Anxiety Disorder

There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

What Is Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by excessive and persistent worry, fear, and nervousness. Anxiety disorders can manifest in different ways, including panic attacks, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anxiety disorders can interfere with daily activities, relationships, and quality of life. Treatment for anxiety disorders may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. It’s important to seek professional help if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

Signs & Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder can manifest in different ways and can vary from person to person. However, some common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder include:

  • Excessive and persistent worry or fear
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Muscle tension or stiffness
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sweating or trembling
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Avoidance of situations that trigger anxiety
  • Panic attacks (sudden and intense episodes of fear and physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, and sweating)

If you experience these symptoms and they interfere with your daily life or cause significant distress, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help determine if you have an anxiety disorder and provide appropriate treatment.

Stages of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder does not necessarily have “stages” that everyone experiences in the same way, but some mental health professionals describe a general progression of symptoms and severity that can occur. Here is one possible way to think about the stages of anxiety disorder. It’s important to note that not everyone with anxiety disorder will experience all of these stages, and some may have a more severe presentation from the beginning. Additionally, some people may experience periods of remission or relapse over time. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder, it’s important to seek professional help to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Mild anxiety

At this stage, a person may experience occasional feelings of worry or nervousness, but they are generally able to manage their symptoms and function well in their daily life.

Moderate anxiety

At this stage, anxiety symptoms become more frequent and intense. The person may start to avoid certain situations or activities that trigger their anxiety, and their relationships or work may be affected.

Severe anxiety

At this stage, anxiety symptoms become more severe and disruptive. The person may experience panic attacks or constant worry that interferes with their ability to function at work or home. Physical symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems may also be present.

Panic disorder

At this stage, the person experiences panic attacks regularly and often lives in fear of having another attack. Panic disorder can be very disruptive and can lead to avoidance behaviours and social isolation.

Ketamine treatment for refractory anxiety: A systematic review

There is a growing interest in the psychiatric properties of the dissociative anaesthetic ketamine, as single doses have been shown to have fast-acting mood-enhancing and anxiolytic effects, which persist for up to a week after the main psychoactive symptoms have diminished. Therefore, ketamine poses potential beneficial effects in patients with refractory anxiety disorders, where other conventional anxiolytics have been ineffective. Ketamine is a noncompetitive antagonist of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor, which underlies its induction of pain relief and anaesthesia. 1


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