Diagnosing an anxiety disorder always requires the assistance of a qualified physician. Meeting with a physician will allow a patient to fully disclose their health issues as well as symptoms related to a possible anxiety disorder. In order for this process to be successful patients must commit to full disclosure to their doctor. Failing to do so will result in a misdiagnosis.
In order to create a complete diagnosis patients must also fully disclose their family medical history. This must include instances of depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses. Other issues such as substance abuse, excessive alcohol consumption and stress should also be carefully discussed.
An important part of the diagnostic process involves ruling out other conditions. Conditions such as depression or heart problems can effectively mask themselves as anxiety because they share some similar symptoms. Doctors must carefully consider the possibility the patient suffers from depression or a heart condition before settling on an anxiety disorder.
To determine the actual anxiety disorder the patient suffers from, a physician will evaluate them utilizing a set of standardized guidelines. These guidelines, which were developed and are maintained by the American Psychiatric Association, allow doctors to accurately diagnose various forms of anxiety. The same guidelines assist doctors with developing a treatment protocol.
Overall, anyone suffering from a suspected anxiety disorder must fully commit to working with their doctor in order to establish a complete diagnosis. Honesty during the medical history portion of the exam is critical for a successful diagnosis.
Obtaining a correct diagnosis for an anxiety disorder is the first step towards developing a treatment plan that will eventually lead to controlling the symptoms of the disorder.