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Anxiety & Stress

SNOMED Terms

  • Adjustment disorder

  • Alcohol-induced anxiety disorder

  • Amphetamine-induced anxiety disorder

  • Anxiety disorder

  • Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder

  • Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder

  • Cocaine-induced anxiety disorder

  • Dream anxiety disorder

  • Generalised anxiety disorder

  • Generalized anxiety disorder in remission

  • Hallucinogen-induced anxiety disorder

  • Inhalant-induced anxiety disorder

  • Phencyclidine-induced anxiety disorder

  • Sedative, hypnotic AND/OR anxiolytic-induced anxiety disorder

Goals

  • Reduce overall frequency, intensity, and duration of the anxiety so that daily functioning is not impaired.

  • Stabilize anxiety level while increasing ability to function on a daily basis.

  • Resolve the core conflict that is the source of anxiety.

  • Enhance ability to effectively cope with the full variety of life's anxieties.

Behavioral Definitions

  • Excessive and/or unrealistic worry that is difficult to control occurring more days than not for at least 6 months about a number of events or activities.

  • Motor tension (e.g., restlessness, tiredness, shakiness, muscle tension).

  • Autonomic hyperactivity (e.g., palpitations, shortness of breath, dry mouth, trouble swallowing, nausea, diarrhea).

  • Hypervigilance (e.g., feeling constantly on edge, experiencing concentration difficulties, having trouble falling or staying asleep, exhibiting a general state of irritability).

Diagnoses

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Anxiety Disorder NOS

  • Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety

Effects of Anxiety and Stress on the Mind

Stress can have a number of effects on the mind, including:

1. Negative thoughts and emotions: Stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability, as well as negative thoughts such as self-doubt and worry.

2. Difficulty concentrating: When stressed, the mind can become overwhelmed and it may be difficult to focus on tasks or make decisions.

3. Memory problems: Stress can also affect memory and make it harder to recall information.

4. Physical symptoms: Stress can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue. These physical symptoms can also affect the mind, leading to decreased cognitive function and difficulty with concentration.

5. Insomnia: Stress can disrupt sleep, making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep, which can lead to fatigue and difficulty concentrating during the day.

6. Impaired decision-making: When under stress, people may be more likely to make impulsive decisions or have difficulty making decisions at all.

7. Changes in behavior: Stress can also lead to changes in behavior, such as increased use of drugs or alcohol, overeating, or avoiding social situations.

It's important to note that everyone responds to stress differently, and some people may be more resilient than others. However, if stress is persistent or chronic, it can have long-term effects on both the mind and body. It's important to seek support and develop healthy coping strategies to manage stress effectively.

Effects of Anxiety and Stress on the Body

Stress can have a number of effects on the body, including:

1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure: When under stress, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which can cause the heart rate and blood pressure to rise.

2. Muscle tension: Stress can cause muscle tension and can lead to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and other physical symptoms.

3. Digestive problems: Stress can lead to digestive problems such as stomachaches, diarrhea, and constipation.

4. Weakened immune system: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.

5. Sleep problems: Stress can disrupt sleep, making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.

6. Fatigue: Stress can be exhausting, leading to feelings of fatigue and low energy.

7. Skin problems: Stress can cause skin problems such as acne, hives, and rashes.

8. Increased risk of chronic diseases: Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

It's important to note that everyone responds to stress differently, and some people may be more resilient than others. However, if stress is persistent or chronic, it can have long-term effects on both the mind and body. It's important to seek support and develop healthy coping strategies to manage stress effectively.

How does Anxiety affect your life?

Anxiety can affect different aspects of a person's life in various ways, including:

1. Emotional well-being: Anxiety can cause intense feelings of fear, worry, and unease, which can impact a person's overall emotional well-being and quality of life.

2. Social life: Anxiety can make it difficult to engage in social activities and interact with others, leading to social isolation and feelings of loneliness.

3. Work or school performance: Anxiety can affect a person's ability to concentrate, make decisions, and complete tasks, leading to decreased work or academic performance.

4. Physical health: Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and digestive problems, and it may also impact the immune system, making a person more vulnerable to illnesses.

5. Sleep: Anxiety can disrupt sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to fatigue and additional stress.

6. Relationships: Anxiety can impact relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners, leading to misunderstandings, tension, and conflict.

7. Financial well-being: Anxiety can lead to financial stress and worry, especially if a person is forced to take time off work or pay for expensive medical treatments.

It's important to seek support if anxiety is impacting your life. Treatment options include therapy, medication, self-care strategies, and other interventions. With the right support, people with anxiety can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

High Anxiety OCD

Anxiety and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) are related but distinct mental health conditions. While anxiety can be a symptom of OCD, not all individuals with anxiety develop OCD, and not all individuals with OCD suffer from anxiety.

However, it is true that anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, are common among individuals with OCD. In fact, anxiety is often a trigger for OCD symptoms. People with OCD often experience intrusive thoughts or obsessions that create anxiety, and they engage in compulsive behaviors or mental acts to try to reduce the anxiety caused by these thoughts.

It's important to remember that OCD is a complex disorder and can have a variety of causes, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors. While anxiety can contribute to the development or exacerbation of OCD symptoms, it is not the only factor involved. If you are struggling with anxiety or OCD, it's important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who can assess your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

Treatment for Anxiety

Therapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety. There are several types of therapy that are commonly used to treat anxiety, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and mindfulness-based therapies.

 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It helps individuals learn how to recognize and challenge their anxious thoughts and develop coping strategies to manage their anxiety.

 

Exposure therapy is a form of therapy that involves gradually exposing an individual to the source of their anxiety in a controlled and safe environment, with the goal of reducing their fear and anxiety over time.

 

Mindfulness-based therapies, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), teach individuals to focus on the present moment and develop a non-judgmental awareness of their thoughts and emotions. This can help individuals learn to manage their anxiety more effectively.

 

In addition to therapy, medication may also be used to treat anxiety, particularly in more severe cases. It's important to work with a mental health provider to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific situation.

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