Doha – March 7, 2023: The Institute for Population Health (IPH) at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) recently held a webinar that examined anxiety and related disorders, and how to manage them.
The webinar titled, ‘Anxiety: When your worrying becomes worrying’, was delivered by Dr. Zahra Naqvi, assistant professor of psychiatry at WCM-Q, and discussed diseases such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. Naqvi explained that anxiety is a common disorder in our society and can cause a significant impairment in social, occupational, and other areas of living. Even when therapy services are provided not everyone takes advantage because of the stigma associated with the disorder.
Studies show that 56 percent of depressed or anxious individuals do not seek care because they fear losing respect while 83 percent fear that others would view them as unfit. While others fail to seek therapy because of lack of time, others are concerned about their health record, or fear of confidentiality and cost.
Dr. Naqvi said: “Anxiety is a sustained mental health issue that can be triggered by stress and doesn’t fade away once the threat is in the past. Although many symptoms of anxiety and stress are similar, stress is transient while anxiety is of longer duration. Anxiety symptoms can present in two different ways: physically and mentally.”
Dr. Naqvi advised that individuals should seek medical attention if they have difficulty in controlling worry, are restless or feeling keyed up or on edge, are easily fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, are feeling irritable, have disturbed sleep patterns or have exaggerated startle response.
She said: “Therapy is done to help people identify triggers and develop coping skills. Medication is also a common treatment; however, many people benefit from a combination of the two. People should also educate themselves about key issues including self-care, sleeping right, eating a healthy meal and being physically active. If one knows they tend to become anxious, they should use a preventative focus before the anxiety sets in.”
Dr. Naqvi said there are internal traits that could predispose one to develop anxiety including being a perfectionist, inner nervousness, tendency to overreact, low self-esteem, extreme sensitivity to criticism, high expectations, obsessive overthinking, a need to appear in control, and a tendency to worry about health.
Medical causes of anxiety include cardiovascular problems, asthma, seizures disorder, diabetes, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, inner ear problems, certain medications and legal or illegal drug use.
The webinar was part of the ‘Health and YOU: Community Wellness Series’, an IPH series that discusses crucial health matters facing communities around the world today.
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