Anxiety Disorders in Pakistan

(Shuja Umar, Karachi)

Heart Disease

To evaluate the importance of anxiety and to find out the incidence and prevalence of anxiety disorders in Pakistan through retrospective search.

Anxiety may be caused by a mental condition, a physical condition, the effects of drugs, or a combination of these. Anxiety is a sensation characterized by a sense of foreboding, uneasiness and fear. Such feelings are considered normal if they are in response to an appropriate stress. However, when anxiety increases to an amount that it debilitates an individual and is disproportionate to the episode that has caused it, then it may be classified as a disorder. The anxiety disorders leads to a number of medical conditions / diseases like hypertension and diabetes and can lead to a number of cardiac diseases. Therefore a firm association between anxiety and chronic illness can be established.
If we take a look at the incidence and prevalence of anxiety disorders in Pakistan, it is alarming, the mean overall prevalence of anxiety and depression based on community samples is 33.62%, with a point prevalence of 45.5 % in women and 21.7% in men. The data that has been taken from a source clearly reflect that the incidence of anxiety disorders is more common in females.

A reasonable hypothesis towards the high level of anxiety amongst the sample size could be attributed towards the fact that most of the people in the sample size were the family's bread earners. A strong joint family system in the urban population of Pakistan usually lays down the support foundation for its members in times of hardship and plays a vital role in development of strong bonds amid its members .Therefore, any disruption in this regard predisposes an individual to emotional harm and other psychosocial factors ultimately culminating in symptoms of anxiety and related disorders

It can be concluded that the physical and the mental state of citizens is important for the development of a nation. It is recommended that in a country like Pakistan where the general awareness of anxiety amongst the population is low, the government must launch widespread anxiety control programs and hold workshops educating the people the means to evaluate their level of anxiety.

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