Affective psychosis and anxiety disorders

What are they?

Six types of; psychiatric disorders in which anxiety is one of the most important symptoms. Anxiety is a normal emotion in humans (and other animals) that meets an adaptive function, that is, is good for something, prepares for fight or flight when danger is perceived. However, since human beings are more complex than animals, they can experience anxiety in many more situations than animals, and what were initially adaptive mechanisms, can lead to a serious obstacle to carrying out activities of daily life. . The six types discussed below(Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder or Panic Crisis, Social Phobia, Specific Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) are the best known and studied but there are many patients with disorders of distress that cannot properly be included in these categories and that, however, are a subsidiary of medical aid.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder (tag)

What is?

The person who suffers from generalized anxiety is restless practically all day, and for much of his life (although it takes at least six months with symptoms to make the diagnosis). The patient with a GAD also tends to worry excessively about almost anything or; following any minor detail; For example, after seeing a news item about an accident or illness, you may be concerned; all day about the possibility that someone you know suffers an accident, or for suffering an illness about which you read something. Another characteristic feature of GAD is difficulty falling asleep because you go to bed thinking about the worries that have been in your head all day. Other symptoms of anxiety are muscle aches and headaches (due to muscle tension), the sensation of breathing with difficulty (dyspnea), nausea, dizziness, and sweating, (due to hyperactivity of the autonomic or vegetative nervous system; which is in charge of preparing the individual for the fight or flight from danger through various reactions in different organs of the body), irritability, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating and attending to what is being done.


Benzodiazepines are often used in the pharmacological treatment of GAD, drugs that are well known and consumed throughout the world. They are anxiolytic drugs that relieve anxiety shortly (minutes) of taking them, but their effect only lasts as long as enough of the medicine continues to circulate in the blood. According to the time that they remain active in the body (which is measured with the so-called half-life of the drug), it is spoken; of benzodiazepines; short, medium, and long half-life; and based on this and other characteristics, it is decided which is the most appropriate benzodiazepine for each patient. Benzodiazepines are useful and fairly safe drugs, but they also have side effects and disadvantages; the main disadvantage is that they can generate dependency which forces; to close monitoring and care, especially when stopping it (after a period of several weeks of use, it can never be done suddenly).

Anxiety crisis or panic attacks

What is?

This type of anxiety disorder is episodic (that is, it is not constant as in GAD), and the person who suffers from it has short moments of anguish (usually less than an hour) that are very intense and have no apparent trigger. The experience is the same as that of a sudden and serious threat, such as facing an assault on a beast, etc. As in the rest of the disorders that have been discussed, the panic reaction is, in principle, an adaptive reaction in animals, that is, through it, one learns, for example, that one should not confront a tiger when it has panicked upon seeing it. The problem in the case of the man who suffers a; Panic attack disorder is that seizures occur with nothing seemingly directly threatening the subject.


Pharmacological treatment consists of the aforementioned benzodiazepines, which have the advantage of cutting the crisis in a short time. Some are taken or placed under the tongue and act very quickly, so the person suffering from anxiety attacks can always carry them in your pocket in case you present one at some point. However, the most effective treatment, although in the longer term, are different antidepressants; such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors which, by a mechanism of action independent of their antidepressant effect, manage to control seizures in a variable period of time a few weeks.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood ups and downs of a pathological nature, that is, it is not the normal mood swings that everyone experiences depending on life events, but the alternation of depressive episodes (the same as those described in the previous section on depression ), with other episodes of exaggerated euphoria (mania or manic episodes). These episodes can vary in intensity and severity; Episodes of euphoria can range from hypomania (the least intense form) to mania with psychotic symptoms (the most severe form).

In general, these manic episodes are characterized by a euphoric mood, which is experienced as an experience of being capable of everything and, frequently, irritability when the person suffering from it is opposed or when they try to contain their extravagant ideas or inappropriate behaviors since generally the person who suffers a manic episode can waste all his money and that of his family or even buy all kinds of unnecessary goods without money.

Types of bipolar disorders

There are several types of bipolar disorder.

In Type I, severe depressive episodes alternate with severe manic episodes.

In Type II, depressive episodes alternate with others of hypomania. The rest of the types are rarer. When a person experiences four or more cycles per year of depression and/or hypomania or mania, they are considered to be a rapid cycler. Various antidepressants can cause a depressed patient to go into a manic phase, or a patient with bipolar disorder to become a rapid cycler. At the mildest extreme of bipolar disorder is cyclothymia, in which the person alternates throughout his life cycles of good and bad mood without reaching the characteristics of major depression or mania (it would be the equivalent of dysthymia in disorders depressive).