Why is generalized fear a social taboo

Check-up, anxiety disorders, social phobia, panic attacks

Going to the supermarket seems impossible. A visit to the theater would be sheer torture, and you'd rather climb 100 steps than squeeze yourself into an elevator. Anxiety disorders are often so severe that they completely exclude those affected from social life and actually hinder them.
800,000 people in Switzerland suffer from anxiety disorders and panic attacks. The new Pro Infirmis campaign aims to raise awareness of these diseases. "Social phobia is the most common anxiety disorder," says Dr. Joe Hättenschwiler, chief physician at the Center for Anxiety and Depression Treatment Zurich. "This is followed by specific fears such as spiders, syringes or tunnels."
Anxiety disorders are still a taboo, very few of those affected speak about them or even seek treatment: only one in four seeks professional help. The chances of successful treatment are very good. "Most patients can be helped," says Dr. Hadenschwiler.
The therapy The psychiatrist includes the following points: 1. Education about the mechanisms of fear. «Basically, this emotion is vital. We need fear to survive and face new challenges. But if it becomes pathological, i.e. not appropriate, inexplicable or uncontrollable, something must be done about it, ”explains Dr. Hadenschwiler. 2. Adjust the lifestyle. That means: a healthy diet, little alcohol and drugs, regular sleep patterns and lots of exercise. That relieves the stress. 3. Psychotherapy and 4. Drugs such as short-term benzodiazepines and long-term antidepressants.
Important is, Knowing the difference: In addition to social phobia, panic disorder (characterized by repeated panic attacks that occur suddenly without any external circumstances) and generalized anxiety disorder (long-lasting fear, which can be described as anxious, worrying, constant tension) also often occur.