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Anxiety 

How we can treat you at Miracles Asia

Anxiety and Treatment

South East Asia’s

First residential mental wellness programme

Miracles Asia is proud to provide SE Asia’s 1st English language, residential, mental wellness program.

We combine cutting edge psychotherapy techniques with a secluded and comfortable living environment. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders illustrated by substantial thoughts of anxiety and fear.

 Anxiety is a worry about future events, and fear is a response to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and shakiness.

There are a number of anxiety disorders including generalised anxiety disorder, specific phobia, separation anxiety disorder social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and selective mutism. The disorder differs by what results in the symptoms. People often have more than one anxiety disorder.

The cause of anxiety disorders is a blend of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors comprise of a history of early abuse, family history of mental disorders, and poverty. Anxiety disorders often occur with other mental disorders, particularly major depressive disorder, personality disorder, and substance use disorder

To be diagnosed symptoms typically need to be present for at least six months, be more than what would be expected for the situation and decrease functioning. Other problems that may result in similar symptoms include hyperthyroidism; heart disease; caffeine, alcohol, or cannabis use; and withdrawal from certain drugs.

Without treatment, anxiety disorders tend to remain. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, counselling, and medications. Counselling is usually with a type of cognitive behavioral therapy.  Medications, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta blockers, may improve symptoms.

Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common disorder, presenting by long-lasting anxiety that is not dedicated on any one object or situation. Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder see non-specific persistent fear and worry, and become overly concerned with ordinary matters. Generalized anxiety disorder is “characterized by chronic excessive worry accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance”

Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder to affect older adults. Anxiety can be a symptom of a medical or substance abuse problem. A diagnosis of GAD is made when a person has been excessively worried about an everyday problem for six months or more. A person may find that they have problems making daily decisions and remembering commitments as a result of lack of concentration/preoccupation with worry. Their appearance looks strained, with increased sweating from the hands, feet, and axillae, and they may be tearful, which can suggest depression.

Causes 

Drugs

Anxiety can be caused by alcohol abuse as well as illicit drug use, which in most cases improves with prolonged abstinence. Even moderate, sustained alcohol use may increase anxiety levels in some individuals. Caffeine, alcohol, and benzodiazepine dependence can worsen or cause anxiety and panic attacks.

 Anxiety commonly occurs during the acute withdrawal phase of alcohol and can persist for up to 2 years as part of a post-acute withdrawal syndrome, in about a quarter of people recovering from alcoholism.

Cannabis use and withdrawal is associated with anxiety disorders. However, the precise relationship between cannabis use and anxiety still needs to be established.

Stress

Anxiety disorders can arise in response to life stresses such as financial worries or chronic physical illness. Anxiety among adolescents and young adults is common due to the stresses of social interaction, evaluation, and body image.

Diagnosis

Anxiety disorders are often severe chronic conditions, which can be present from an early age or begin suddenly after a triggering event. They are prone to flare up at times of high stress and are frequently accompanied by physiological symptoms such as headache, sweating, muscle spasms, tachycardia, palpitations, and hypertension, which in some cases lead to fatigue.

Also, several drugs can cause or worsen anxiety, whether in intoxication, withdrawal, or from chronic use. These include alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, sedatives (including prescription benzodiazepines), opioids (including prescription pain killers and illicit drugs like heroin), stimulants (such as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines), hallucinogens, and inhalants. 

Prevention

Focus is increasing on prevention of anxiety disorders. There is tentative evidence to support the use of cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness therapy.  While some people seen to have higher levels of resilience have lower levels of anxiety, there is not really accepted techniques of prevention.

Treatment

Treatment options include lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. Evidence has shown that in initial improvement can be the results of either medications or psychotherapy, however, anti-anxiety medications are highly addictive and build a tolerance in the body, often resulting in a person unable to stop the medications, but no longer benefitting from them.   Psychotherapy is considered the safer and better long-term option.

Lifestyle and diet

Lifestyle changes include exercise, for which there is moderate evidence for some improvement, stabilizing sleep patterns, reducing caffeine intake, and stopping smoking. Stopping smoking has benefits in anxiety as large as or larger than those of medications. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as fish oil) may reduce anxiety, particularly in those with more significant symptoms.

Therapy

Although the different types of anxiety disorders respond best to different types of therapy, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is most commonly treated with Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT allows the patient to identify what dysfunctional or inaccurate thoughts are causing the anxiety, challenge the validity, and reprogram or override the automatic thoughts with new and functional thoughts.

As opposed to some therapies that are only effective as long as the patient continues therapy, CBT can be considered a skill that once taught, can be practiced and improved by the patient on his/her own.

 

 At Miracles Asia we assess each client for not just the presence of anxiety disorders, but the specific type.  If it is determined that you suffer from an anxiety disorder, your counselor will collaborate with you to determine the best course of treatment.

 

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