ALGEE for Anxiety Disorders
What makes anxiety disorder different from normal anxiety is that it is more severe, lasts longer and interferes with work and relationships. There are five different types of anxiety disorders: Obsessive compulsive, generalized, panic, social phobia and post traumatic stress disorder. The most common crises to assess for with anxiety symptoms are an extreme level of anxiety such as a panic attack, or reaction to a traumatic event such as the loss of a job or loved one, an accident, assault or natural disasters.
• Symptoms of a panic attack are very similar to those of a heart attack, so you should still call an ambulance because it might not be a panic attack. • Let them know you’re concerned. • Ask if they know what’s happening and how they would like to be helped. • Speak clearly and slowly, remain calm. • Remind them that it is not lifethreatening — reassure them these symptoms will pass.
of a Panic Attack
• After the panic attack ends, offer help in getting information about professional help and tell them about resources
(from the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders”)
“A panic attack is a distinct episode of high anxiety with fear or discomfort. It develops abruptly and has its peak within 10 minutes.”
• Minimize or trivialize what they are feeling — acknowledge that to them the
Several of the following symptoms are usually present:
terror feels real.
• Palpitations, pounding heart, rapid heart rate.
• Appear rushed, anxious or impatient.
• Sweating. • Trembling and shaking.
Some signs to look for: • Avoidance of specific situations. • Obsessive or compulsive behavior. • Distress in social situations. • Phobic behavior.
• Shortness of breath, sensations of choking or smothering. • Chest pain or discomfort. • Abdominal distress or nausea. • Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint or unsteady. • Feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself. • Fear of dying. • Numbness or tingling. • Chills or hot flashes.
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