Types of Anxiety Disorders: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders can be quite common. However, types of anxiety disorders differ from person to person.

Types of anxiety

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Depending on the symptoms, anxiety disorders are classified as different types.

Generalised anxiety disorder and Panic disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder:

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a problem where the person experiences persistent and painful anxiety.

Symptoms and signs of generalised anxiety disorder include:

  1. Dizziness, palpitations (awareness of one’s heart beat), chest tightness, raised blood pressure and sweaty palms and soles.
  2. Irritability and an extra vigilant attitude.
  3. Tremors, aches and pains and tension headaches.
  4. Anxious facial expressions and preoccupation with one’s worries. However other mental functions are not affected.
  5. Rapid shallow breathing and eyes that are wide open in fear.

Causes of generalised anxiety disorder:

Reasons for generalised anxiety disorder range from genetics and brain chemistry to trauma and stressful events.

Treatment of generalised anxiety disorder:

If the patient is co-operative and genuinely wants to get help, insight oriented psychotherapy is used. This is a long-term treatment that aims to develop new thoughts to replace the anxious ones.

Supportive psychotherapy aims at giving encouragement, support and reassurance when the person is disturbed. Listening to the person is important.

Relaxation techniques are used to calm the body. Hence the patient is told to breathe slowly, relax the muscles and close the eyes. This helps to restore his mental equilibrium.

Medication is an integral part of treatment. Diazepam, anti-psychotics and others are used to control specific symptoms. Yoga, meditation and breathing done regularly will help to calm the anxious person and slowly change these personality traits.

Our next article will give you a detailed overview on Panic Disorder, a type of anxiety disorder. 

Article by Dr Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician

Photograph by Jesse Therrien, via sxc.hu