Anxiety Disorders

Although there are many specific anxiety disorders with causes or symptoms exclusive to that particular disorder, all anxiety disorders cause sufferers to excessively over-think and worry and they tend to be scared about what the future holds based on real, exaggerated or untrue factors.

While anxiety disorders may arise through no fault of another party, many anxiety disorders develop when a person experiences a traumatic event due to an accident or following negligent medical treatment, subsequent to which they develop an anxiety disorder.

If the disorder is not an immediate result of the fault of another, it may still be attributed to that fault if the development of the disorder can be traced directly back to the negligence and the effects of it.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders that may be triggered by an accident or following negligent medical treatment are described below.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This type of anxiety disorder consists of repetitive and obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive actions as a result of a belief that certain acts will have a causal effect on the avoidance of a negative outcome, which may be very specific or general.

It is not logical to link actions that are not causally relevant to the avoidance of a particular harm to that harm and sufferers of OCD are aware of this, but are compelled to perform those actions anyway.

This disorder may be caused if a person experiences a traumatic event that compels them to believe that they must perform obsessive ‘ritual’ acts in order to avoid the reoccurrence of the traumatic event or similarly traumatic events.

Phobias

The blanket term phobia covers all specific disorders that describe where certain stimuli or situations causes fear and anxiety in a person. The apprehension of this fear and anxiety leads a person to do everything in their power to avoid particular stimuli or situations because they think that a traumatic experience will result if they do not.

This covers all disorders in which specific stimuli or situations cause anxiety and fear for a person, who will do everything they can to avoid the stimulus or situation because they irrationally predict that horrifying experiences will result if they do not.

Those with phobias recognise that the fear they feel is not appropriate to the focus of their anxiety, but are unable to control the feeling.

A phobia of travelling in cars may develop if a person experiences the traumatic event of suffering or witnessing a violent motor accident. They may develop the irrational fear that all vehicles they travel in will crash and cause violent devastation, despite the fact that they understand that this idea lacks a basis in logic.

Panic Attacks

A person suffering from a panic attack will feel anxiety, terror and fear that may lead them to feel dizzy, confused and nauseous or even have trouble breathing or remaining physically composed.

Sometimes there is no obvious cause of a panic attack except the anxiety that those who experience panic attacks suffer with regards to the fear that they may suffer another anxiety attack.

However, panic attacks can develop as a result of a person experiencing a traumatic event if the trauma makes their mental state fragile.

The Causes Of Anxiety Disorders

Stress

The negligent act of another party, for example in an accident, can result in a variety of stress-causing factors, such as physical injury and financial insecurity. Anxiety disorders may develop in response to the stress caused by such an event.

Damage To The Amygdala

Injuries from an accident or medical negligence to the area of the brain from which the Amygdala functions to control anxiety and fear can result in the development of a panic disorder if the extent and severity to which a person experiences anxiety and fear is affected.

Exposure To Solvents In The Workplace

There is credible support for the theory that continuous exposure to organic solvents in the workplace, such as through varnishing and painting, is causally associated with the development of anxiety disorders.

Treatment For Anxiety Disorders

Medication

SSRI’s are often used to improve a person’s mood in the hope that this will mean that they are less likely to feel the often unrelenting fear and anxiety associated with anxiety disorders.

This is not effective for all people with anxiety disorders but it is a simple and efficient way of treating them in the first instance that often produces positive results.

Psychotherapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a useful treatment for anxiety disorders. CBT generally targets those with or at risk of anxiety disorders. It aims to discover how an individual’s thought processes affect their actions and the way their actions affect their thought processes. By targeting thought processes and actions that reinforce them, negativity in their thinking can be reduced while positive thoughts are encouraged. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels in order to control or even move past an anxiety disorder.

Many other types of psychotherapy may be useful as a treatment for anxiety disorders, including interpersonal therapy and social skills training that help with dealing with the disorder in social situations.

Lifestyle Changes

Changes in lifestyle, such as performing aerobic exercise several times a week, sticking to a planned and regular sleeping pattern and reducing the amount of caffeine consumed, have been shown to be helpful routine changes that minimise the effects of an anxiety disorder.

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