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Anxiety Disorders

Clinical Depression

Anxiety Disorders


Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness becomes possible.

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Anxiety Disorders


Symptoms of anxiety include a state of heightened alertness and apprehension, a feeling of impending doom or catastrophe, and physical manifestations of excess adrenalin such as tremor, rapid heartbeat, palpitations(skipped beats), sweating, blushing, dry mouth, exaggerated startle reflex, shortness of breath and urinary frequency and urgency.

These symptoms can vary from mild and barely noticeable to extremely severe and temporarily incapacitating. When symptoms are severe they often result in panic attacks during which the individual may feel that they cannot get a deep breath and are suffocating due to lack of oxygen(hyperventilation syndrome) or are about to die from a heart attack or stroke. This can result in a frantic dash to the emergency room or a 911 call for urgent medical assistance. Once a panic attack has occurred the individual is frequently terrified of a recurrence, something which seems to predispose to such recurrences.

Chronic anxiety can cause a person to fear the worst in any circumstances and to view the future with dread and foreboding. This attitude can then shape behavior and result in choices that constrict and distort the individual’s life over long periods of time. Anxiety tends to feed on and reinforce itself.

Chronic anxiety can lead to withdrawal and avoidance from healthy activities and pursuits. The social anxiety disorder(social phobia) can take the form of extreme performance anxiety or an acutely exaggerated self-consciousness and fear of what others are imagined to be thinking about one. Individuals with anxiety disorders tend to be ashamed of their fears and secretive about them. They usually manage to conceal them from others, who often have no idea how they are feeling and thus why they act the way they do. Social withdrawal, avoidance and aloofness due to social anxiety disorder is commonly misinterpreted by others as conceit, unfriendliness, coldness or even hostility, resulting in a further breakdown in normal interpersonal relations.

Specific fears and phobias(closed spaces, heights, needles, germs, insects, animals etc.) are common in anxiety disorders and lead to avoidance of the phobic object or situation. Agoraphobia is the anxiety that results from going too far from home, causing the person to postpone or avoid such trips, to keep them as short and brief as possible, and when very extreme, to become so afraid that they refuse to leave their home at all. Hypochrondriasis is the abnormal awareness of bodily sensations accompanied by the exaggerated fear of serious illness. Although extremely distressing and often crippling and life-altering when unrecognized, anxiety disorders are among the most easily and successfully treated conditions encountered by mental health professionals.