Anxiety: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of fear or nervousness with no clear reason why. It is normal for people to feel anxious as a reaction to stress or other situations, but when it becomes chronic, it is considered to be a problem. It can affect people of all ages and often runs in the family. It can also occur alongside other mood or personality disorders. It can be treated and managed with medication and therapy.

Anxiety Causes

The exact causes of anxiety are not completely understood, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Some of the most common causes of anxiety include:

Anxiety Symptoms

The symptoms of anxiety can be different for everyone. Some people may experience a broad range of symptoms, and others may only have one or two symptoms. Some people can also experience severe symptoms, while others only experience mild ones. The symptoms often depend on the severity of the disease and how long the patient has been suffering from it. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:

Anxiety Diagnosis

Diagnosing anxiety isn’t easy because the symptoms of the disorder often mimic those of many other mental illnesses, behavioral disorders, and mood disorders. Doctors may have to rule out many of these other illnesses before they can confirm a diagnosis of anxiety. They use a variety of tests to confirm their diagnosis. These tests include:

  • Physical exam: Doctors check to make sure the patients aren’t suffering from any other illnesses or diseases that could be causing the symptoms.
  • Blood test: Doctors can test for infections or abnormalities in the blood that could be causing the symptoms.
  • Urine test: Urine tests can show if there are infections or other problems in the body that could be causing some of the patient’s symptoms.
  • Psychological questionnaire: Doctors will ask the patient questions and compare them to the board standard to figure out if the patient is suffering from anxiety.
  • Explanation of symptoms: Doctors can often diagnose a patient with anxiety based on the description of their symptoms.

Anxiety Treatment

Treatment for anxiety often depends on the severity and the patient’s overall health. Many patients must continue treatment throughout their lives, and others are able to undergo treatment for a few months or years and then find that they no longer suffering from anxiety problems. It can also be hard to find a treatment that works for each individual patient. What works for one patient may not have any effect on another. Some common treatments for anxiety include:

  • Therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Buspirone
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Staying active
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Healthy diet
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding drugs

Anxiety Prognosis

People who suffer from anxiety often suffer from it for the rest of their lives. It is manageable with proper treatment. Patients who use medication as treatment may need to switch medications often to ensure that they do not become desensitized to one type. People who suffer from anxiety can live normal lives with proper treatment.


American Psychiatric Association