Will modern physiologists ever find the true causes of anxiety disorders? I interviewed Rosa Camacho, April 21, 2012, at Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Oak Grove, California. She informed me of anxiety disorders and the symptoms people face in their everyday lives because of this mental illness. Anxiety is a feeling that every individual experiences, it’s like the “butterflies” that you get on the first day of school because you’re nervous. However those living with anxiety disorder feel a constant emotion of apprehension at the point to where it dictates their life. Anxiety disorders are a set of similar conditions instead of a single mental illness; this is why symptoms vary for each individual. People suffering from anxiety disorders experience anxiety attacks, which may happen randomly or because of the situation the person is in. All anxiety disorders share one common symptom: persistent feeling of dread.
Persons feel overwhelmed in situations where most individuals wouldn’t feel in danger or threat. Those living with this disorder suffer from emotional and physical symptoms some of which include: restlessness, feelings of apprehension, trouble concentrating, sweating, heart racing, etc. There are multiple types of anxiety disorders: obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, etc. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by unwanted thoughts, rituals, and sudden urges which feel uncontrollable. Many veterans suffer from another type of anxiety disorder, known as post-traumatic stress disorder, which is caused by a tragedy such as a death, war, etc. People with this disorder experience severe anxiety and have flashbacks/nightmares of the event they experienced. A phobia is a strong fear or dislike and avoidance of something such as a situation. Many individuals often suffer from more than one anxiety disorder.
There have been many debates to what causes anxiety disorders, but studies have shown that genetics, learning/instincts, and tragic events are the most common factors. Some types of anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, etc are genetic and may be passed on from generation to generation. Experiencing a stressful or traumatic event may be able to cause post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, many veterans came back from the war suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of what they witnessed. Another factor may be how individuals view themselves; low self-esteem and shyness can lead to the development of social anxiety. T
here are many other theories as to why an individual may develop an anxiety disorder, but for now, it is uncertain what the cause is exactly. Like many mental disorders, anxiety disorders are generally treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medications. Treatments are specialized for each individual patient; some may find medication works best for them, while others find therapy to be a better solution. Persons may be prescribed anti-depressants (even with no history of depression) or benzodiazepines, which are especially made for those with anxiety disorders.
With a success rate of about 75-80%, just about anyone can get rid of their anxiety problems. I want to thank Rosa Camacho for taking the time to tell me about a psychological disorder that has affected millions of Americans each year. She made me realize how much trouble someone with anxiety disorder has to go through nearly every day. Rosa also showed me how much veterans sacrifice, and much how much they suffer mentally and physically, fighting for their country.