Let’s go straight away, no preamble. Anxiety in itself is a psychic state of concern, nothing more. It is a set of feelings, emotions, feelings, and thoughts that do not depend on a specific factor or reason, but are based on generalized and unfounded fear. In many cases, anxiety is linked to a disadvantage in a particular situation or at a particular time of life. Situations and moments, however, already experienced previously as harmless if not pleasant. What do I mean? Anxiety can be manifested at a party at a friend’s house, the same kind of party in which we first found ourselves at ease. Anxiety can shake the heart while watching a movie already seen on TV, even cartoons.
Anxiety, however, is not a disturbance in general terms. According to the common vision, guided by the psychiatric classifications of DSM, the diagnostic manual of mental disorders, which establishes a standard of classification and allows us to use common and universal language in addressing these problems, anxiety is only a psychic state, nothing more. Anxiety and fear can be considered as two unpleasant psychic states but within the normal evolutionary process.
Pathological anxiety is defined by DSM as anxiety disorder and anxiety disorders are grouped into various types of anxiety with specific and peculiar characteristics. Here is a list of anxiety disorders as reported in DSM-V, the latest issue …
- Distress anxiety disorder
- Selective mutism
- Specific phobia
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic Disorder
- General anxiety disorder
- Drug-induced anxiety disorder
- Anxiety disorder due to another medical condition
- Anxiety Disorder with Other Specification
- Anxiety disorder without specification
Do you play family? They are all part of the same macro category and as you see inside the anxiety disorder there is also the notorious panic, here referred to as panic disorder and known by everyone as a panic attack . We’ll talk about it a bit. Let’s pause for an instant anxiety: what is anxiety? Anxiety is just a psychic state that everyone experiences in life at least once.
At least once in a lifetime? At least once a day – you’ll say. Well, if this is your case and the symptoms of anxiety appear excessively and persistently for at least six months, this is an actual anxiety disorder . The anxiety disorder , as often happens with mental disorders in general, is characterized by a certain continuity over time and a greatly exaggerated manifestation.
The anxiety that a person experiences before an examination or before going out with a long-awaited partner is a normal anxiety. The same is true of fear. If you are afraid to find a tarantula under the pillow, you are not arachnophobia. If, on the other hand, you are having obsessive fears related to spiders that do not make you sleep, block you in a lot of situations and give you a respite from the terror of picking a spider in the grass, then this could be a phobia.
When we talk of anxiety in general, we refer roughly to generalized anxiety disorder. Precise diagnoses help to understand the nature of the problem and find a suitable solution, just like any other disorder. Have you got a fever? Well, it could be a fever due to seasonal colds, but it could also be caused by a virus or infectious disease like the varicella. Depending on your cause, your doctor will prescribe a different treatment. In the case of anxiety is the same. A generalized anxiety disorder is treated differently from a social anxiety disorder, at least in psychotherapy.