Assessing and treating clients with anxiety disorders

Assessment of clients with anxiety disorders – Get 25% Discount

The following factors should be considered when determining whether an individual has an anxiety disorder:
Take a thorough history and perform an examination, that includes a mental status exam. Assess causes of organic anxiety such as congestive heart failure, use of stimulants, asthma, and endocrine disorders.
Examine the person’s related functional, social, and interpersonal difficulties. If the client gave permission and family engagement is appropriate, obtain a 3rd history from relatives. Take into account cultural factors as well.
Take a psychiatric diagnosis, noting previous episodes of anxiety, treatment response, and co-occurring mental health conditions.
Assess the safety and risk of the person on a regular basis since suicidal idea could be present, especially if the person also suffers from depression.

DSM-5 Criteria for Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis

Anxiety disorders are characterized by elevated fear and anxiety, as well as related behavioral disturbances, and are frequently co-occurring. They can, however, be distinguished by a careful examination of the types of scenarios feared and the content of the corresponding emotions.

It is worth noting that the DSM-5 classification of anxiety does not include obsessive-compulsive disorder, post – traumatic stress disorder, or acute stress disorder. Separation anxiety disorder and selective mutism disorder are now classified as anxiety disorders in the DSM-5. They were categorized as disorders in the DSM-IV-TR as being typically diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Panic disorder
social anxiety disorder
Specific phobia
medication-induced anxiety disorder

Assessing and treating clients with anxiety disorders Example

Buspirone was chosen for this patient because of its capacity to restore normal function by balancing chemicals in the brain. The medicine is discussed, with the goal of reducing generalized anxiety symptoms and assisting the patient in relaxing and thinking more clearly. Although it differs chemically and pharmacologically from other anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines and other sedatives, its efficacy in the treatment of anxiety has been demonstrated in studies (Howland, 2015). However, when the patient returns with no changes in symptoms, the next logical step appears to be increasing the dosage to 20 mg daily.

However, additional side effects include dizziness, anxiety, headaches, and a dry mouth. These are some of the most common side effects of taking Buspirone hydrochloride (Mary-Irvin 2019). This suggests that increasing the dosage caused more harm than good because the effects were minimally reduced but the side effects increased. This, therefore, signifies that the medicine is a therapy failure and so it is appropriate to cease it and begin a different line such as an SSRI.

Ethical consideration and communication

The patient’s unmet needs are an ethical factor, and therapy will focus on good communication so that the patient understands the need for change at all times (Altis et al. 2014). After the patient has been educated on the need for change or the purpose of treatment, and he has signed an informed consent form, the patient’s autonomy will be respected and treatment alternatives will be provided. Effective communication tactics will be used to ensure that information about medication goals, dosage, and timing is better understood.

Iconoclastic Controversy


Altis, K. L., Elwood, L. S., & Olatunji, B. O. (2014). Ethical issues and ethical therapy associated with anxiety disorders. In Ethical Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience (pp. 265-278). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Bhattarai, G., Chapagai, M., Tulachan, P., & Dhungana, S. (2018). Sexual dysfunction associated with Sertraline and Mirtazapine: A comparative open label study. Journal of Psychiatrists’ Association of Nepal, 7(2), 36-41.

Howland, R. H. (2015). Buspirone: back to the future. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 53(11), 21-24. doi:10.3928/02793695-20151022-01

Mary Irvin, B. S. N. (2019). Psychotropic Medication Side Effects. Retrieved from:

Nathan, K. T., Hopkins, H. A., DiLorento, S. E., Ta, N. A., & Caprio, T. V. (2017). Sertraline and Phenytoin Drug Interaction in a Geriatric Patient. Annals of Long-Term Care, 25(5), 46. doi:10.25270/altc.2017.10.e00001

Reinhold, J. A., & Rickels, K. (2015). Pharmacological treatment for generalized anxiety disorder in adults: an update. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 16(11), 1669-1681.

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