Case Study on Anxiety Disorder Pathophysiology

Case Study on Anxiety Disorder Pathophysiology

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, especially when individuals face different issues in life. However, individuals that experience anxiety disorders possess intense, persistent, excessive fear and worry in everyday activity. People with anxiety disorders also experience sudden episodes of intense fear, terror, and anxiety, resulting in panic attacks. Such feelings tend to interfere with these individuals’ daily activities and are always difficult to control, considering that they also tend to last long. Hence, avoiding situations and places that trigger such feelings is always advisable. An important factor to note is the anxiety disorder symptoms, which may start from childhood and advance into adulthood. The paper will describe and analyze anxiety disorder pathophysiology, the evidenced-based treatment in Los Angeles, California, and how they affect the disease management. Also, the paper will discuss anxiety’s clinical guidelines, diagnosis and patient education, and how anxiety affects the patients, their families, and communities. Also, there will be a description of three strategies to implement the best practice to manage the disease.

Anxiety Disorder Pathophysiology


The main anxiety disorders mediators within the central nervous system include serotonin, norepinephrine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine, and serotonin. Other peptides and neurotransmitters like corticotropin-releasing are also part of the anxiety disorder pathophysiology. The autonomic nervous system, more so the sympathetic nervous system, helps mediate most symptoms. As evidenced by the positron emission tomography scan, anxiety patients possess an increased flow within the right para-hippocampal region. On the other hand, serotonin type 1A receptor reduces binding towards the posterior and anterior raphe and cingulate of patients experiencing panic disorders (Mula, 2019). MRI tests portray anxiety disorder patients as having smaller and temporal lobe volumes regardless of their normal hippocampal volume. Another factor includes the elevated orexin levels projected by most studies as panic pathogenesis.

In Los Angeles, California, the medication prescribed for anxiety cases is essential in regulating a person’s brain chemistry. According to Adwas et al. (2019), the main recommended medications include antidepressants, anxiolytics, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These medications help increase the action of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, thus lessening anxiety. However, managing anxiety involves engaging the patients in cognitive behavioral therapy. The management strategy helps the healthcare providers understand the patients’ current behaviors and how they can be transformed into new behaviors that will help them recover from the disorder, thus increasing their quality of life.

 Anxiety’s Clinical Guidelines

The anxiety disorder clinical guideline follows the DSM-5 and the ICD-10 guideline that helps in characterizing the different types of anxiety disorders, including Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic Disorder 300.01 (F41.0), and Agoraphobia 300.22 (F40.00) F41.1 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 300.02 (F41.1). However, in ICD-10, the code of these anxiety examples includes Agoraphobia (F40.00)  and panic disorders (F.41). In the DSM-5, the anxiety disorders group, the criteria are more advanced to ensure that it separates anxiety disorders making the previous DSM-5 effective in children. Such changes have been due to the epidemiological studies that proved the varying anxiety conditions in adults. However, DSM-5 has also incorporated another term; illness anxiety disorder which involves fear and worrying about serious illnesses. The illness anxiety disorder is both present in DSM-5 and 1CD-10, though, in DSM-5, the new illness is under somatic symptoms and other related illnesses without that category.

Once the patients start experiencing the main anxiety symptoms, recurrent worrying, and fear, they need to visit a psychiatrist to assess the situation and advise accordingly. According to Mulla (2019), depending on the kind of anxiety that the patient has, the psychiatrist will assess their prevailing symptoms and compare them with those present in the DSM-5 to avoid misdiagnosis. That is because different anxiety types affect individuals differently. Some common symptoms of all anxiety disorders include sweating, chest pain, dyspnea, and feeling of unreality (Mula, 2019). The main patient education necessary for the patient includes the healthcare professions enabling these patients to understand more about their condition to help in care coordination. Also, there is a need to engage these patients with support groups that will help encourage them to adjust their behaviors. However, the healthcare professional needs to engage the teach-back strategy since it helps assess patient understanding of different concepts.

Impact of Anxiety Disorders and Strategies to Better Care


Anxiety, like other mental health conditions, poses different problems to patients. For instance, when patients panic more often, they may end up causing heart diseases and high blood pressure. For the families, financial input may overwhelm them since engaging the patient in support groups and therapies may be an issue that may end up affecting the patient’s quality of care, especially if the patient’s family hail from a poor background (Breate Life, 2022). Anxiety disorders disrupt social relationships, especially in marital and relationship satisfaction decline. Hence, if the patient’s conditions are not well managed, it will be hard for them to overcome them. Also, the patients may develop other adverse effects from anxiety like suicidal thoughts. Hence, it will always be essential to involve all stakeholders when creating policies to ensure they meet the target population’s needs and preferences.

The best strategy that needs to be put in place to manage the disease is engaging the patient’s families to enhance care coordination. According to Jeffs et al. (2019), the patient’s family should always be part of the medication and treatment plan, especially to ensure that the patient follows the doctor’s medication prescription keenly. There will also be a need to engage transformational leadership to complement healthcare practitioners’ collaboration. According to (Jeffs et al., 2019), the healthcare organization should adopt an appropriate strategy to motivate the employees toward achieving the project goals. Hence, some factors to consider are effective communication, interpersonal relationship, and complements for cohesiveness. Lastly, there will be a need to engage evidence-based research whenever working on any anxiety disorders to prevent instances of misdiagnosis.


The paper has assessed anxiety disorder characterized by excessive worry and fear that results in a panic attack. Other factors evaluated include the evidenced-based treatment in Los Angeles, pharmacological interventions in California, and how they affect disease management. Also, the paper has discussed anxiety’s clinical guidelines, diagnosis and patient education, and how anxiety affects the patients, their families, and communities. The project has also evaluated the most effective strategies to implement the best practice to manage the disease.



BreatheLife (2022) Anxiety Treatment Los Angeles.

Jeffs, L., Merkley, J., Sinno, M., Thomson, N., Peladeau, N., & Richardson, S. (2019). Engaging stakeholders to co-design an academic practice strategic plan in an integrated health system: the key roles of the nurse executive and planning team. Nursing Administration Quarterly43(2), 186-192. doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000340

Mula, M. (2018). Pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders in adults with epilepsy. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy19(17), 1867-1874.


Invetigate one of the following disease process: Anxiety, major depression, post traumatic stress disorder, lower back pain, or head trauma/traumatic brain injury.

1. Analyze and describe the pathophysiology of the disease process and discuss the evidence/based pharmacological treatments in your state (Los Angeles, California) and how they affect management of the disease in your community. (3/4-1page)
2. Discuss the clinical guidelines for the assessment, diagnosis, and patient education for the disease process. (3/4-1 page)
3. Analyze how the disease process affects patient, families, and populations in communities. (3/4 – 1 page)
4. Discuss briefly three strategies you could used yo implement the best practices from managing the disease in your current health mcare organization. (3/4 – 1 page)

Paper needs to be 3-4 pages long. This does NOT include title page and reference page. Papers that are more than 4 pages long WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. You must reference a minimum of two (2) scholarly sources on your paper and reference national guidelines.

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