Anxiety Crisis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

This disorder can cause you to experience a variety of symptoms such as tremors, sweating, nausea and fast heartbeat.

It can also cause pain in the stomach and tension in the neck and shoulders.

It can cause problems sleeping and irritation. If the anxiety increases, the patient may have a very real feeling that something bad is going to happen to him.

You may even feel that you are losing control and experience physical symptoms similar to a heart attack .

Anxiety and fear can be very intense feelings, and you may want to avoid situations where crises are thought to occur, such as social gatherings or specific places.

This can lead the patient to limit interactions with the rest of the world and can have a great impact on their way of life.

Types of anxiety crisis

Anxiety disorder includes different conditions such as:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety and concern for a series of events or activities.

The intensity, duration or frequency of anxiety and worry are not proportional to the actual probability or impact of the anticipated event.

People with generalized anxiety disorder have difficulty controlling their concerns.

Preventing distressing thoughts from interfering with attention to the tasks that are performed is also a great challenge.


Many people with generalized anxiety disorder report that they have felt anxious and nervous throughout their lives.

The data indicate that generalized anxiety disorder is caused by a number of factors: genetic, environmental, psychological and / or developmental.

Signs and symptoms

Some symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are excessive anxiety and worry.

People find it difficult to control their worry that causes problems in their daily lives.

Anxiety and worry are associated with some of the following: restlessness or feeling of nervousness or irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or blank mind, irritability and sleep disturbances .

Risk factor’s

Anyone is at risk; however, adult women are more at risk than men.

In addition, those of European descent tend to experience generalized anxiety disorder.

Finally, those living in developed countries are more likely than individuals in non-developed countries to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.


A very careful diagnostic evaluation should be performed to rule out whether the patient’s symptoms are caused by the anxiety disorder or are caused by a physical problem.

The disorder should be identified or if there is a combination of disorders and coexisting conditions, such as depression or substance abuse, alcoholism.


In general, anxiety disorders are treated with medications, specific types of psychotherapy, or both.

Treatment options depend on the problem and the patient’s preference.

Living with a generalized anxiety disorder

Living with a generalized anxiety disorder can be very difficult.

A person with generalized anxiety disorder can be affected in everything he does, concentrating on daily tasks can be a challenge.

Your work and your relationships can be negatively influenced.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

A person suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder may have repetitive thoughts that he can not control and that cause him anguish and interfere with his life in various ways.

These thoughts are not only about real-life concerns, they can be thoughts of violence.

Often, people who suffer from these anguished thoughts try to ignore or suppress them with little or no success. These thoughts are called obsessions.

Some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder perform repetitive behaviors called compulsions.

These behaviors can range from repetitive hand washing to counting.


It is not known with certainty what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder.

A great deal of research is being done on brain function and brain formations, which could lead to a clearer understanding.

There is some research that suggests that tic disorders and Tourette syndrome are related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. All these disorders have some genetic link.

Signs and symptoms

It is characterized by repeated thoughts or images that cause anguish, or repeated rituals such as compulsive hoarding, extreme cleaning, door or stove revisions in a repetitive manner.

These repetitive acts are carried out to prevent something bad from happening or to reduce anxiety or anguish, to wash one’s hands, to verify repetitively if the doors are closed, to count or to accumulate things that are believed to be necessary to avoid damage or alleviate the anguish (when the actions are not related to the damage to be prevented).

Thoughts and rituals take at least 1 hour per day and can interfere with normal life.

Most adults who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder realize that their repetitive actions are not reasonable, but they can not control them.

Risk factor’s

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can affect adults or children, women and men.

For most people, ritual thoughts and behaviors begin in early adulthood.

It is important to see a mental health professional as soon as possible, as the sooner the treatment starts, the more successful the treatment outcome will be.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often found with other disorders.

This means that people who have suffered the anguish of obsessive-compulsive disorder often also suffer from anxiety and / or depression.

Often, in an attempt to relieve anxiety, people who suffer from this disorder abuse drugs or alcohol.

Before making a diagnosis, a psychologist should analyze the time spent with the disorder and the severity of the obsessions or compulsions.

To make a diagnosis, the psychologist must determine if all the symptoms of the disorder are present, and make sure that all other disorders are also diagnosed so that they can be treated together.


There are a variety of psychological treatments available depending on the nature of the obsessions or compulsions.

The treatment will focus on understanding and preventing disturbing thoughts.

The treatment will also focus on reducing sensitivity to situations that produce anxiety through images and other modalities.

In addition, the psychologist will provide you with educational materials and coping strategies that you can use at home.

Research has shown that when obsessive-compulsive disorder first manifests in childhood, treatment may require medication and a longer course of psychotherapy.

Your psychologist will work with a psychiatrist to ensure the proper treatment plan.

Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder

A person living with an obsessive-compulsive disorder faces extreme anguish and anxiety, various troubling thoughts and irrational rituals can often be embarrassing to them.

This can lead to social situations of avoidance and difficulties at work and at school.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is disturbing because rituals require time and require secrecy, and anguished thoughts easily affect the ability to concentrate.

Panic disorder

People suffering from panic disorder have sudden and repeated fear attack.

Unlike a specific fear, such as fear of spiders or heights, panic attacks seem to come “out of the blue”.

A rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating and dizziness often accompany panic attacks.

When a panic attack arises, the person often feels that he is losing control or having a heart attack .

These attacks can last several minutes.


Unlike the fear of a specific trigger, panic disorder has been called “fear of fear”.

Because attacks come from nowhere, it’s hard to say that a particular incident is the cause of panic attacks.

It seems, however, that some people are aware of very small changes in their body, even a small change in body temperature or a small change in heart rate can trigger a panic attack.

This superconsciousness can be as a result of the stress of life, learning or the particular ways in which their brains respond to bodily signals.

There is some research that suggests that panic disorder can be hereditary.

Signs and symptoms

The physical symptoms of panic disorder may include: chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness and lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, difficulty breathing or feeling of suffocation.

Often, patients fear losing control or going crazy, and / or fear dying.

Panic disorder also includes concern (lasting more than a month) about future attacks and / or behavior change due to concerns about future attacks.

Risk factor’s

Panic attacks can affect anyone, but most people who have panic disorder are women.

While the first panic attack can occur at any age, it often affects teenagers.


Mental health professionals will ask a series of questions to determine if panic attacks are affecting normal daily functioning or if they cause concern and distress for more than a month.

It is also important to perform a complete physical examination to make sure there are no underlying cardiac, thyroid, or other problems that may be causing the symptoms.


Panic disorder can be successfully treated with a variety of treatments.

In severe cases, medications are combined with psychotherapy to improve the long-term reduction of symptoms.

In less severe cases, psychotherapy alone is the ideal treatment.

Typically, psychologists link cognitive therapies with behavioral treatments that include breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness exercises.

In addition, the psychologist will help the patient make lifestyle changes that can help reduce the overall stress of life.

Living with panic disorder

Living with a panic disorder means living in fear of the next panic attack, the fear of feeling like you are drowning or having a heart attack.

A person with panic disorder can often fear that he is losing his mind, which can keep him tied to the house.

Fearful of venturing, they can lose the enjoyment of everyday life and isolate themselves more and more.

Social anxiety disorder

The social anxiety is characterized by fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.

It is associated with severe discomfort with situations and / or unknown persons.

Social anxiety is not the same as shyness, although they share certain characteristics, social phobia is markedly more distressing.

It has a negative impact on social interaction, occupation and other important areas of daily functioning.


Personality traits, such as inhibiting behavior and fear of negative evaluation, make some people more vulnerable to social anxiety.

These traits are genetically influenced and run in families.

Additional risk factors are certain environmental concerns, such as child maltreatment and adversity.

Signs and symptoms

People with social anxiety often fear shame, which greatly interferes with or prevents social activities.

They commonly experience low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, fear of criticism and fear of speaking in public (for example, in group discussions or giving a presentation to a group).

Unreasonable fear of new places and unknown people (for example, fear of talking to a store employee) or severe self-consciousness that interferes with one’s functioning in these situations is also a significant difficulty.

Risk factor’s

Studies indicate that between 3% and 13% of people suffer from some type of social anxiety.

In most cases, the onset of social phobia occurs between 8 and 15 years, but also affects adults.

Older adults also experience social anxiety, but it is usually less intense and can be related to a wider range of situations.


Social phobia usually develops in adolescence and is preceded by a less severe form of shyness.

It can develop gradually or be provoked by an experience of public shame.

Social phobia also occurs along with other anxiety disorders, mood disorders and substance abuse disorders.


The cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used to treat social anxiety.

Although it is an effective mode of therapeutic treatment of this condition, other forms of psychotherapy have also demonstrated effectiveness (for example, exposure therapy or social skills training).

Live with social anxiety

Social anxiety can negatively influence a person’s work performance and social life.

For example, you may have difficulty taking a job promotion because it involves public speaking.

Engaging in romantic relationships can also be a great challenge; Many people who struggle with social anxiety are often single.

People living with social anxiety may also find it very difficult to seek treatment, it has been discovered that people in Western societies seek treatment only after 15 to 20 years of experiencing the symptoms.


The medications used for anxiety crises are anxiolytics, and antidepressants. Anxiolytics such as Alprazolam, Loracepam, Diacepam and Chloracepam, among others, produce a tranquilizing effect.

The most commonly used antidepressants are Fluoxetine , Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine, Sertraline , Citalopram and Escitalopram.

Studies currently demonstrate the advantages that exist with the combined psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments in anxiety disorders.