Everyone has felt anxious at one point in their lifetime.
This is caused by stressful events and situations. I decided
to have my topic as anxiety disorders because in my
program, dental hygiene I will potentially be dealing with
clients who have white coat anxiety. This is when a fear
of doctors or health caregivers is present. Gaining
knowledge on anxiety allows me to better understand how
to help calm their uneasiness.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the body`s response to a stressful or
BUT!When the anxiety becomes too intense
and overwhelms daily living it can indicate a
anxiety disorder is present.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Repeated worrying over everyday activities with an inability to gain
control on fears.
Has no warning, causes extreme fear.
Powerful and unpredictable.
Social: A fear of social situations.
Specific: A fear of a specific object, thing, or
activity. Ex. spiders, heights, flying.
Inability to control unwanted, constant thoughts or rituals.
Constantly concerned with routine tasks
To relieve these thoughts, compulsive habits are formed. Ex. excessive
hand-washing, constant counting.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Survivors of a life threatening event leaving them emotionally or
Ex. War, Abuse, Rape.
Experience flashbacks, nightmares or depression.
A personal account of living with generalized
It is believed that any combination of these factors can
lead to the development of an anxiety disorder.
Signs & Symptoms
It is considered to be an anxiety disorder when these
symptoms cause significant distress and interrupt daily
Inability to concentrate
Shortness of breath or dry mouth
Racing pulse or possibly chest pains
Trembling, muscle tension
Anxiety Disorders often coexist with other disorders,
It is often hard for those with anxiety disorders to
maintain relationships and work with others.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
Starts by identifying the anxiety causing thoughts.
Small challenges are created to face their anxiety.
This exposure teaches how to handle situations and control the fear.
Cannot cure anxiety disorders but can keep them
Antidepressants, Anti-anxiety drugs and betablockers used.
Healthy diet and exercise
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Join a support group
Ensure enough sleep is obtained
Participate in activities that calm the mind.
These simple changes in lifestyle can lead to an overall
healthier well-being and can reduce the stress and anxiety
the brain feels.
How to Get Help
● Know and understand the symptoms
● Talk to your family doctor and explain the
symptoms you have and how they affect
your daily life.
● Find resources within your community such
as support groups
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
● Anxiety disorders can relate to this theory because it is
the large cause for why people do not seek help.
● Media portrays those with mental illnesses as being
very unstable and prone to violence, but this is not
● People do not want to be labeled as having a mental
disorder, due to the stigma associated with that label.
Who’s At Risk?
Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders affect 12% of the population.
Its the most common mental illness in Canada
1 in 4 people will be affected by anxiety in their
● If you have a family member with an anxiety disorder,
you are more likely to potentially develop one.
Know The Difference!
● Anemia and thyroid problems have similar symptoms as
● Similar symptoms can also occur from caffeine, alcohol
or drug use.
● Anxiety is considered an issue when it last for 30
minutes or longer everyday.
AnxietyBC. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.anxietybc.com/brochures.php
Anxiety Disorders. (2013). National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved
Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.
Homewood Health Centre. (2012). Retrieved from http://homewood.
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.
Understanding Anxiety Disorders. (2012). Canadian Mental Health
Association. Retrieved from http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/understandinganxiety-disorders/#.Upf9n8Ry3dS