What is anxiety?

Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety in particular also refers to anticipation of a future concern and is associated more with muscle tension and avoidance behavior. These disorders can cause people to avoid situations and places that might cause them to feel trapped, helpless, panicking, embarrassed, and scared. Job performance, school work, and personal relationships can be affected. Anxiety disorder is the most common of mental disorders affecting majority of population. For people who have it, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming.

It is a serious mental illness, but proper treatment helps most people lead normal and productive lives.


All anxiety disorders share one major symptom, which is severe or persistent fear and worry. Common symptoms of anxiety might include:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Restlessness or trouble concentrating
  • Feeling completely blank
  • Pounding heart, and sweating
  • Headaches, upset stomach, or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue or insomnia


Common causes of anxiety are:

  • Previous or recent exposure to stressful scenarios or conditions, whether in professional or personal life
  • Excessive intake of caffeine or tobacco
  • Any kind of trauma or abuse
  • Personality traits such as easily flustered or low self esteem


Some common risk factors of anxiety are:

  • Family history of the disorder
  • Stressful or traumatic environment
  • Hypertension and heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes


The following preventive measures can help save yourself from anxiety:

  • Reduce intake of caffeine
  • Indulge in healthy lifestyle
  • Avoid substances like alcohol and tobacco
  • Keep yourself fit by exercising
  • Make time for a hobby

How is diagnosed?

Our doctor at Medanta might use the following methods to diagnose anxiety:


How is it treated?

The most accurate approach of treatment depends upon the kind of disorder. Following are the therapies that can be used for  anxiety:


  • Medication

    Antidepressants, medicines of an anticonvulsant nature, and antipsychotics are used to lessen the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

  • Psychotherapy

     It refers to an exercise of counselling that will address the psychological response to any mental disease.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

    It is a specific kind of psychotherapy where the person gets to identify and alter his/her pattern of thoughts that leads to feelings of distress.

  • Changes in the diet and lifestyle

    These changes will help because the kind of food you eat and the exercise you do determines your mind state. Hence switching to a healthier lifestyle will affect your mental health in a positive way.

  • Relaxation therapy

    This therapy helps a lot because it relaxes the body and furthers help the person to be normal.

When do I contact the doctor?

Consult a doctor immediately, if you have constant panic attacks, feel afraid and nervous frequently, and experience feelings of phobia.

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