Anxiety Co-Occurring Disorder Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Anxiety Co-Occuring Disorder

The following paper gives information about the ailment known as anxiety and its relationship with co-occurring diseases. The paper also highlights the history of this disease and focuses on the important personalities involved in the discovery of this disease. The paper also incorporates a research on the topic and discusses the important findings of the research. The paper also gives the impacts of anxiety and co-occurring diseases on human demeanor and how do therapists deal with such people.


Human beings are faced with all sorts of stress in their lives. Anxiety is the reaction of a normal human to stress. This reaction, if in a limit, is beneficial as it helps the human brain to counter the stress. Excessive response is unnecessary and therefore it is harmful for human beings. For some people, anxiety becomes excessive and thus it is considered as anxiety disorder. Excessive anxiety is also difficult and sometimes even impossible to control and as a result, it impinges the day-to-day activities of the person who is faced with anxiety. (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.)

History of Anxiety

Anxiety roots back to the beginning of human beings. The disorder known as anxiety is said to be present in human beings of all times. This is because of the relation of stress and thus anxiety with human beings. Anxiety was given different names in different ages. The ancient Greeks used to call it mania, paranoia and hysteria. It was not until the eighteenth century that the word anxiety came into use. Johann Reil, in 1808, used the term anxiety as the difference in the usual level of disappointment that a human being suffers from, as a result of shocks in finance or love, and the excessive level that is faced by the patient of anxiety disorder. (Stein and Hollander et al., 2010)

The first case of anxiety was diagnosed and cured by a Persian physician Avicenna in the eleventh century. The story is mentioned in the research of (Hajal, 1994) which is quoted in the research of (Stein and Hollander et al., 2010):

'..Avicenna was able to diagnose and cure a case of combined depression and anxiety -- known as "lovesickness" (ishk) -- in a young nobleman who was deeply in love with a woman he thought was "forbidden." ' (Stein and Hollander et al., 2010)

Avicenna was able to diagnose depression in anxiety by observing the changes in the pulse of the man whenever he talked to the man about anything related to the woman. This showed a relation between mental and physical illness as well. (Stein and Hollander et al., 2010)

Diagnosis of Anxiety

A patient suffering from anxiety can be faced with a compendium of multifarious syndromes. He might have to deal with several disorders at a time. The most common disorders that occur as a result of anxiety are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. (Reuschel, 2011)

The diagnosis of anxiety is mentioned and explained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. According to this manual, the physician has to be careful when checking any patient for anxiety. As anxiety incorporates mental and physical problems together, both aspects should be kept in mind. The physician must check for at least three symptoms of anxiety in adults whereas he should look for only one in case of children. (Reuschel, 2011)

There are numerous symptoms that indicate the presence of anxiety in a person. A patient of anxiety gets nervous and tensed about almost everything that is not ordinary. A patient finds himself in a continuous state of worry and is unable to control his worry most of the time. The patient may also feel afraid of normal things. This fear triggers the worry in the patient and makes him tensed. In addition to that, the patient may also be afraid of socializing and this affects his normal interactions with his social circle as well. The patient also feels restless and finds it difficult to sleep peacefully. Moreover, the patient may also suffer from muscle tension as well. (Casa Palmera, 2009)

Relation Between Anxiety and Co-occurring Disorders

Patients suffering from mental disorders increase the use of different substances in order to calm themselves. The patients of anxiety also prefer using alcohol and other substances in order to abate the symptoms and feel more relaxed. The use of substances does not improve the patient's condition. It only worsens it. The continuous use of drugs affects the patient's body negatively and as a result, the patient becomes unable to cope with the treatment as well. (Hazelden Foundation, 2013)

This condition leads to a co-occurring disorder in the patient. A co-occurring disorder is the name given to the occurrence multiple behavioral problems in a patient. Anxiety has a straight forward relation with co-occurring disorders as it can cause different other problems in the patient as well. The use of substance, phobias and extreme restlessness are examples of such problems. (Hazelden Foundation, 2013)


Patients with Anxiety Tend to Use Alcohol and other Substances

As a part of our study, we analyzed different researches that were carried out in different countries. The relation between anxiety and co-occurring disorders were discussed in the study. The research was about the usage of drugs and different other substances after taking the treatment for anxiety. It also gave information about the effects of the usage of these drugs on the patients and their healing progress. The research showed that the presence of anxiety and its treatment triggers the use of alcohol and other substances in the patients. The research examined patients of anxiety and their tendency to use drugs. Three separate tests were carried out to provide the information for this research. The first test was carried out when the patients began treatment followed by another test which was performed six months after the beginning of the treatment. The last test was carried out a year after the beginning of the treatment. (Gil-Rivas and Prause et al., 2009)

The preliminary test results illustrated that majority of anxiety patients had a habit of substance usage. The use of alcohol and other drugs eventually trigger different other co-occurring disorders in the patients. So, the patients had other co-occurring disorders as well. The results of the second test showed that these patients continued the use of substances even after six months of therapy. This shows the dependency of anxiety patients on drugs to keep themselves calm and relaxed. Some of the patients continued the use of drugs in order to abate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The constant use of drugs elicited other co-occurring disorders in the patients. (Gil-Rivas and Prause et al., 2009)

Important Findings Related to the Topic

The research illustrates a straight forward relation between anxiety and co-occurring disorders related to drug usage and depression. People suffering from anxiety have a higher chance of becoming a drug addict because of the intensity of the negative thoughts that anxiety triggers. These thoughts include fears, worries and tension on several occasions. As a result, the patient finds himself standing on a position where he has to opt for drug usage for making himself feel better. These drugs, however, do not make things better for the patient and instead they impinge the treatment process and elicit different other problems in the patient. These problems are the co-occurring disorders that the patient has to bear with. (Gil-Rivas and Prause et al., 2009)

Anxiety may also cause depression in a patient. Although it may not be the idiopathic cause of it but it can contribute towards making the patient feel depressed. The depression is also a result of the social phobia that a patient suffers through. As the patient is afraid of socializing and getting along with his friends, he eventually becomes desolate and thus depression engulfs him. (Gil-Rivas and Prause et al., 2009)

Taking Care of the Patient with Anxiety and other Co-occurring Disorders

As mentioned earlier, anxiety and other co-occurring disorders make the patient mentally and physically unstable. This demands the therapists to go into the depth of their ailment and find the root cause of their problems. Previously, anxiety and the co-occurring addiction problems were treated separately. These two issues, however, are interrelated and should be taken as a single issue. The patients with co-occurring disorders should be given integrated care to tackle both the issues simultaneously. Taking one issue at a time will not have any effect on the patient as it can be seen from the results of the tests that were carried out. The patients who were taking treatment for anxiety were unable to control themselves from taking alcohol and other drugs. So, in order to cure patients with co-occurring disorders, the therapists should make an integrated therapy to tackle all the ailments. (Hazelden Foundation, 2013)


Anxiety is the reaction of human beings to stress. Excessive anxiety can become a nuisance…

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