Anxiety/Panic Disorder

James Young,10-13-15, Period 5

Don't freak out, help is on the way.

Definition

An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

Causes

  • Mitral valve prolapse, a minor cardiac problem that occurs when one of the heart’s valves doesn't close correctly.
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Stimulant use (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine)
  • Medication withdrawal

Symptoms

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • An inability to be still and calm.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.

Gender specific

women have a more likely chance to have an anxiety disorder by a male:female ratio of 1:1.7

Background

Panic disorder is characterized by periodic attacks of anxiety or terror (panic attacks). Panic attacks usually last 15 - 30 minutes, although residual effects can persist much longer. The frequency and severity of acute states of anxiety determine the diagnosis. (Panic attacks can occur in nearly every anxiety disorder, not just panic disorder. In other anxiety disorders, however, there is always a cue or specific trigger for the attack.)

Treatments

Treatment may be complicated if people have more than one anxiety disorder or if they suffer from depression, substance abuse, or other co-existing conditions. Some treatments include.


Therapy


  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Exposure Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Medication


  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants

Agencies

Websites



Who to call



  • VCU anxiety clinic- (804) 828-8069
  • Cleveland clinic- 866.588.2264