What is an Anxiety Disorder? Know the Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment

One of the usual questions regarding mental health is about what is an anxiety disorder. This is because anxiety disorder is one of the most mental health disorder that suffered by millions of people in the world. And for your information, sometimes anxiety disorders can be a sign of other mental health disorder. To help you understand more about anxiety, you can read the anxiety definition, types of anxiety disorder and other important information below.

What is an Anxiety Disorder
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What is an Anxiety Disorder? Here’s the Definition


Although being anxious is a normal reaction to stress, when it comes as anxiety disorder it would be so much different. Anxiety disorder is different from the normal feeling of anxiety because it involves excessive fears. People with an anxiety disorder who suffer excessive nervousness and anxiety usually get their lives ruined. They may also face that their anxiety is getting worse as time goes.

Signs and Symptoms According to Anxiety Type


When you ask about what is an anxiety disorder, you may also wonder about the type of this disorder. Well, the causes of anxiety disorders are excessive fear, nervousness, and anxiety. And there are at least five types of anxiety disorder with different signs and symptoms that will be explained below.

1.Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The first type is called generalized anxiety disorder which is also known as GAD. When you ask about the definition of anxiety disorder to a professional, they will usually mention this as an example. People who suffer from this GAD will feel of excessive worry which sometimes is not realistic. This sign can last up to 6 months so it can disturb daily activities such as working and social interactions.

The symptoms of GAD are including feeling restless, fatigued easily, hard to focus or having difficulty concentrating. Sometimes, people with GAD also irritable, having muscle tension and difficulty of sleeping. They will also unable or difficult to control their fear.

2. Social Disorder


What is an Anxiety Disorder
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Social disorder is also one of the anxiety disorder cases usually found in our society. Another name of social disorders is a social phobia. This is a condition of having excessive worry, fear and uncontrollable nervousness when facing social situations. People with social anxiety disorder sometimes will feel that they will be negatively judged by others and afraid of being embarrassed. Because of it, people will avoid social interaction.


When this disorder triggered, they will feel overwhelming worry, excessive panic and feeling nervous. This condition sometimes uncontrollable and make them unable to keep calm, having short breath and sweaty.

3. Panic disorder
Panic disorder sometimes also called a panic attack. As its name, people with a panic attack will feel panic excessively due to unexpected fears. This is the combination of the distress of psychological and physical.

When it triggered, people will experience such as heart palpitation, sweating, trembling and feeling out of control. Palpitation is a condition of irregular heartbeat. During the attack, they also may experience nausea, shortness of breath and chest pain.

4. Specific phobias


What is an Anxiety Disorder
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The last type of anxiety disorder is specific phobias. Some phobias are including fear of flying, height or fear of spiders. People who suffer from phobia know that their fear is excessive, but they unable to control or overcome it.

When it attacks, they will usually experience irrational worry, taking active action to void the feared object and feel anxious. Since there are so many phobias, the symptoms can be different.

Causes of Anxiety Disorder


When you ask about what is an anxiety disorder mean, you may also wonder the factor behind this disorder. Well, many factors cause anxiety disorder as mentioned below:

1. Environmental changes

2. Brain chemistry that has been changed due to some factor such as traumatic

3. Genetic (more likely to have anxiety disorder when a member of their family has an anxiety disorder”

4. Effect of medication

5. Psychological and developmental factor

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder


Another important thing to add the explanation answering of what is an anxiety disorder definition is about the diagnosis. The right diagnosis will help to decide the right treatment. Since this is important, you need to see the doctor or psychiatrist identify the anxiety. Please notice that the professional is the one who can diagnose it, so you should avoid the self-diagnose. 


The professional will identify the type of anxiety disorder you are currently suffering from and analyze the possible cause or factor. To make diagnose, the doctor will usually take a thorough medical and personal history. Sometimes, laboratory tests and examination is needed to make sure the identification. But first of all, professionals usually will look at the basic symptoms of anxiety disorder such as restlessness, difficulty sleeping and concentrating.

When you visit the doctor, make sure you answer all questions honestly. After you get the diagnosis, you can ask more about the definition of anxiety disorder, your major factor, and the right treatment. Ask anything regarding the anxiety so you will understand more about it.

The Treatment


One thing you won’t miss when you curious about the meaning of anxiety disorder is about the treatment. And good news for you that anxiety disorder is treatable. So far, there are two treatment methods. They are medication treatment and psychotherapy.

For your information, the medication treatment does not cure the anxiety but it will help to relieve the symptoms. And you need to remember that the medication is prescribed by the doctor, usually a psychiatrist. Some examples of medication treatment are including anti-anxiety medications using benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Antidepressants that usually used by the doctor are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or known as SNRIs. For people with high blood pressure, a psychiatrist usually will use the beta-blocker.

While for the psychological therapy method that can help those with an anxiety disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This method will help to change the way of thinking, behaving and reacting. When you get this therapy, you will also get the therapy to manage your breath. As part of the definition of anxiety disorder, it is also important to notice that the doctor may use both treatments. 

Before you choose the right medication, you may ask and discuss the benefits, risks and the effect that you may face. The costs of medication, alternative therapies, the time frame and how well for you are also things you need to know. 

That’s all about defining what is an anxiety disorder and the important things about it. This information hopefully can raise awareness in society about the anxiety disorder. And if you feel you more likely to have this disorder, hopefully, will help you to understand more about it before visiting the doctor.