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Depression and Anxiety Information In Urdu

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Anxiety is a common emotion we have all experienced. At some stage in their life, every individual will feel anxious when faced with a difficult situation. Sweating, increased heart rate, shallow breathing, butterflies in the stomach, and a dry mouth, are typical symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is best understood when compared with the emotion of fear. We experience fear in the presence of real, immediate danger. For example, being chased by a vicious dog. Alternatively, anxiety is a more general response that may be out of proportion to environmental threats. Specifically, anxiety tends to be associated with worrying about future or past difficulties, rather than an immediate situation. For example, an individual worrying before an examination represents an anxious response (Oltmanns & Emery, 1995).

All children experience anxiety, as part of their normal development. However what may be considered an appropriate fear at an early stage of development, for instance a fear of the dark at age three, or a fear of going to school in grade 1, may be considered less appropriate, when a child reaches adolescence. In other words, an individual’s age must be taken into account when thinking about anxiety responses.

Children and youth experience different levels of anxiety, and cope with anxiety in more, or less effective ways. Anxiety becomes a problem when it prevents individuals from enjoying normal life experiences for a long period of time.

Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety difficulties may be manifested in different forms. The most common anxiety disorders are:

• Generalised Anxiety Disorder is characterised by excessive worry and fear about future or past events. This disorder is usually accompanied by somatic symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, and sleep disturbance.

• Separation Anxiety Disorder is the fear of separating from primary caregivers, home or other familiar surroundings.

• Specific Phobia is a fear associated with a specific object or situation, such as fear of needles, dogs, heights, or the dark.

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is characterised by the presence of severe anxiety reactions or feelings, following a traumatic event, such as witnessing a death or being involved in a near death experience.

• Social Phobia is the fear of being humiliated or embarrassed in front of other people. For instance, meeting new people, being at the centre of attention, or in a group social situation.

• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterised by intrusive, obsessive thoughts which are usually alleviated by compulsive actions (e.g. washing hands 60 times a day), and checking behaviours (e.g. checking bag 20 times before going to school in case they have forgotten something). This disorder is extremely rare in children.

• Panic Attack is a discreet period in which there is a sudden onset of intense apprehension, fearfulness or terror often associated with feelings of impending doom. These feelings are accompanied by physical symptoms such as palpitation, chest pain or discomfort, difficulty breathing, and choking smothering sensations.

Agoraphobia is essentially anxiety about, or avoidance of, places or situations from which it may be difficult and/or embarrassing to escape, and/or help may not be available if a panic attack should occur. For instance, being outside the home alone, being in a crowd, travelling in bus or being on a bridge.

Please note that the purpose of the information above is NOT to classify children according to a particular disorder. Rather this section simply aims to provide background information on Anxiety.

Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders represent the most common form of psychological distress in childhood and youth. Research has consistently found high rates of anxiety disorders in children and youth: 8 years old 25.7%,12 years old 15.7%, 17 years old 21.4%. Although specific figures differ, gender differences appear to exist for the reported levels of anxiety disorders. Specifically, girls tend to report more anxiety disorders compared with boys.

Depression and Anxiety Information In Urdu

Depression and Anxiety Information In Urdu

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