What is anxiety?

Anxiety refers to the anticipation of a future worry and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.

Anxiety is a normal response to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can warn us of dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of irritability or worry and involve extreme fear or worry. Anxiety disorders are the most common of the mental disorders, affecting about 30% of adults at some point in their lives.

Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat and is more often associated with a fight-or-flight response – either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger.

Anxiety disorders can cause people to try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, schoolwork, and personal relationships may be affected.

Who Is Anxiety Disorder Common?

It is two times more common in women than men. Middle age is the most common age group.

It is more common in people who have been brought up by parents who have been behaviorally intervened a lot since their childhood, who have an overprotective approach, people who have a negative view of events and the environment, show negative evaluations and reactions, and personality structures that have expectations in the form of constant harm. The risk increases in people who have more negative experiences in childhood. There is also a genetic transmission in the disease.

General Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but certain effects are seen in all anxiety disorders. Among them;

  • Panic, restlessness, increased fear and anxiety,
  • Sweating, cold hands and feet
  • Shortness of breath,
  • tachycardia (heart rhythm disorder),
  • dry mouth,
  • There are symptoms such as difficulty concentrating.

What Are the Types of Anxiety?

What is Pervasive Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder involves persistent and excessive worrying that interferes with daily activities. This ongoing anxiety and tension may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as restlessness, irritability or fatigue, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, or trouble sleeping. Usually, worries focus on everyday things like work responsibilities, family health, or small matters like chores, appointments.

What is Panic Disorder?

The main symptom of panic disorder is a recurrent recurrent illness, an overwhelming combination of physical and psychological distress. are panic attacks . During an attack, several of these symptoms occur in combination:

  • Palpitations, heart palpitations, or rapid heart rate
  • Exude
  • trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or feeling of suffocation
  • chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • choking feeling
  • numbness or tingling
  • chills or hot flashes
  • Nausea or stomachaches
  • Fear of losing control
  • fear of dying

Because the symptoms are so severe, many people who have panic attacks may believe they are having a heart attack or other life-threatening illness. They may go to the emergency room of a hospital. Panic attacks, such as a reaction to a feared object, can occur unexpectedly or for no apparent reason. The average age of onset of panic disorder is 20-24.

What is a Specific Phobia?

A specific phobia is an excessive and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity that is usually not harmful. Clients know that their fear is extreme, but they cannot overcome it. These fears cause such distress that some people go to extremes to avoid what they fear. Sample; fear of airplanes, heights, health, or spiders, cats, dogs.

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is the fear of being in situations where escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or where help may not be available in case of panic symptoms. Fear is disproportionate to the actual situation and causes problems in functioning. A person with agoraphobia experiences this fear in two or more of the following situations:

  • Using public transport
  • be in open spaces
  • being in closed places
  • standing in line or being in a crowd
  • being alone outside the house

The individual actively avoids the situation, needs a companion, or bears with intense fear or anxiety. Untreated agoraphobia can be so serious that the person may not be able to leave the house.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)?

A person with social anxiety disorder has significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected, or despised in social interactions. People with this disorder will try to avoid the situation or endure it with great anxiety. Common examples are extreme fear of public speaking, meeting new people, or eating/drinking in public. Fear or anxiety causes problems in daily functioning.

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

A person with separation anxiety disorder has extreme fear or anxiety about being separated from their dependents. This feeling is beyond what is appropriate for the person’s age and causes functionality problems. A person with separation anxiety disorder may constantly worry about losing a loved one, be reluctant, or refuse to go out or sleep away from home or without that person, or may have separation-related nightmares. Physical symptoms of distress usually develop in childhood, but symptoms may persist into adulthood.

How Is Anxiety Disorder Treated?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It is a form of therapy that is at the forefront with its effectiveness among the techniques used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. In cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a form of goal-oriented therapy, the counselor aims to make the person aware of the underlying beliefs and thought patterns of the situation, which is the main complaint. Thus, the person can develop new behavioral abilities and become ready for situations that may be a source of anxiety. The aim is for the patient to reach a stage where they can manage their emotions on their own.

EMDR

EMDR therapy is one of the most effective psychotherapy methods for anxiety disorder. At the end of the treatment, clients state that they no longer give negative physical and emotional reactions when they feel intense anxiety, and they even feel more comfortable.

Another reason why this method is preferred in anxiety disorder is that EMDR treatment has a shorter duration than other therapy methods and has a faster effect. Thanks to this, it is possible to get more pronounced results from the treatment.

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