Understanding Anxiety Disorders in Canada

The term “anxiety” is becoming more commonly used, but is often misunderstood. Individuals will use the term when referring to feelings of nervousness, stress, or anxiousness, but anxiety is much more than that.

Anxiety is an intense worry about future events that can even result in physical symptoms. There are various anxiety disorders, each characterized by different causes and resulting symptoms.

Even though you may not neatly fit into one of these ‘boxes’, Some types of anxiety disorders include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder


GAD is believed to have a few risk factors that increase one’s chances of having the disorder. These risk factors are: genetics (it runs in the family), being female (substantially more common amongst women) and having a timid or negative personality.


General symptoms include:

  • Obsession over small concerns
  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty

Physical symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension and tension headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome


The first type of treatment available is psychotherapy (psychological counseling). Aside from this, the other treatment options are various medications, typically anti-depressants.

Lifestyle changes can also make a difference. Try eating healthier, exercising, making sleep a priority, and quitting smoking and drinking.

Social Anxiety Disorder


Some factors that may play a role in causing social anxiety are: inherited traits (if it runs in the family), one’s brain structure (the portion responsible for fear may be overactive), and one’s environment (it may arise after an embarrassing or unpleasant social situation).


Emotional symptoms include:

  • Fear of being judged
  • Fear of interacting with strangers
  • Fear of physical symptoms that may be noticeable or embarrassing
  • Expecting the worst possible outcomes during a social situation
  • Avoiding common social situations all together (work, school, gatherings, outings)

Physical Symptoms include:

  • Blushing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness


Similarly to GAD, psychotherapy is a popular treatment option. Medication-wise, Paxil and Zoloft are the most common prescriptions.

The same lifestyle changes listed for GAD can also aid in reducing the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social anxiety disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder


Separation Anxiety Disorder is most common amongst children. The causes can include: a new child-care situation (day-care, preschool, etc.), a new sibling, a new home, or family stress/tension.


Your child may display these symptoms:

  • Recurrent excessive distress about being away from home or from their parents.
  • Constant worry that something bad will happen
  • Refusing to be away from home
  • Repeated nightmares about separation
  • Excessive worry about losing a parent (IE: to illness)


Some practices you can implement in your home to reduce the symptoms of separation anxiety in your child include:

  • Practicing saying good-byes
  • Refraining from prolonging good-byes
  • Timing good-byes appropriately (IE: not when your child is hungry, tired, or upset already).
  • Give your child something to look forward to while you’re gone.

Summing up

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Separation Anxiety Disorder each embody unique causes, triggers, emotions, and symptoms.

Regardless whether it’s one time occurrence or a lifelong disorder, 1 in 4 Canadians will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. With those statistics, it is important that society has an understanding of what anxiety disorders are, what they encompass, and how to deal with them.

This can refer to handling your own anxiety, or providing support for someone in your life who is suffering from anxiety in one form or another.



The Importance of Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

The teenage years are really tough enough as it is with raging hormones, so when you add in a substance abuse problem it can become a complicated problem.

Many teens experiment with drugs or alcohol with little or no consequences at all, however there are a lot of teenagers that very quickly get stuck in the cycle of addiction. If you find out your teenager has been using drugs or alcohol you must take steps to find out the depth of the problem.

Because teenagers are not yet fully developed their views can be very limited. Very often teenagers simply cannot fully comprehend the severity of the consequences of their using and of their own behavior due to using.

For this reason if your teenager has a substance abuse problem it really is best to ensure you find an addiction treatment center that offers specialized addiction treatment for young adults.

When choosing a rehab for your teenager it is also important to choose a medically supervised addiction treatment program that will help to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Here are the reasons why a medically supervised addiction treatment program is so important for young adults:

A Medically Supervised Detox

Just to put it simply, withdrawal from certain drugs can be dangerous, even deadly which means a medical detox can mean the difference between life and death for your teenager.

There are many drugs that require detoxification, including alcohol, heroin and opiate related drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as Xanas, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms can have severe side effects which can be fatal if not properly treated.

Detoxing from these drugs may cause vomiting, trembling, nausea, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, seizures, and comas.

Trained medical professionals can help to manage these life threatening symptoms by administering medication to wean the addict off of the drug, decrease physical withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures.

Medical staff are on hand to check vital signs, evaluate mental and physical progress and provide support to the patient throughout the withdrawal process.

There are also other drugs that do not usually require a medical detox, these include marijuana, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms are not so severe ranging from a feeling of tiredness to extreme irritability and agitation.

Very often medical detox is given for these drugs for other reasons such as the patient feels they cannot stop without medical intervention, they have become psychotic from drug use and need a medical intervention, they feel they are a danger to themselves (suicidal) or perhaps they just don’t have anywhere else to go.

It is much safer for an addict to go through a medical detox than to try and attempt it from home, not just from the viewpoint of the physical and mental dangers associated with detox, but also because relapse is a lot more likely when attempting to detox without medical help.

When a drug addict goes back to using drugs during or just after withdrawal their tolerance is usually much lower making an overdose more likely.

Addiction and Dual Diagnosis

When a patient is diagnosed with a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue it is referred to as a dual diagnosis.

Common mental health disorders that occur in conjunction with addiction and substance abuse problems are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders (such as Bipolar Disorder)

It may be that a drug addict starts to develop mental health issues when, after chronic drug use, the brain function alters.

Alternatively someone with mental health issues may attempt to treat the symptoms of their mental disorder by taking drugs. For example someone suffering from anxiety may smoke marijuana in an attempt to calm themselves and through prolonged use becomes addicted.

Regardless of which disorder occurs first it is essential that the addiction and the mental health disorder be treated at the same time. The symptoms and effects of the mental disorder can trigger and drive the addiction and vice versa.

At least 30% of people that are suffering with a substance abuse problem have mental health issues.

For these reasons it really is important for teenagers (and any other addict) to be treated at a medically supervised, dual diagnosis addiction center.