Everyone gets worried sometimes, but when constant worry gets in the way of day to day life, it may be a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder, a treatable medical condition. Dr. Samer Kamal works one on one with patients at Serenity Psychiatry of Beverly Hills, CA to treat anxiety.

Anxiety Q&A

by Samer Kamal, MD

What is anxiety?

Anxiety involves feelings of fear or nervousness about future events. Anxious feelings are normal when associated with upcoming major life events, but when worrying is constant and impairs the ability to enjoy daily life, a person may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Nearly constant worry about multiple aspects of life characterized this anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is a treatable medical condition, but can be debilitating if left undiagnosed and untreated.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

The primary symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is worrying excessively for a long period of time. Other symptoms include unrealistic perception of problems, psychological and physical tension, restlessness, headaches, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, startling easily.

What causes anxiety?

It is often not possible to pinpoint the exact cause of a given individual’s anxiety disorder because causes vary from person to person and many factors may be involved. Factors that experts believe can contribute to developing generalized anxiety disorder include family history and genetics, unstable childhood, traumatic life events, and substance abuse. People with certain health conditions such as depression, asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, and cancer are more likely to develop anxiety, but not everyone with these conditions will. In most cases, it is difficult to determine the cause of a person’s anxiety disorder. Fortunately, anxiety often responds well to treatment regardless of the cause.

Who is at risk for developing anxiety?

Anxiety is a common mental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Women are nearly twice as likely to develop generalized anxiety disorder as men.

How is anxiety diagnosed?

Generalized anxiety disorder diagnosis is based on the intensity and duration of anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder is usually diagnosed when symptoms have occurred most days for a period of six months or more, are impairing the enjoyment of life, and are not directly caused by another condition.

How is anxiety treated?

Generalized anxiety is typically treated through a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. There are many medications available for anxiety and Dr. Kamal works with patients to find the best fit for treatment.

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