Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Screening Process for Anxiety

An undergraduate nursing student at the University of Delaware, Sophia Eick is regularly involved in medical philanthropy. She spent time volunteering at a primary care center and shadowed a pediatric emergency care and trauma team nurse. During this experience, Sophia Eick performed vitals and screened patients for anxiety.

Everyone experiences anxiety in response to different stimuli, but anxiety that does not go away or worsens even when the stimulus is not present could signify an anxiety disorder. If patients suspect such a disorder, they should first undergo a physical examination by their primary care physician or other medical professional. During this physical exam, professionals ask about hormones, certain illnesses, coffee consumption, alcohol consumption, and any medications patients might be taking. This analysis of a person’s physical health eliminates the possibility of the anxiety resulting from an underlying medical problem.

Assuming no medical issue is found, patients then undergo a psychological evaluation by a mental health professional. During this evaluation, patients discuss their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Depression and other mental health problems often occur alongside anxiety disorders, so these extra details can alert professionals to the true cause of the situation. Professionals compare the symptoms discussed by their patients with criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) before formally diagnosing them.

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