I should begin by saying that “anxiety disorder” (so called) is a misnomer.
For one it’s not a single disorder or diagnosis as much as it is a “cluster” of associated disorders.
These associated disorders include such things as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) just to name a few.
You also have phobia or fear to deal with as well.
All these disorders “conspire” with each other in such a way as to constitute a direct assault against that person’s – mind, body and soul. One that can quickly destroy the life of the person affected. As someone who suffers from this disorder I can tell you its not easy.
I know I am often asked by people – “what is it like to live with anxiety disorder?” First that is an extremely difficult question to answer – not saying that I am even qualified to do that – mind you.
In addition scientists and researcher today can’t even tell us the cause of anxiety disorder in the first place.
Its also extremely difficult to capture the true essence of something in words alone, because words are wholly inadequate to describe emotion in many cases.
But for argument sake I can say that living with anxiety disorder is like being lost and alone in a forest at night being hunted by a pack of hungry wolves.
Your only hope is to run as far and as fast as you can – even then it is only a matter of time really before they overtake and devour you completely.
There is also understandably a sense of dread and terror associated with it.
You also have overwhelming feelings sometimes of hopelessness and despair in such situations.
Making matter worse anxiety disorder is commonly associated with depression and schizophrenia as well.
People who suffer from this disorder are also at increased risk of suicide.
To ease their pain people often self medicate. So they will often times drown themselves in drugs and alcohol and abuse prescription drugs if they can – which can lead to all sorts of other problems within the life of that individual.
As a rule any sudden onset of severe anxiety symptoms, especially following a traumatic event (or series of traumatic events) in life – a person should seek out immediate medical attention as soon as possible. This is particularly true of young children and the earlier you can diagnosis and treat anxiety disorder the better that person is for it.
Standardized screening clinical questionnaires such as the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale or the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale can be used to detect anxiety symptoms, and suggest the need for a formal diagnostic assessment of anxiety disorder. But this take time and it is very expensive for insurance companies – who often refuse to cover basic screenings necessary to diagnosis the disorder in the first place. This is another huge problem that I see.
Treatment for anxiety disorder includes such things as psychotherapy, usually in combination with a cocktail assortment of anti-psychotic medications – to help that person manage the severity and intensity of symptoms – which if left unchecked can drive a human being mad.