Anxiety is an emotional response to situations that the patient perceives as a threat. This turns into a disorder when it interferes with the person’s daily life and causes intense physical and/or psychological distress, negatively influencing the way in which they function and their feeling of wellbeing.
Cognitive components related to anxiety are thoughts related to insecurity and the anticipation of danger, which are both experienced disproportionately to the actual situation. The resulting behaviour is based on feelings of unease and on behaviours that avoid the situation or situations that generate the anxiety or the fear. As the patient avoids situations that cause anxiety, these become harder to face, incapacitating the patient yet further.
Some causes of anxiety are:
- Perception of stress in work or family life
- Simple phobias, like fear of dogs or of flying
- Complex phobias, like agoraphobia or social phobia
A diagnosis of anxiety disorder is essential in order to implement the right treatment for each person and situation. This treatment can be psychological, psychoeducational and/or pharmacological.
The psychotherapeutic interventions carried out at the Brain Health Institute are based on cognitive-behavioural orientation and training in mindfulness.
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Difficulty breathing or dyspnoea
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
- Shivering or hot flushes
The physical symptoms of anxiety can affect the whole body and its different organs, from the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and digestive apparatus to the genitourinary apparatus or hormonal system. These symptoms bring about work, social and emotional problems in patients’ lives, and can lead to them becoming depressed.
Cognitive behavioural therapy brings together two types of therapeutic treatments, because although behavioural therapies are successful in the treatment of some pathologies, other aspects involved in the way in which people respond to different situations have to be taken into account.