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The symptoms associated with anxiety disorder

They also relate to panic and phobias disorder, associated with nervous behavior

It is pre-happening anxiety, possibility of mentally created fear

The anxiety focus can also shift throughout the Anxiety Disorder course

The anxiety focus can also shift throughout the Anxiety Disorder course

The symptoms associated with anxiety disorder

Anxiety produces a very queasy sensation in the stomach. Basically, it is a condition of apprehension, nervousness, and uneasiness produced by thinking of many future uncertainties. It is a specific mental attribute, the disorder feeling, illustrated and categorized by an uneasy idea of worry, fear, and anxiety about possible expectations of the future events, associated with the future possible or imaginable happenings. It is an emotional unpleasant condition of mental turmoil mostly associated with nervous behavior, like aimlessly walking rapidly, moving around with weird thoughts.

It was theoretically and practically evaluated that those people get worried thinking of certain events that will happen against their wishes and capabilities, forcing them to succumb to possible physical and mental harm, due to which, they often experience anxiety. It is pre-happening anxiety, the possibility of mentally created fear, in anticipation of fantasized and possibly realistic incident or episode under the specific situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.

The anxiety focus can also shift throughout the Anxiety Disorder course, like worrying a lot regarding the financial condition, and shifting suddenly towards a grand promotion in his official work, or his anxiety can possibly transfer to something different event of worrying, may be related to new work responsibilities he needs to carry out.

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Anxiety-Related Disorders

The correlation between anxiety disorders and several other symptoms associated with it like depression, despair, melancholy, feelings of hopelessness has been a subject of discussion and controversy. The overlapping of so many symptoms widely displayed such disorders turning into a major subject of research, diagnosis, and medication healing therapy, that are very intricate and cumbersome. Certain contemporary corroborative evidence indicates neurological and genetic resemblance between anxiety disorder and depressive state. Similarly, the prevailing conditions of Comorbid illness associated with another illness, while the depression due to a certain event suddenly occurs, which was observed in almost 92% of patients associated with such anxiety disorders. Patients suffering from Comorbid disorders normally do not properly respond to any kind of therapy, have some kind of protracted kind of illness. One answer to success and positive result to such treatment to patients suffering from mixed warning signs of anxiety disorders and depression is the main early indication of the Comorbid state. To manage and control the state of Comorbid anxiety and depression, there are antidepressant medications that include reuptake inhibitors of the careful selection of a Serotonintricyclic antidepressant, and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, which can prove to be highly effective. In case of higher indication of Comorbid anxiety and depression, there are well-formulated treatments for effective results. Sometimes, the patients react with extreme panic disorder, social phobia, normal anxiety disorder, and certainly another state of anxiety disorder thinking of possible future events are associated with mostly clinical depression. As many as 68% of patients with such depression suffer significantly from anxiety symptoms.

Variables Outcomes

Two mental health outcomes, symptoms of depression and symptoms of anxiety, were analyzed.

Depression

To measure symptoms of depression we used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, PHQ-9 (19), a self-report instrument used to detect, diagnose, monitor, or measure severity of depression. The scale consists of nine items with four labeled response alternatives scored from 0 to 3. The sum score is used, yielding a maximum score of 27 where higher scores indicate more depressive symptoms. Diagnostic validity has been established, with high sensitivity and specificity in identifying the major depressive disorder using a cutoff score of 10. The PHQ-9 is widely used in both clinical and research settings and has previously been used to assess the prevalence of depression in the Swedish general population.

Anxiety

We used General Anxiety Disorder 7, GAD-7 (21) to measure symptoms of anxiety. The GAD-7 was developed as a brief assessment tool for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) covering several aspects of anxiety and worry. It has the same response system as PHQ-9, and the scale ranges from 0 to 21. Cutoffs for mild, moderate, and severe anxiety symptoms have been identified, and for diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder a cutoff of 10 is recommended. GAD-7 is well-validated and established in both research and clinical settings. Although developed for the disorder, GAD, the scale is frequently used to screen for symptoms of anxiety, and anxiety disorders in general. For this purpose, a cutoff of 8 has been recommended. This cutoff score has previously been used to assess the prevalence of clinically significant anxiety in the Swedish general population.

Discusses Depression and Anxiety Prevalence

In our sample, 22.2% reported clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 10) and 10.9% indicated possible major depression using the PHQ-9 algorithm. Moreover, 28.3% reported clinically significant levels of anxiety (GAD-7 ≥ 8). When this manuscript was first submitted, very few European studies on mental health during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic were published. Hence, the high level of Symptomatology indicated by our data took us by surprise. In comparison with pre-pandemic Swedish prevalence estimates, our results show that clinically significant symptoms of both depression and anxiety are approximately twice as common, and the prevalence is also considerably higher than global pre-pandemic prevalence estimates. Although available data from China indicated similar mean levels of anxiety and depression, cultural differences made comparisons difficult. However, later studies have confirmed the deterioration of mental health during this phase.

Predictive Factors

A crisis like this might not affect all parts of the population in the same way. This too has become evident in plural studies published during the last months. These studies have typically found female gender and young age to be risk factors for experiencing anxiety and depression in the early phases of the pandemic. With regard to gender differences, the disproportionately few men in our sample made us choose not to make statistical comparisons between the genders, but an inspection of the descriptive statistics suggests that we might have caught the expected gender pattern in symptoms of anxiety, although not in depression. In line with others, younger age did however turn out to be a significant predictor of both anxiety and depression. Although we can only speculate on the reasons for this, reduced social interaction and increased worry might play a role. For example, results from a Belgian study have shown that a decrease in going out for drinks or food was associated with increased mental distress among young people during the pandemic. Based on this finding, the authors discuss the importance of peer interaction for the mental health of the young. In another study, exploratory analyses of students' social networks and mental health before and during the pandemic, have shown that students did not only report more stress, depression, and anxiety after the onset of the pandemic, but also more social isolation and loneliness, along with increased worry about their family, friends, own health, economy, and future career. Hence, young people might be extra vulnerable to the mental health consequences of the pandemic for a larger variety of reasons.

The importance of social interaction was verified in other parts of our results. Only 4% of our sample indicated that they had not avoided social contacts to any extent, and more than 80% reported reduced social stimulation. Social stimulation was also one of the most important predictors of both outcomes.

Another evident characteristic of the ongoing crisis is its consequences for the economy. In this early stage of the pandemic, few people had experienced severe negative economical effects. However, people highly affected showed mean symptom ratings above diagnostic cutoffs for both depression and anxiety, and more than twice as high compared to people unaffected. Even though sample sizes were very unequal and the variance was rather high, this gave an indication of an association that later has been confirmed. For example, Witteveen and Velthorst have shown that a sudden loss of income during the pandemic lockdown almost doubled the risk of depressive feelings. Our results also show that two of the economic predictors (not having a stable income and worry about the economy) were important predictors of both depressive and anxiety symptoms. In line with previous results associating economic hardship to mental ill-health, the economy seems to be an important factor for mental health also during this crisis.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Shyam Gokarn

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