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Anxiety disorders include a group of common mental health disorders that are related to a heightened or extreme level of anxiety that is recurring or continuous. Short-term mild to moderate anxiety is a normal reaction to stressors in daily life and can help people to recognize and more effectively deal with everyday stressful situations, such as starting a new job or passing an exam. However, people with an anxiety disorder can experience anxiety without any stressful stimulus, or can experience anxiety due to a perceived stressor that may not exist. An anxiety disorder can also cause excessive anxiety reactions to a minor stressor or recurring anxiety to an event that has already happened.
Anxiety disorders include panic disorder and adult panic anxiety syndrome, in which a person experiences episodes of a crippling sense of terror and panic called panic attacks. Another common anxiety disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder, which is marked by obsessive thoughts that cause anxiety. People with obsessive compulsive disorder try to reduce their anxieties through ritual and repeated behaviors.
Post traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatizing event and is characterized by flashbacks of the terrifying event. A persistent fear of social situations is called social anxiety disorders disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder manifests as excessive worry and anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual situation. Phobias are anxiety disorders that are due to an excessive, irrational fear of certain objects or situations.
Anxiety and anxiety disorders can also be a symptom of, or coexist with, a wide range of medical and mental health conditions, such as drug addiction, Alzheimer's disease, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, psychosis, and hypoxia.
Anxiety disorders can manifest in one's mood, behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Symptoms include severe feelings of panic, dread, distress, anxiety, apprehension, restlessness, and/or trepidation. Anxiety disorders also often produce physical symptoms, including an elevation in heart rate, increased alertness, palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Anxiety disorders can seriously affect a person's ability to function effectively in daily life. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Making a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder begins with taking a thorough medical and psychiatric history, including symptoms, and completing a complete physical examination and a mental health exam. Tests are performed that can detect diseases and conditions that can coexist with or worsened symptoms of anxiety disorders. These include hyperthyroidism, hypoxia, and hypertension. A referral to a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health provider is generally made to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders.
It is possible that a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder can be missed or delayed because some symptoms can be associated with other conditions or because of the stigma associated with mental illness. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of anxiety disorders.
Treatment of anxiety disorders varies depending on the specific anxiety disorder, the severity, and a person's medical history, age, and general health. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of anxiety disorders....more »
A diagnosis of an anxiety disorder may be missed or delayed for a variety of reasons. For example, people with an anxiety disorder may fear the stigma of or be embarrassed by mental illness and not seek treatment. People with chronic hypoxia due to COPD may become confused and unaware that hypoxia is worsening or coexisting with an anxiety ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Anxiety disorder.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Anxiety disorder:
Review causes of types of Anxiety disorder in more specific categories:
Review causes of more specific types of Anxiety disorder:
Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Anxiety disorder, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
The first step to addressing anxiety disorders is to diagnose and treat any possible medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and hypoxia, which can worsen or trigger symptoms or mimic anxiety disorders.
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Anxiety disorder may include:
Review further information on Anxiety disorder Treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Anxiety disorder may include these symptoms:
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Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Anxiety disorder:
Read more about causes and Anxiety disorder deaths.
Parental fears about toddler behavior often unfounded: There are many behaviors in infants and toddlers that may give rise to a fear that the child has some form of mental health condition. In particular, there is a loss of...read more »
High rate of misdiagnosis of psychiatric disorders: The book "Preventing Misdiagnosis of Women" reports on studies that estimate that 41% to 83%...read more »
Rare seizure-less epilepsy misdiagnosed as various conditions: A complex partial seizure disorder, such as temporal lobe epilepsy can be misdiagnosed as various conditions. Some of the possible...read more »
Common asymptomatic heart disorder can cause anxiety-like conditions: Anxiety symptoms may be due to heart disorder - There is a reasonably common heart disorder called Mitral Valve...read more »
Rare copper disease insidious and misdiagnosed: Wilson's disease (a form of copper overload) is a rare disorder that has a slow and insidious onset that can often fail to be diagnosed. Copper...read more »
Rare cancer hidden cause of panic symptoms: The rare cancer pheochromocytoma, an adrenal tumor, can initially have symptoms similar to panic disorder. Its symptoms may include anxiety, panic, sweating, increased heart rate, and other symptoms. See...read more »
Thyroid disorder misdiagnosed as anxiety disorder: The book "A Dose of Sanity" reports on a case where as woman was diagnosed with panic disorder, and had been taking a variety of anti-anxiety medications....read more »
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness because he...read more »
ADHD under-diagnosed in adults: Although the over-diagnoses of ADHD in children is a well-known controversy, the reverse side related to adults. Some adults can remain undiagnosed, and indeed the condition has usually been overlooked throughout childhood. There are as many...read more »
Bipolar disorder misdiagosed as various conditions by primary physicians: Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) often fails to be diagnosed correctly by primary care physicians. Many patients with bipolar seek help from their physician, rather...read more »
Eating disorders under-diagnosed in men: The typical patient with an eating disorder is female. The result is that men with eating disorders often fail to be...read more »
Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression can be undiagnosed in teenagers. The "normal" moodiness of teenagers can cause severe medical depression to be overlooked. See misdiagnosis of depression or symptoms of depression....read more »
Undiagnosed anxiety disorders related to depression: Patients with depression (see symptoms of depression) may also have undiagnosed anxiety disorders (see symptoms of anxiety disorders). Failure to diagnose these anxiety disorders may worsen the depression....read more »
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Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:
Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:
Everybody knows what itís like to feel anxious -- the butterflies in your stomach before a first date, the... (Source: excerpt from Anxiety Disorders: NWHIC)
Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19... (Source: excerpt from Anxiety Disorders: NIMH)
Apprehension of danger and dread accompanied by restlessness, tension, tachycardia, and dyspnea unattached to a clearly identifiable stimulus.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
General term for the group of specific, anxiety-related, avoidance- prone disorders listed as NTs.
- (Source - CRISP)
The list below shows some of the causes of Anxiety disorder mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Anxiety disorder. Of the 30 causes of Anxiety disorder that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Anxiety disorder' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Anxiety disorder based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Anxiety disorder:
Anxiety (895 causes), Behavioral symptoms (4608 causes), Emotional symptoms (2080 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Society problems (1785 causes), Anxiety symptoms (895 causes), Psychiatric symptom (971 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Personality symptoms (4029 causes)
Symptoms related to Anxiety disorder:
Anxiety (895 causes), Fear (366 causes), Agitation (238 causes), Nervousness (73 causes), Shyness, Sadness (20 causes), Depressive symptoms (629 causes), Phobias (25 causes), Obsessive compulsive disorder, Post traumatic strss disorder
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Medical research papers related to Anxiety disorder include:
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