Almost 13.3 percent of the US population suffers from some or the other type of anxiety disorder, one of the most prevalent types of mental disorder in America. According to medical experts, while anxiety disorders affect both men and women, it is more common in women as compared to men. Not just that, the average age at which anxiety disorders may start to manifest themselves in specific behavior is 11. [1.2]

While feeling nervous is natural, anxiety disorders can make it difficult for one to carry on with seemingly regular tasks such as talking to people and buying groceries. Though many might shrug it off as a passing moment, an anxiety disorder is regarded as a serious mental health condition in the medical world, one that needs immediate attention. If left unattended, the fear and worry can take over your life, and in severe cases, turn you into a recluse.

Diagnosis And Treatment
While anxiety disorders are not always ‘visible’, they are one of the most common mental health conditions and can be as serious as other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. [3]

The first step towards treating anxiety disorders is to identify the type of disorder the person has. The doctor will first ask a series of questions about medical history and may also do a physical exam to check if the patient is suffering from any other medical condition. In severe cases, a psychologist or psychiatrist may also perform a customized interview to assess the situation.

Various psychopharmacological and cognitive behavior interventions can be used to effectively treat anxiety disorders. The exact course of treatment will depend on the type of anxiety disorder, but certain approaches will help treat the condition, where the doctor will use one or more of the following options.

1.Prescription Medicine
Psychiatric medications, also known as psychotropic or psychotherapeutic medications, are used to treat anxiety disorders. Some of the most common types of medications are beta-blockers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. [4]

Psychotherapy helps a patient change their way of thinking to help them cope better with day-to-day anxieties. Depending on the severity of the situation, psychotherapy may or may not involve medications. When psychotherapy focuses mostly on behavior, it is known as behavioral therapy. Some other types of psychotherapy include talk therapy, also known as cognitive therapy.

3.Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy, also known as CBT, is an approach which helps the patient to take each step at a time, such as slow down whatever they are doing such as walk or speak slowly, relax more, try and reduce or stop negative thoughts, accept a given situation and try to assess how well to work through it, try and follow a positive approach and so on. [6]

4.Lifestyle Changes
Not having enough exercise can increase the risk of anxiety disorders as well as worsen the existing one. It is important to add some form of exercise to your daily routine. Meditation, relaxation therapies, yoga, and deep breathing can also help control the effects of an anxiety disorder, while alcohol consumption, smoking, and drug use can worsen it. [7]

How To Beat It

  • Each time you feel you’re about to get a panic attack, take a deep breath and start counting slowly, till the feeling subsides. Take a slow deep breath to fill up your belly then gently inhale more to move your chest. Hold your breath and slowly exhale.
  • Think of something that makes you happy, such as an outing at the beach, looking at flowers, holding your pet, or any visual trigger that will make you happy and forget the worry at hand for the time being.
  • Add interesting physical activities to your daily routine, such as swimming, skateboarding, surfing, hiking, biking, kickboxing, basketball, running or even simply walking with your favorite music tuned in.
  • Get a good sleep by using relaxing techniques such as having a warm bath before going to bed.
  • If you do get the jitters, ask yourself what it is that you are worried about. Identify the fear and try to find the best solution to help deal with it.

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1. Prevalence and incidence studies of anxiety disorders: a systematic review of the literature. 1: Somers JM, Goldner EM, Waraich P, Hsu L. Prevalence and incidence studies of anxiety disorders: a systematic review of the literature. Can J Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;51(2):100-13. Review. PubMed PMID: 16989109. (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

2.Any anxiety disorder among adults. Site (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

3.Current diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. Bystritsky, Alexander et al. “Current Diagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.” Pharmacy and Therapeutics 38.1 (2013): 30–57. Print. (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

4.Mental Health Medications: Medications used to treat anxiety disorders. Site (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

5.The efficacy of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in treating depressive and anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of direct comparisons. Cuijpers, Pim et al. “The Efficacy of Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy in Treating Depressive and Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis of Direct Comparisons.” World Psychiatry 12.2 (2013): 137–148. PMC. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

6.Cognitive behavioral therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of the evidence. Otte, Christian. “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: Current State of the Evidence.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 13.4 (2011): 413–421. Print. (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)

7.Complementary medicine, exercise, meditation, diet and lifestyle modification for anxiety disorders: a review of current evidence. Sarris, J. et al. “Complementary Medicine, Exercise, Meditation, Diet, and Lifestyle Modification for Anxiety Disorders: A Review of Current Evidence.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2012 (2012): 809653. PMC. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. (Accessed 15 Oct 2015)