Many patients struggle with anxiety. As with ADHD, this tends to be an often over diagnosed/misdiagnosed term. Thus, a diagnosis of anxiety disorders and panic disorder should always take into account differential diagnoses. Some examples are as follows:
Neurological disorder: Patients who present with apprehension and tremulousness may be suffering from Benign Essential Tremor (BET). This is a neurological disorder that can result in tremulousness. This is a familial tremor that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, voice, legs, or trunk. BET is often confused with Parkinson’s. It can be treated by a neurologist with medicines to address the condition.
Agoraphobia: The author has treated patients for phobias affecting driving on the freeway. Often, these patients suppress (consciously or unconsciously) intense emotions, e.g. anger. This results in tremulousness. Being assisted with expressing emotion and feelings can be very helpful with this problem.
Social Anxiety: Patients may have social avoidance due to being sheltered most of their life. They are made to feel as though they are “china dolls” and thus are fearful to try new things. Disorganized and ambivalent attachment bonds may produce patients who have difficulty forming close, intimate attachments with others. Frequently, these patients need support or Behavioral Techniques such as successive approximation to gradually approach feared goals.
Patients are advised to query their health care practitioners on differential diagnoses and insist on objective psychological testing to investigate diagnoses.
Stay Strong! Fight On!