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Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is a medical condition in which the patient displays symptoms of panic or intense anxiety resulting from a physical health problem. While it is normal to have anxiety, people with anxiety disorders often show persistent, excessive, and intense worry about everyday situations. Anxiety disorders often see patients showing repeated episodes of sudden feelings of terror, fear, or intense anxiety, which often peak in minutes and are referred to as panic attacks. Anxiety patients always witness their daily activities interfered with by feelings of panic and anxiety.

The clinical symptoms of anxiety disorders include feeling the urge to avoid things that cause anxiety, having difficulty controlling worry, experiencing problems with the gastro intestine, and sleeping. Other problems include thinking and concentration problems, feelings of general body weakness, trembling, sweating, rapid breathing, increased rates of heartbeat, and feeling a sense of doom, panic, and impending danger. Anxiety patients have also registered intense feelings of restlessness and nervousness.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses in North America. Thirty percent of the population in the US has displayed symptoms related to anxiety (Kessler et al., 2005). Anxiety disorders are inheritable, with about 30-40% of the variance that contributes to these disorders inheritable (Norrholm & Ressler, 2009). Anxiety disorders occur in women at twice the rate in men, with this prevalence at 23.4 percent in women and 14.3 percent in men. Concerning age, anxiety disorders may start during childhood and go on until adulthood.

The standard treatments available for anxiety disorders are medications and psychotherapy. Patients get the most benefit when the two are combined. Psychotherapy involves a therapist who helps a patient reduce anxiety symptoms. The most effective therapy that is applied is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on teaching a specific set of skills for improving symptoms and the gradual return to the activities that the patient initially avoided because of the anxiety. Under CBT, a patient is also exposed to exposure therapy whereby he is allowed to gradually meet a situation or object that has been the cause of anxiety until the patient gains enough confidence to face it. Applied medications include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, which is referred to as buspirone. When a patient undergoes this treatment, they gradually gain confidence and can face objects or situations that previously caused anxiety to them without fear.

My identified organization that will support clients with this disorder is the Center for Addiction and Mental Health located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a psychiatric teaching hospital that serves ten community locations in the province of Ontario. The amalgamation of four separate institutions, namely the Donwood Institute, Addiction Research Foundation, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Queen Street Mental Health Center saw the formation of this hospital. CAMH is the largest mental hospital in Canada and is the only psychiatric emergency department that stands alone in Ontario. There are over ninety distinct clinics in CAMH which serve partial hospitalization models, day treatment, outpatient and inpatient. Advanced research in psychiatry is also conducted at this hospital. The main population that is served by CAMH is that of Ontario and Canada at large. Clients mainly access services through visiting the hospital although there is an emergency unit that operates on clients that need urgent attention at their homes. CAMH is a government hospital and all funding is done by the government. Because of the ideal location of the hospital, clients do not face any transport barriers when coming to the hospital. Nonetheless, clients have to wait for long before being served because of the high number of patients that visit the facility. To curb this, my suggestion is that the organization increases the number of its staff.


Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of general psychiatry. 2005;62:593–602. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Norrholm, S., Ressler, K. (2009). Genetics of Anxiety and Trauma-Related Disorders. Retrieved from


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