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Anxiety Disorders

A category of disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. For some people, however, anxiety can become excessive. While the person suffering may realize their anxiety is too much, they may also have difficulty controlling it and it may negatively affect their day-to-day living.

There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder to name a few. Collectively, they are among the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans....Read more about Anxiety Disorders NIH - National Institute of Mental Health

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Computer-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders or Depression [Internet]

Conclusions There is limited scientific evidence indicating that computer-based CBT has favorable, short-term effects on symptoms in the treatment of panic disorder, social phobia, and depression. The scientific evidence is insufficient to assess the effects of treatment on obsessive-compulsive disorder and mixed anxiety / depression. The scientific evidence is insufficient to assess the cost effectiveness of the method. It is essential to clarify how patients should be selected for treatment and the role of computer-based CBT in relation to other treatment options. Studies with a more representative selection of participants and with longer followup periods are needed to enable more reliable conclusions on the effects and costs of using the method within the health services.

Effect of Vitamins, Minerals and Other Dietary Supplements on Mental Health Symptoms for People with ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder or Depression [Internet]

Mental disorders are prevalent and they have major consequences for those affected, including reduction in patients' social functioning and workplace productivity. The mainstays of treatment are various types of psychotropic drugs and conversational therapies. Dietary supplements, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins, are sometimes used in the treatment of mental disorders, but their effect is debated.

Therapeutic touch for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are a common occurrence in the general population and have considerable impact on quality of life. This review aimed to assess the effectiveness of therapeutic touch on anxiety disorders. However no randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of therapeutic touch for anxiety disorders were identified, and highlights the need for high quality randomised controlled trials on this topic.

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Summaries for consumers

Therapeutic touch for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are a common occurrence in the general population and have considerable impact on quality of life. This review aimed to assess the effectiveness of therapeutic touch on anxiety disorders. However no randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of therapeutic touch for anxiety disorders were identified, and highlights the need for high quality randomised controlled trials on this topic.

Passiflora for the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults

Anxiety is a very common mental health problem in the general population. Passiflora, a herbal medicine, could be an option for treating anxiety if shown to be effective and safe. This review summarised the evidence from currently available studies on passiflora. Only two studies were eligible for inclusion, involving a total of 198 participants. One study showed that passiflora was as effective as benzodiazepines, with similar dropout rates between the two treatments. Given the lack of studies, it is not possible to draw any conclusions on the effectiveness or safety of passiflora in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Valerian for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are a very common mental health problem in the community. Most of the medications used to treat anxiety have side effects. Valerian is a phytotherapeutic medication frequently used for insomnia. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of valerian for anxiety disorders. Only one study was identified, involving 36 patients and comparing valerian with placebo and diazepam. This study found no significant differences in effectiveness between valerian and placebo, or between valerian and diazepam, for clinician‐rated anxiety symptoms, and that both valerian and diazepam were equally well tolerated by patients. However, additional studies with larger numbers of patients are necessary before drawing conclusions about the effectiveness and safety of valerian as a treatment option for anxiety disorders.

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Terms to know

Anxiety
Feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that may occur as a reaction to stress. A person with anxiety may sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heart beat.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A condition marked by excessive worry and feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that last six months or longer.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An anxiety disorder in which a person has intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that occur repeatedly, and in which he or she feels driven to perform certain behaviors over and over again. For example, a person may worry all the time about germs and so will wash his or her hands over and over again.
Panic Attack
An episode of intense fear accompanied by symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating and chills or hot flushes.
Panic Disorder
An anxiety disorder characterized by recurring panic attacks. It may also include significant behavioral changes lasting at least a month and worry about having other panic attacks.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress, such as military combat, violent assault, natural disaster, or other life-threatening events.
Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations.

More about Anxiety Disorders

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Other terms to know: See all 7
Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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