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Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is a mental problem that has the following symptoms:

•   Shortness of breath
•   Dizziness, unsteadiness or faintness
•   Palpitations or accelerated heart rate
•   Trembling or shaking
•   Sweating
•   Choking
•   Nausea, stomachache, or diarrhoea
•   Numbness or tingling sensations
•   Flushing or chills
•   Chest pain or discomfort
•   Fear of dying
•   Fear of ‘going crazy’ or losing control of self.

Suggestions for Anxiety Disorder

Below are the techniques using which a person can deal with Anxiety Disorder (these will also be part of the therapy sessions):

•   Brief Version of Jacobson’s Relaxation Exercise.
•   Avoidance of anxiety provoking situations will only increase the anxiety - do not try to avoid them.
•   The fear producing thoughts are always irrational - do not concede to them.
•   Repeatedly challenge your fear producing thoughts.
•   Remember that panic is a manifestation of anxiety and will subside after few minutes - it will never continue.

Symptoms of Depressive Disorder

Depressive disorder is another mental problem with the following symptoms:

•   Lack of sufficient/normal sleep
•   Poor Appetite
•   Weight Loss
•   Loss of self worth
•   Feelings of guilt
•   Incapable of enjoying usual activities
•   Fears of calamity
•   Wish to die / attempt to end life

Suggestions for Anxiety Disorder

Below are the techniques using which a person can deal with Depressive Disorder:

•   Express all your problems to a family member, relative or a friend.
•   Avoid being alone
•   Avoid sitting and thinking as it will deepen your depression.
•   Try to be with people; it is ok even if you are not interacting.

NOTE: If you (or a friend/relative) are not sleeping, eating and have a death wish, please consult a psychiatrist immediately and not a psychotherapist or counsellor.

Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

•   Washing repeatedly, even when not required
•   Cleaning over and over again, unnecessarily
•   Hoarding unnecessary articles
•   Thinking of the same thing, persistently
•   Obsession with perfectionism
•   Recurrent unwanted intrusive ideas, images that are silly, weird, nasty or horrible and an urge to do something that will relieve the discomfort.

Effects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

1. OCD can be extremely debilitating the person, to the extent of the person being confined to the house.

2. As the patients are used to the OCD symptoms, they may not realise how much OCD is affecting their life.

3. Psychiatric treatment can considerably reduce the OCD symptoms and then psychological treatment like cognitive behaviour therapy would enable them to work on even eliminating the OCD symptoms.

4. The person suffering from OCD is not purposefully doing the OCD rituals to annoy others. They are as helpless as the family members; thus the OCD affects the entire family directly or indirectly.

5. When a person gets OCD it can adversely affect their relationship with others; becoming critical of them or forcing them to stop the rituals would make them start the ritual from the beginning and repeat the entire process.

Symptoms of Somatisation Disorder

•   Chronic physical illness characterized by aches and pains in many parts of the body, which normally does not get better, even after treatment by various specialists.

Symptoms of Conversion Disorder (Hysteria)

•   A mechanism by which a psychological or social stress converts into a physical symptom.
•   Fainting with convulsions
•   Inability to move a particular part of the body
•   Inability to speak, write etc

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