Common diseases & risk factors

Avi Medical helps you with anxiety

Up to 29 percent of the population worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder at least once in their lives. It is a mental abnormality that often becomes chronic without treatment. The risk of developing this condition is increased if one of your family memberswas or is already affected. 

However, with comprehensive therapy , an anxiety disorder is easily treatable. Our experienced doctors at Avi Medical are here to help you at all our locations.

What is an anxiety disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a mental disorder that can be divided into three subtypes. These are:

  • the phobic disorder. Affected people have a fear of certain objects or situations (e.g. fear of heights, spider phobia, social phobia)
  • Panic disorder. Sufferers experience sudden brief but violent panic episodes with no identifiable specific triggers
  • generalised anxiety disorder. This category is characterised by an ever-present preoccupation with everyday things, often combined with fears about the future.

At what point is it an anxiety disorder?

The ICD-10 lists numerous criteria for the diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. For example, specific physical stimulus symptoms must be present for a phobic disorder. A generalised anxiety disorder, on the other hand, must last for at least six months

However, the occurrence of the following componentsgenerally leads to the immediate exclusion of the diagnosis of anxiety disorder:  

  • Physical causes. These include certain lung diseases(asthma, COPD, pulmonary embolism) or heart diseases (arrhythmias) that are accompanied by severe breathing difficulties and associated temporary anxiety. 
  • Neurological diseases such as Parkinson's or epilepsy
  • Electrolyte disorders (lack of minerals or sugar in the blood) 
  • Side effects of medication (such as heart failure or depression medication) or exposure to toxic substances such as drugs and alcohol.  
  • Major psychiatric disorders in which anxiety is an accompanying symptom (such as depression, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder).

What are the triggers of an anxiety disorder?

The development of an anxiety disorder requires the interaction of three factors. These are: 

  • Genetic theories such as a congenital neurotransmitter receptor deficiency
  • neurobiological theories such as an overactive amygdala (the "fear centre" of the brain)
  • learning theory theories, such as conditioning. In the course of life, affected people learn to react to a neutral stimulus with a physical response. An example is the sight of a harmless spider, which evokes a strong fear response 

What are possible symptoms of an anxiety disorder?

The accompanying symptoms of an anxiety disorder are often diffuse and often occur simultaneously. Typical symptoms include: 

  • Palpitations
  • Fear of death
  • Sweating, hot flushes or even feeling cold
  • Shivering, tingling or numbness of the skin 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and diarrhoea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Concentration and sleep disorders
  • Muscle tension
  • Nervousness
  • especially in social phobia, the following also show up: facial flushing, urinary urgency and vomiting, which anxiety patients themselves unintentionally induce like a nocebo 

The treatment of an anxiety disorder at Avi Medical

The first step in the treatment of an anxiety disorder at Avi Medical is a comprehensive medical history. Together with our doctors, other underlying diseases are ruled out with the help of medical examinations (laboratory checks, ECG in case of palpitations, lung function check in case of shortness of breath). 

A special questionnaire is then used to determine how to proceed. Common measures include: 

  • psychiatric or psychological therapy (behavioural therapy, psychodynamic methods, self-help groups. These are combined with sports therapy or relaxation methods).
  • Prescribing medication (such as antidepressants with an anti-anxiety component but without fatigue-inducing properties).