Welcome to the Anxiety Health Channel by eMedTV. Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or panic attacks, are illnesses that fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Regardless of the type of disorder, the anxiety that a person feels is generally chronic, unremitting, and can grow progressively worse. Several conditions are related to extreme anxiety; fortunately, treatments for anxiety can be effective at any age.
What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?
The symptoms of anxiety vary for each person, based on the specific anxiety disorder a person has. However, all anxiety disorders are linked together by common symptoms, including excessive, irrational fear and dread. Because these are also possible symptoms of other conditions, people who believe they have anxiety symptoms are encouraged to see a doctor for proper diagnosis.
Can Children Have Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety in children is fairly common, with an estimated 13 out of every 100 children and adolescents aged 9 to 17 experiencing some kind of anxiety disorder. Possible treatment options for anxiety in children are often the same as those in adults, and include therapy, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, or medication. If not detected and treated early enough, other problems may develop in children with an anxiety disorder.
How Is Anxiety Treated?
Anxiety medications -- such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs -- are often used in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat anxiety disorders. A few different drugs and/or doses may need to be tried in order to find the best one for you. It can take time to see the results of treatment, so be patient and give the treatment a chance to work before giving up or switching to a different anxiety treatment. Also, some medications used for treating anxiety must be tapered off slowly under your doctor's guidance, and should not be stopped abruptly.
Is There a Cure for Anxiety?
Currently, there is no cure for anxiety disorders. Medications and psychotherapy are aimed at controlling symptoms associated with the condition. However, doctors and scientists involved in anxiety research are examining several factors that may be involved in the development of anxiety disorders. Current areas of focus include brain function, cognitive factors, hormones, genetics, and infections. The ultimate goal of this research is to some day be able to cure, and possibly even prevent, anxiety disorders.
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