Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders related to substantial thoughts of anxiety and fear.

Anxiety disorders are often severe chronic conditions, which can be present from an early age or begin suddenly after a triggering event. They are prone to flare up at times of high stress and are frequently accompanied by physiological symptoms such as headache, sweating, muscle spasms, tachycardia, palpitations, and hypertension, which in some cases lead to fatigue.

There are a number of anxiety disorders including:

It is common for people often have more than one anxiety disorder.


Anxiety Treatment Programme

Miracles Asia Rehab Thailand combines cutting edge psychotherapy techniques as part of a comprehensive treatment programme. 

We assess each client for not just the presence of anxiety disorders, but the specific type. If it is determined that you suffer from an anxiety disorder, your counsellor will collaborate with you to determine the best course of treatment.



Although different types of anxiety disorders respond best to different types of therapy, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is most commonly treated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT allows the patient to identify what dysfunctional or inaccurate thoughts are causing the anxiety, challenge the validity, and reprogram or override the automatic thoughts with new and functional thoughts.

As opposed to some therapies that are only effective as long as the patient continues therapy, CBT can be considered a skill that once taught, can be practiced and improved by the patient on his/her own.

“Anxiety is a worry about future events, and fear is a response to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and shakiness”

Medications, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta blockers, may improve symptoms. Anti-anxiety medications can however be highly addictive and build a tolerance in the body, often resulting in a person being unable to stop the medications, while no longer benefitting from them. Psychotherapy is therefore usually considered the safer and better long-term treatment option.


Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders

To be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, symptoms typically need to be present for at least six months, be more than what would be expected for the situation and decrease functioning. Other problems that may result in similar symptoms include hyperthyroidism; heart disease; caffeine, alcohol, or cannabis use; and withdrawal from certain drugs.

Generalised anxiety disorder is the most common disorder, presenting by long-lasting anxiety that is not dedicated on any one object or situation.

A diagnosis of GAD is made when a person has been excessively worried about an everyday problem for six months or more.

A person may find that they have problems making daily decisions and remembering commitments as a result of lack of concentration/preoccupation with worry. Their appearance looks strained, with increased sweating from the hands, feet, and axillae, and they may be tearful, which can suggest depression.

Those suffering from generalised anxiety disorder see non-specific persistent fear and worry, and become overly concerned with ordinary matters.

Generalised anxiety disorder is characterised by chronic excessive worry accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance


Causes of Anxiety Disorders

The cause of anxiety disorders is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors comprise of a history of early abuse, family history of mental disorders, and poverty.

Anxiety disorders often occur with other mental disorders, particularly major depressive disorder, personality disorder, and substance use disorder.


Anxiety can be caused by alcohol abuse as well as illicit or prescription drug use, which in most cases improves with prolonged abstinence. Even moderate, sustained alcohol use may increase anxiety levels in some individuals. Caffeine, alcohol, and benzodiazepine dependence can worsen or cause anxiety and panic attacks.

Anxiety commonly occurs during the acute withdrawal phase of alcohol and can persist for up to 2 years as part of a post-acute withdrawal syndrome, in about a quarter of people recovering from alcoholism.

Also, several drugs can cause or worsen anxiety, whether in intoxication, withdrawal, or from chronic use. These include alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, sedatives (including prescription benzodiazepines), opioids (including prescription pain killers and illicit drugs like heroin), stimulants (such as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines), hallucinogens, and inhalants.

Cannabis use and withdrawal is associated with anxiety disorders. However, the precise relationship between cannabis use and anxiety still needs to be established.


Anxiety disorders can arise in response to life stresses such as financial worries or chronic physical illness. Anxiety among adolescents and young adults is common due to the stresses of social interaction, evaluation, and body image.


Lifestyle and diet

Lifestyle changes include exercise, for which there is moderate evidence for some improvement, stabilising sleep patterns, reducing caffeine intake, and stopping smoking. Stopping smoking has benefits in anxiety as large as or larger than those of medications.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as fish oil) may reduce anxiety, particularly in those with more significant symptoms.