Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person experiences disproportionate anxiety levels regularly may develop into a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses. They are characterized by feelings of fear, unease, and worry. These feelings can be intense and persist for long periods, often affecting daily activities. Anxiety symptoms include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, and excessive worry.
Mental health professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists, conduct a clinical assessment before a proper diagnosis. The assessment typically includes:
- A thorough medical and psychological history.
- A discussion of symptoms.
- A review of personal and family mental health history.
In some cases, the mental health professional may also conduct diagnostic tests, such as a blood test, to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders. It provides specific criteria for each type of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
However, it is important to note that anxiety symptoms can be part of other mental health conditions, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Hence, a proper diagnosis is crucial to ensure the right treatment is provided.
Remember, providing sufficient support to people you love, care and treasure can help them. It is normal to feel anxiety. However, if you or the people you care about are experiencing anxiety symptoms continuously, it is recommended that you seek the help of a mental health professional.
“Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distinction.” – Michelle Obama
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