and Their Treatment
Anxiety disorders come in a variety of types. Some are characterized by discreet episodes of intense anxiety such as Panic Disorder while others, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, span each minute of the day. Common in each is anxiety or nervousness.
Panic Disorder consists of relatively brief episodes of intense anxiety accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, palpitation, sweating, shaking, numbness and tingling, and a sense of impending doom. The symptoms of a panic attack may mimic a heart attack, and many victims of the former end up in an emergency room. With continued attacks, the victim may develop a fear of venturing outside, a condition called agoraphobia.
Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia, as its names imply, is characterized by anxiety around groups of people. These individuals have intense anxiety that persists until they have exited the situation. Victims of Social Phobia feel that others in the group are scrutinizing them and judging them. The anxiety during these group situations may be so intense that the victims experience panic attacks.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is probably the most imprecisely named of the anxiety disorders except that it is generalized across time. This is the worry disorder. Sufferers worry excessively about everything. Usually this disorder begins as early as childhood. The worry leads to physical manifestations such as gastrointestinal complaints (truly bowels in an uproar), headaches, muscle tension or insomnia.
Specific Phobias can be intense, excessive fears of specific objects, animals, activities, or events. Most well-known phobias include claustrophobia, acrophobia, and arachnophobia (phobias for suffocating, heights, and spiders).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a collection of symptoms that result from experiencing a trauma. The traumas are usually but not always life-threatening such an automobile accidents, near-drowning, rape, or child abuse. In PTSD, the victim experiences nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, avoidance, amnesia for parts of the trauma, difficult having loving feelings or complete emotional numbness, hypervigilence and an exaggerated startle response. PTSD may begin soon after the trauma or may explode on to the scene years later with the former having the better prognosis.
Medication is extremely helpful in most cases of anxiety disorders, but psychotherapy has the more important role in some such as PTSD. Psychotherapy for late-onset PTSD is usually long-term.
A Word About Anxiety Medication
Because of the rapid increase in abuse of the traditional anti-anxiety agents, all patients are given drug tests, the results of which must read, before benzodiazepines are prescribed. Additionally, we obtain reports from the State that show any controlled substance prescriptions that a patient has been filling.
* * * Please Note: We are no longer accepting patients with
Medicaid, Medicare, Aetna, UHC/UMR, or Suboxone patients. * * *