Anxiety and depression are two distinct medical conditions, but their manifestations, causes, as well as treatment, can overlap. Though almost all women experience stress at one point or the other, in some cases, the condition gets worse and results in panic attacks. As such, this leads to severe distress and discomfort. More so, diagnosing anxiety disorders in women is easy.
How is anxiety diagnosed?
A psychologist or any other mental health professional can get tasked with diagnosing anxiety disorders in women. The health practitioner takes a careful medical and personal history. They perform a physical examination and order laboratory tests for examination reasons. Although there’s no single lab test that can diagnose anxiety, the report may provide valuable information about a medical condition that may be causing illness as well as other anxiety symptoms.
Women with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) must;
Women who worry excessively. They are anxious about different events. Women who find it hard to manage their worrying. They have at least three of the six signs associated with GAD for at least six months. The above mentioned six symptoms are; restlessness, muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, problems in concentration, and sleep difficulties.
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For a GAD diagnosis, the symptoms must be present for more than six months. They should also disrupt one’s day to day life. As such, victims may be unable to go to work or school. It’s essential to note that if the focus of anxiety and worry is restricted to just one symptom, then this will not be diagnosed as GAD.
There are also other types of anxiety disorders like; separation anxiety, panic disorders, phobias, and many more. If you suffer from depression, the symptoms are somewhat different. These are like;
- Depressed mood
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Slow movement
- Concentration problems
For a depressive disorder diagnosis, you must have experienced at least five of these symptoms for at least two weeks. More so, women experiencing some of these signs may be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or a depressive disorder caused by other ailments.
By contrasting the two sets of indications, you can see that there’s an overlap. Problems in sleeping, concentrating, irritability, and fatigue are prevalent in both cases. But, women experiencing depression move slowly, and reactions are more leveled. On the other hand, ones with anxiety are more alert since they fight to handle their speeding thoughts. The presence of fear about the future is also evident.
How is anxiety treated?
Anxiety is either treated or managed with psychological counseling and sometimes prescription drugs. However, the course of treatment depends on the type of stress as well as what the patient prefers. Typically, the procedure is a combination of behavioral therapy, medications, and psychotherapy.
In some cases, there’s a delay in anxiety disorder treatment to manage existing conditions like alcoholism. Moreover, anxiety is treatable at home without having to visit a doctor; this applies when the extent of stress is short or diagnosed early.
Diagnosing anxiety disorders in women is simple, and the good news about anxiety and depression is that both conditions are treatable. Therefore, don’t hesitate to seek help from loved ones or a health facility. By so doing, you can be sure of the right diagnosis, a healthier mind, and body.