what is the difference between a diagnosis of regular anxiety vs a diagnosis of anxiety from the DSM-IV handbook?
Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.
Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.
sure, if someone has anxiety it doesnt always get diagnosed as an anxiety disorder so is the DSm-IV handbook used?
Thank you for the replies to the questions and the added information. It helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.
First let me say that anxiety disorders is the overall category in the DSM for all the various disorders that are manifestations of anxiety (OCD, phobias, panic disorders, and generalized anxiety). The term mood disorders is used to describe the depressive disorders and those disorders that have mixed anxiety-type states (like Bipolar Disorder). Here is a link to Behavenet, which gives the DSM descriptions for each of the disorder for you to see. It's an accurate source and that makes it worthwhile. Here is the link to the anxiety disorders page. You can select from the drop down box the particular anxiety disorder you would like to see described:
You can see there that there are a number of different such disorders. But 'regular' anxiety would be called generalized anxiety disorder. Let me paste in for you from there the DSM description. I will also at the end of the posting after the DSM description give you a technique you can use on your own for when there is anxiety and worries.Here is the description:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Excessive and hard to control worry and anxiety occurring persistently characterize this Anxiety Disorder. There may be associated tension, fatigue, insomnia, and impaired concentration.
Diagnostic criteria for 300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months). Note: Only one item is required in children.
(1) restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge (2) being easily fatigued (3) difficulty concentrating or mind going blank (4) irritability (5) muscle tension (6) sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
D. The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of an Axis I disorder, e.g., the anxiety or worry is not about having a Panic Attack (as in Panic Disorder), being embarrassed in public (as in Social Phobia), being contaminated (as in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), being away from home or close relatives (as in Separation Anxiety Disorder), gaining weight (as in Anorexia Nervosa), having multiple physical complaints (as in Somatization Disorder), or having a serious illness (as in Hypochondriasis), and the anxiety and worry do not occur exclusively during Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
E. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
F. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism) and does not occur exclusively during a Mood Disorder, a Psychotic Disorder, or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Okay, that should help you get working on these symptoms and get some relief. I wish you the very best!
Now, I want to give you a tool to use for when the worry and panic is overwhelming. Here are instructions on a therapeutic protocol called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It's really quite easy to do almost anywhere. My patients suffering from depression or anxiety, when I teach them PMR at first are amazed how simple it is and that it is a psychological protocol. It was first used in the 1920s! Since then, of course, it has been refined and many studies have been done showing its effectiveness. You will practice PMR at first when you don't wake up with an attack so that you will be familiar with it. I want you to practice the PMR at least 5-6 times before an attack or feeling acute anxiety. Why? Because when you're in the throes of anxiety, you will only remember to do something you are very familiar with it. So practicing 5-6 times is really a minimum.
I want to stress the importance of breathing as well. Part of the physiology of what is happening to you in anxiety states is that your breathing is getting shallower. This reduces the oxygen in your blood to your brain. That increases the anxiety reaction, which strengthens the attack and you are in a vicious cycle! Not good. So breathing is the primary tool. I have found in my practice that learning breathing techniques can be helpful. But some of my patients are not interested in learning more than one thing at the beginning, so I have found that just reminding you to BREATHE deeply at the same time you are doing PMR is almost as good. If you are willing to take a yoga class and learn breathing techniques, that's the best. But, breathing deeply with your PMR will help. So, we're ready for learning PMR. I want you to print my instructions below my signature and have a copy in each of the rooms of your home where you may be when you have an attack. And again, you need to practice this easy technique at least 5-6 times as soon as you can. It needs to become as natural to you as breathing. Ah, remember breathing?
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Quickly focusing on each group one after the other, with practice you can relax your body like ‘liquid relaxation’ poured on your head and it flowed down and completely covered you. You can use progressive muscle relaxation to quickly de-stress any time.
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