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Anxiety Neurosis

Definition:

The term anxiety is defined as a sense of mental discomfort, a diffuse, vague, very unpleasant feeling of fear or apprehension.  When these feelings start interfering with the daily activities it is termed as anxiety disorder. When this anxiety becomes very intense, repetitive and compelling it is called Anxiety Neurosis.

 

The anxious individual worries a lot, particularly about unknown dangers. People, who are constantly worrying, feel that their worry is out of control and they do not know how to stop it.  This worry eventually becomes a way of thinking that later develops into a full-fledged anxiety disorder.  

 

Anxiety neurosis is a psychosomatic disorder where certain mental symptoms may give rise to physical symptoms and vice versa.

 

Incidence: It has been estimated that globally about 15%-20% of individuals are affected with anxiety disorders in a year. Females are twice as commonly affected than males. Anxiety neurosis is observed in people regardless of their geography, education or financial status.

Causes:

The causes are multiple and most of the time more than one cause may be responsible to trigger anxiety in an individual.

  1. Genetics: Anxiety neurosis often runs in families. However, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environment is responsible for the development of anxiety neurosis.

 

  1. Suppressed sexual desire: According to Freud, there is a theory that, wherever the libido (sexual desire) of an individual is excited but finds no satisfaction and is instead repressed, it takes the form of anxiety. But only few psychiatrists agree to this theory.

 

  1. Stressful environment:  Staying in a stressful environment for a long time can make you feel edgy and alert all the time thereby triggering anxiety. Exposure to stressful conditions like domestic violence, financial crisis, bullying at work or school, children of strict parents may start experiencing anxiety symptoms at some point of their life.      

 

  1. Medical conditions:  Certain neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, parkinsonism, dementia (forgetfulness), multiple sclerosis, endocrinal disorders like hyperthyroidism (Elevated thyroid hormone), Cushing’s syndrome, hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose level), lead poisoning, cardiac conditions like arrhythmias, angina (pain in region of heart), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pheochromocytoma etc.; can include anxiety as one the symptoms.

 

  1. Temperament:  If one possess any of the qualities like perfectionism, nervousness or over ambitiousness, these types of temperaments itself may trigger moderate to severe stress that affects the mind as well as body.

 

  1. Drugs and other medications: Individuals having a habit popping pills, self- medication by taking over the counter medications frequently often may fall prey to anxieties. Hormonal medicines (oral contraceptive pills), sedatives (sleeping pills), corticosteroids are some examples of drugs that contribute in developing anxiety symptoms over a period of time. 

 

Also Read: Do I have Anxiety Disorder Symptoms?

 

Classification of anxiety neurosis

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This disorder develops gradually and may attain its peak during the adulthood. Individuals with this disorder feel anxious most of the time. The anxiety is not about a specific event but rather the individual keeps worrying about multiple issues and situations. They are never relaxed and experience physical and psychological symptoms like, feeling restless, dizziness, palpitations, difficulty in concentrating, sleeplessness or disturbed sleep etc.  This disorder is often chronic and long lasting.  
  2. Panic disorder: Individuals with panic disorder experience panic attacks unexpectedly and therefore become very anxious as they worry that another attack may occur. Panic disorders present with severe physical symptoms as well as strong fears that often involve concern over dying, going crazy and behave in an uncontrolled way. Panic disorders are the least prevalent of all the anxiety disorders.
  3. Social anxiety: In this disorder the individual concerned will be extremely uncomfortable being in a crowd or amongst a group of people. He develops a morbid fear and negativity when attempting to go in a crowd. Such individuals usually have an inferiority complex and they think that they are less competent than others. They become so conscious of themselves that they feel people may notice their mistake and might make a fun of them. All these preconceived notions prevent him from approaching the crowd.  
  4. Obsessive compulsive disorder: It is a personality disorder of a specific nature where the obsession is used for thoughts and compulsion for actions. The person concerned recognizes the actions to be irrational, but over which he has little or no control. In both obsessions and compulsions the patient is well aware of the irrational nature of his action; but inspite of persistent resistance, he is compelled to think about something which he does not wish to think. He undertakes activities which he does not intend to perform.
  5. Phobias: A phobia is a morbid or pathological fear which the patient realizes to be absurd but nevertheless is unable to explain and overcome it. Phobic fears differ from normal fears in several respects. A phobic fear is more intense with a sense of guilt involved in the experience. The stimulus which triggers phobia is not an adequate stimulus to create normal fear. Phobias are categorizes into five categories.
  • Separation fears
  • Animal fears
  • Mutilation fears
  • Social fears
  • Nature fears
  1. Substance induced anxiety disorder: This disorder is often overlooked or missed by certain physicians. Individuals on certain medications for years together are prone to develop anxiety symptoms. Medicines like thyroid supplements, nicotine derivatives (anti- hypertensive medicines), insulin (for diabetes), corticosteroids, NSAIDs (anti- inflammatory medicines), dopamine (used for calming the brain), anti- histamines (anti allergic), anti- psychotic medicines etc.; are responsible to trigger this disorder if not monitored and substituted timely.  Drug withdrawal symptoms are another group of conditions that develop after certain medicines are stopped abruptly.    

Ask your questions to Dr. Shah's team directly & get an expert opinion on your ailment!

 

Difference between normal anxiety and neurotic anxiety

In normal anxiety, the individual is able to realize the cause of his anxiety and is able to overcome it soon. It is more or less temporary.

In neurotic anxiety, the individual is marginally aware of the conflicts, frustrations and difficulties that affect him. The symptoms are more or less permanent and persist over a long period.

The source of normal anxiety is mostly external danger while anxiety neurosis arises from inner dangers, frustrations and conflicts.

For example; apprehension and fear before examination is a case of normal anxiety but persistent fear and worry with terrible nervousness before examination is a case of neurotic anxiety.

Symptoms

The symptoms of anxiety vary from one individual to another. They vary in intensity and frequency, depending upon the degree of the anxiety the patient is suffering from.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sleepless or disturbed sleep

 

Also Read: What Are The Treatment Options For Anxiety Neurosis?

Diagnosis

A detailed clinical history and careful examination often leads to a probable diagnosis. Since anxiety disorder is a broad term, it may need more detailed, specific tests to arrive at a final diagnosis of anxiety neurosis and rule out other clinical conditions. There are no blood tests that can diagnose the type of anxiety disorder, but blood tests like thyroid test, blood sugar and certain brain scans may be performed to find out other clinical causes which lead to anxiety. Drug history and life space of the patient are important components in the case history which can also guide you towards diagnosis. Psychologists and psychiatrists often follow the interview method to grade the form of anxiety clinically in order to decide a suitable treatment.     

Treatment

Conventional treatment: It includes a combination of medications and therapy. Certain anti- psychotic medications like anti- depressants, anxiolytics and sedatives are the primary drugs of choice in the treating any type of anxiety disorder. Psychotherapy which includes cognitive behavioural therapy for children, counselling sessions, family therapy etc.; are often complemented with the drugs to complete the treatment. The duration of medications is usually decided based upon the type of anxiety disorder as well as its duration and intensity. However, continuing the medicines for more than a year may start showing its side effects. It later becomes challenging to stop the medicines as a result of the withdrawal symptoms on abrupt stoppage of medicines.

 

Homeopathic treatment:

Homeopathic medicines are prescribed upon individual case analysis and evaluation.

  • Each case is unique: Each individual case is unique and the treatment is decided likewise. There are certain homeopathic medicines which have an affinity on the mental sphere which aids the treatment effectively. A careful case study helps to find out the exact underlying cause to be treated.

 

  • How do homeopathic medicines help? The medicines help the patients by reducing the episodes of anxiety or panic attacks. The intensity and duration of the episodes are also curbed down thereby giving the patient a sense of wellbeing and calmness.

 

  • Taking homeopathic and conventional medicines together are absolutely safe: Some individuals may need to continue their conventional medicines along with the homeopathic medicines. They can be taken together safely as abrupt stoppage of conventional medicines may lead to a relapse (withdrawal symptoms). They can be gradually tapered down later under the supervision of the treating physician.

 

  • Duration of homeopathic treatment: The duration of homeopathic treatment varies from one individual to another. One might respond to the treatment early whereas the other might not. Time taken for a positive response towards the treatment is based on various factors like, the time since which the patient has been suffering from the disorder, nature of disorder, dependency on conventional medicines, genetic inheritance, so on and so forth.

 

  • Diet and lifestyle modifications: Homeopathy also believes in integrating diet and lifestyle modifications as an inherent part of the treatment that will accelerate the recovery. A balanced diet is recommended which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, nuts and seeds. Specific diets may be customized for individuals with certain clinical conditions. Specific yogic exercises, pranayama also aids the recovery. Lifestyle modifications at home and at the work are also chalked out to make the individual’s life more easy and stress free.  

 

  • Safe and non-habit forming medicines: Homeopathic medicines are harmless and treat you without giving any side effects even for a long term course. They are not habit forming unlike conventional medicines. They do not make you sleep or induce sleep as many other conventional medicines do.

 

  • Treats the individual holistically: Above all it treats the patient as a whole by taking into consideration factors like the patients mind set, life space, genetic inheritance etc. Modern homeopathy certainly helps in alleviating the discomfort in a safe and the relief is more or less long lasting.      

 

Homeopathy works wonders for Anxiety Neurosis patients:

The beauty of homeopathic treatment of Anxiety Neurosis is that it is not only highly effective especially in early and non-dependent cases, but it is also very safe. Homeopathic medicines are not habit-forming and produce no adverse effects. Homeopathy is highly recommended in the early cases of Anxiety disorders before one gets heavily dependent on anti-anxiety, anti-depression, chemical based medicines.

Ask your questions to Dr. Shah's team directly & get an expert opinion on your ailment!

 

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*Please note that results and duration of treatment may vary depending on the constitution of your body.