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Anxiety

Introduction

Feeling worried or nervous is a normal part of everyday life and everyone feels anxious from time to time. However, anxiety that interferes with daily life is not normal and should be checked by a mental health professional.

Overview and Facts

According to the studies done by IDRAAC, 1 out of 6 Lebanese (16.7% of the Lebanese population) will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. However, Lebanese people can wait up to 28 years before seeking any consultation for their anxiety disorders.

Symptoms

Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety someone might experience are:
  • Trembling (or shaking or shivering)
  • Feeling out of breath (breathlessness)
  • Having a fast heartbeat
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Sweating or cold hands
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Sleeping problems Some of the emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
  • Agitation, irritability, or feeling on edge
  • Worrying too much
  • Fearing that something bad is going to happen or feeling doomed
  • Inability to concentrate, or feeling like your mind goes blank

Consult a doctor if:
  • You feel like you are worrying too much and it is interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
  • You feel depressed
  • You are using drugs or alcohol to (treat) yourself
  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors Your worries may not go away on their own, and they may actually get worse over time if you don't seek help. See your doctor or a mental health provider before your anxiety gets worse. It may be easier to treat if you address it early.

Causes and Risk Factors

Some traumatic events can trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to becoming anxious (people who have an anxious temperament).

In some cases, anxiety is linked to physical problems such as: thyroid problems, substance abuse, asthma, among others...

Tests and Diagnosis

To diagnose an anxiety disorder, a person should consult a mental health professional who will rely on scientific criteria to check whether he/she has an anxiety disorder.

The doctor will perform a fill examination including a mental health assessment.

Also, lab tests can be ordered tests to rule out other conditions, that can cause similar symptoms.

Treatment

The main treatments for anxiety disorders are:
  • Psychotherapy which involves working with a therapist to reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Medication such as anxiolytics, antidepressants or sedatives.
  • Combination of psychotherapy and medication

Sources and Links


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