anxiety disorder

Anxiety Unveiled: A Comprehensive Exploration of Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments


Living in a new country or a huge city like Jakarta can cause stress. It can make you feel anxious and sometimes it makes you feel low.  Depression is often accompanied by anxiety. A lot of people actually suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. It can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety. You may feel worried and anxious about living in a new place, taking an exam, or having a blood test. This can be perfectly normal.

Some people can however not control their worries. They are constantly feeling anxious and it affects their daily life.

Anxiety is a symptom of several conditions. I will name a few:

  • Panic disorder
  • Certain phobias – like claustrophobia.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

I refer here mostly to a generalized anxiety disorder or GAD

GAD is a condition that causes you to feel anxious about all sorts of things, situations or issues. Not just a specific event.

People with GAD feel anxious most times and they rarely feel relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another anxious thought appears about a different issue.

This anxiety disorder can cause psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. The symptoms can include:

  • feeling worried or restless
  • having difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • palpitations (fast heartbeats) or dizziness

When to see your GP (Good Practice)

Steven Graaff: Good Practice

See your trusted medical practitioner if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress.

Your doctor should ask about your symptoms, worries, fears and emotions to determine if you have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

What can cause an anxiety disorder?

The anxiety is likely caused by a combination of several factors. Research has suggested that these may include:

  • over activity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour
  • an imbalance of the brain chemicals, which are involved in the control and regulation of mood
  • your genetic makeup – you’re estimated to be five times more likely to develop generalized anxiety disorder if you have a close relative with this condition
  • having a history of stressful experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse or bullying
  • a painful long-term health condition.
  • having a history of drug or alcohol abuse

Many people however develop a generalized anxiety disorder without any apparent reason.

It is a common condition and slightly more women are affected than men. It is more common in the age group 35 to 59 years old.

Treatment options

There are several treatments available. Talk to your trusted medical practitioner about them to find out more.

  • psychological therapy – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • medication – low dose of antidepressants called SSRI’s.

There are also things you can do yourself to reduce your anxiety, such as:

  • exercising regularly
  • to stop smoking
  • reducing the amount of alcohol and caffeine

You can control your anxiety levels with treatment. Some treatments may need to be continued for a long time and it could be that you will have episodes when your symptoms worsen. My take-home message is that anxiety is common, but if it affects your daily life you should seek help. Talking to your doctor is a good start because treatments are available.

It is important to identify a clinic that you are comfortable with. GOOD PRACTICE clinic registered patients from 77 countries. Our English-speaking team implements international guidelines. Try us. 021 7183140 or Our WhatsApp is for messages only: 085772721119.

Dr Steven Graaff, MD, MRCGP, the founder of Good Practice Clinic is a graduate of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.  Before completing his formal training in General Practice in the UK, he worked in several hospitals, occupational health and general practice in the Netherlands and the UK. As a medical professional with international experience, Steven decided to start his own clinic – Good Practice, in Jakarta

Found this article interesting? Check out the other Health & Wellness articles from Social Expat!

Dr Steven Graaff,MD,MRCGP, the founder of Good Practice Clinic is a graduate of the Vrije Universiteit  Amsterdam. Before completing his formal training in General Practice in the UK, he has worin several hospitals, occupational health and general practice in the Netherlands and the UK. As a medical  professional with international experience, Steven decided to start his own clinic – Good Practice, 
in Jakarta. 

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