What is Anxiety? A detailed review of its Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

what is anxiety

What is Anxiety? A detailed review of its Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Anxiety, or uncertainty about the future, cannot be considered a bad thing always. Sometimes anxiety makes you feel intense, but it portrays that your body and mind are working together to maintain safety. People suffering from anxiety disorder commonly experience nervousness, tension, and worry. It impacts their everyday life. 

A person worries about some particular objects or matters depending on the type of anxiety disorder. Recent studies reveal that around 33% of people are affected by an anxiety disorder at some point worldwide.

Online therapy platforms give you access to licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage or family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional counselors. You can choose the best online therapy according to your needs and preferences. The complete description of anxiety and its treatment is list in the article below.

What is Anxiety?

American Psychiatric Association has defined Anxiety as the uncertainty of a future threat. It is link with muscle tension and avoidance behavior. In the words of Maggie Grindrod, Anxiety is a general problem worldwide. She is a licensed master’s social worker and behavioral health therapist at the Center for Behavioral Health. 

She added that it is normal and healthy. Most of the world population suffers from it as it indicates that your system is working and your body is awake. Apprehension, worry, and restlessness are the common symptoms of Anxiety. Moreover, physical symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating, or shortness of breath indicate that your body wants you to listen to it.

Anxiety Disorders:

An anxiety disorder is not like random anxiety. In the words of Grindrod, Anxiety disorder is illustrated as an emotional state where a person experiences severe forms of stress, fear, tension, and worry. It gets in the way of the person living his life. The following conditions generally elaborate anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder.
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias

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Symptoms of the Anxiety Disorders: 

American Psychiatric Association states that anxiety disorder patients experience the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Feeling on edge
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleeping issues

The most general symptom of a panic disorder is recurring panic attacks that lead to an increase in heartbeat, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, etc. Moreover, the phobic person may experience extreme avoidance of objects or fear of a particular thing.


Let us discuss the leading causes of anxiety disorders. Doctors or researchers haven’t illustrated a particular factor or condition that takes you to an anxiety disorder. However, studies reveal the involvement of the factors below:

  • Genetical history of mental health problems.
  • Being widowed, divorced, or separated.
  • Having less income or a lower level of formal education Having a substance use disorder.
  • Having a personality that responds vigorously to new people, things, or experiences.
  • Having a self-centered or introverted personality.
  • Having a history of severe health conditions.

In the words of Grindrod, people are overwhelmed. He added that most of us aren’t aware of how to manage the physical indications of stress or to set personal or professional boundaries for ourselves. We are so indulged in our personal and financial problems that we can’t prioritize the maintenance of our mental health. It makes us overwhelmed and eventually causes anxiety or panic.


Types of Anxiety Disorder

There are four main types of anxiety disorders, which are listed below.

  • Panic Disorder 

A patient with panic disorder suffers recurring panic attacks. These attacks are instant illustrations of fear or the feeling of losing control. The following symptoms symbolize it:

  • Trembling or tingling in the extremities
  • Chest pain
  • A racing heart
  • Sweating

A random panic attack does not mean that the person has a panic disorder. Patients are very concerned about getting panic attacks. They try to avoid the circumstances or causes that might bring them on. According to NIMH, a person with panic disorder can experience panic attacks a few times a day or a few times per year.

  • The Social Anxiety Disorder

The person who is suffering from social anxiety disorder experiences severe fears of being watched or judge by others. These are not just random feelings and can be so powerful that they may make it difficult for the particular person to go to work, school, or social gatherings. They are too frightened even to leave the house.

  • A Phobia Disorder

A phobic person is intensely afraid of a particular object, thing, person or experience. They fear a specific animal, blood, or being in enclosed spaces. These phobias provoke emotions that are disproportionate to the danger that a particular thing or experience may cause them.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

In Generalized disorder, a patient experiences a constant sense of stress and fear that interferes with his daily life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, GAD is not like a random stressful day. It may last for a few months or even years. It’s distinguishing features include excessive worry that lasts for more than six months. According to NIMH, it is elaborate by the following symptoms:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Feeling on edge.
  • Difficulty in maintaining concentration. 
  • Feeling irritation.
  • Encountering inexplicable pains, including headaches, stomach and muscle pain.
  • Difficulty in handling your worry.
  • Sleeping problems like insomnia or trouble with staying asleep.

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Diagnosing of the Anxiety Disorder:

A primary care physician and professional mental health expert can diagnose an anxiety disorder in an individual. A health specialist examines a person physically, ask about the symptom, and even prescribe a blood test. It is done to exclude other reasons for your anxiety symptoms, such as hypothyroidism. 

They inquire the patient about their medicines intake, as some medicines like levodopa and cyclosporine can provoke anxiety in the person. The doctor needs to have the complete health history of the patient. Sometimes, conditions like sleep apnea or others can cause stress in the body.

Your doctor can only diagnose anxiety. A mental health expert, a psychologist or a psychiatrist can do the same job. They can not only diagnose an anxiety disorder but also recommend and provide treatment options. They prescribe talk therapy or online therapy, while a psychiatrist recommends anxiety medication.

Ways to Treat Anxiety Disorder:

A meetup with a health professional is a must to diagnose the generalized disorder if you are experiencing the following conditions:

  • Stress that is unmanageable and leads to emotional tension.
  • Stress that is influencing your work and relationships.
  • Stress about your health, job, financial problems, other household issues, or global events.

If you are going through any worry or emotional stress that affects your concentration, daily life, or relationship, consult a professional now. They will guide you about its possible causes and will prescribe its treatment. If you see someone around you suffering from the same circumstances, give them similar advice to get them out of that state of anxiety.

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