses me off i don't take their crap, usualy it doesn't end good. i think im just fed up with the b.s. i take colonopin for the saftey of others, not for me….kinda scarry! but i'm a ratonal person and would never hurt anybody, but i'll jump up into someones face and go the F off on them, but only if they deserve it. help!

  3. If you thingk you might have social anxiety disorder, and your doctor suggests medications like Xanax, Ativan, or Klonopin, make darned sure you are aware of the withdrawal effects of these medications. They are Only for short term use (a few weeks – loss of job, loved ones, loss of home, tec.), and doctors are now losing their licenses for over-orescribing them.

  4. This is a very well done video. Not only is it very informative, but it does a great job explaining the issues around anxiety disorders.

  5. This is good!

    It's funny that they say generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorder, but they don't say that social anxiety disorder IS the most common.

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