Sunday, September 27, 2015

Basics On Anxiety Therapy Toronto Residents Should Know

By Daphne Bowen

Getting anxious is normal and something that all of us have deal with from time. As a matter of fact, it is regarded as a normal response to stimuli as it helps us detect dangers in our environments and initiate the appropriate response. Anxiety may also become abnormal in some cases requiring therapy. To understand the available modalities for anxiety therapy Toronto residents need to know some basics regarding the disorder.

The disorder is diagnosed when affected persons show excessive assessment of danger in their environment. As a result they tend to either not react at all or they react with an excessively protective response. There is accompanying impairment in the performance of normal duties. Put in other words, persons with anxiety disorder exhibit abnormal responses to normal situations as opposed to other people who respond normally to abnormal situations.

There are several subtypes that exist. These include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, agoraphobia, social phobia and specific phobias. There are some differences in the manner of presentation and treatment for each subtype. We will explore a few of them. In generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, the affected individual is anxious to a wide range of activities or events. However, they cannot identify these events or activities.

GAD usually coexists with other types of anxiety and some mental illnesses such as depression. Patients may have complaints such as sleep disturbance, chronic pain and generalized fatigue. These symptoms are usually intermittent and tend to recur even after treatment has been achieved. Over time the patients may become alcoholics and start to exhibit suicidal tendencies. Treatments that are commonly used include systemic desensitization, relaxation therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and hypnosis among others.

Social phobia is the most common phobia with a lifetime prevalence rate of about 8%. The main feature is the presence of an intense form of fear that is persistently present in the presence of a certain object or event. There is a strong desire to flee from this object or event. Most people with this disorder greatly fear public embarrassment that may be caused by impulsive acts. There is significant interference with social relationships and normal functioning.

A specific phobia is experienced due to a specific situation or object. These include insects, blood, dental procedures and heights among others. Many persons with simple phobias lead normal lives. All the need to do is to avoid the phobic situation or object. The age of onset varies but most animal phobias present in early childhood. The treatments used here include cognitive behavioral therapy and the use of benzodiazepines.

The diagnosis has to be confirmed using investigations. At times, medical conditions may have similar symptoms and it is important that these are ruled out. Some blood tests may be required depending on the suspicion of your doctor. MRI and CT scan are some of the most commonly used imaging modalities.

There are many types of anxiety disorders that exist all with unique symptoms and treatments. The process of finding the effective therapy starts with classifying the disorder. Therapy is administered by psychiatrists, psychologists and other trained professionals.

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