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ANXIETY SPECTRUM DISORDERS

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects 12-14% of all Australians. Many of course will not seek treatment till this becomes quite acute and disabling. We all know what
it’s like to feel anxious; that feeling of dread or apprehension which usually accompanies tightness in the chest, and also lead to other physical symptoms like sweating, trembling and
rapid heartbeat.

These feelings of  are normal when people are faced with some threats or problems that seem insurmountable. But, for most of us, these feelings usually fade away once the causative event passes, or we somehow solve the problem. But for some of us,becomes quite attached to us, and for no particular reason, continues to make our daily life quite complex and difficult. We then are said to be suffering from Anxiety. Sounds familiar?

This disorder is not always easy to diagnose, as we feel this is part of life. The good news is that most anxiety disorders can be successfully treated, once diagnosed.

Causes

No single cause of anxiety disorder has been identified. There are a number of potential risk factors identified, which might predispose us to suffer from Anxiety:

  • Personal characteristics. The introverted, perfectionists, people with low self-esteem and poor coping skills may be quite prone to anxiety disorders.
  • Family history. Anxiety spectrum disorders tend to run in families, suggesting there’s a genetic factor involved in the cause.
  • Chemical Imbalance. Some neurochemical changes in the brain may cause the anxiety-pathways to overreact.This is mainly a reason of concern for patients who already are vulnerable due to presence of other factors mentioned here. Serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) are two of the neurotransmitters that may be involved,
    although their exact role is poorly understood.
  • Illness. Certain ongoing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hormonal problems have been linked to anxiety.
  • Stress factors. A range of stressful life events – eg relationship breakdown; job
    related stress; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; or grief and loss due to death of a loved one – can trigger anxiety in some people.
  • Substance use. Alcohol and drugs – such as cannabis or amphetamines – can be the cause of anxiety. Even caffeine can worsen anxiety symptoms.

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