Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms such as a fast heart rate and shakiness. These are several anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorders, specific phobia, social anxiety disorders. separation anxiety disorders, panic disorders and selective autism. The disorders differ by what results in the symptoms.

People often have more than one anxiety disorder. The cause of anxiety disorder is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include a history of child abuse, family history of mental disorders and poverty. Anxiety disorders often occur with other mental disorders particularly major depressive disorders, personality disorders and substance use disorders. To be diagnosed symptoms typically need to be present for at least 6 months, be more than what would be expected for the situation, and decrease functioning.

They occur in female about twice as often in males and generally begin before the age of 25 years. The most common are specific phobias which affect nearly 12% and social anxiety disorders which affect 10%. Phobias mainly affect people between the ages of 25 and 35 and become less common after age 55.

Anxiety and depression can be caused by alcohol abuse, which in most cases improves with prolonged abstinence. Even moderate sustained alcohol use may increase anxiety levels in some individuals. Caffeine, alcohol, benzodiazepine dependence can worsen or as panic disorders and social phobia was determined to be the result of alcohol and benzodiazepine dependence.

Occasionally an anxiety disorder may be a side-effect of an underlying endocrine disease that causes nervous system hyperactivity such as hyperthyroidism.

Its treatment includes lifestyle changes including exercise, regular sleeping patterns, reducing caffeine intake and stopping smoking. The other method to recover from anxiety is to take therapies. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is effective for anxiety disorders and is the first-line treatment. Mindfulness is a based program also appear to be effective for managing anxiety disorders. 

Medications include SSRIs or SNRIs are the first-line choice for generalized anxiety disorder. There is good evidence for any member of the class being better than others, so cost often drives drug choice. If they are effective, it is recommended that they can be continued for at least a year. Stopping these medications result in a greater risk of relapse.

Anxiety as effect human behaviour also has an effect on our mental health. A healthy person should be aware of all its causes to reduce the possibility of having anxiety. Persons with anxiety should feel free to share his /her problems with the consultant. This is the only remedy to get rid of this problem and to live a healthy and fruitful life.

A quote describes this situation clearly. Sayings of Ray Bradbury:

“Self- consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.”

Submitted by “Ayesha Saddique”