Anxiety disorder: when anxiety becomes chronic

Dr. med. Wolfgang Welke

Chief of

Special Pain Medicine

    Fear is an emotion. Everyone has felt fear in different forms. It protects us from danger. However, if anxiety is felt extremely strongly and occurs particularly frequently or over a longer period of time, so that everyday life is severely impaired, it may be an anxiety disorder. If anxiety disorders are not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, there is a risk that the anxiety will become chronic.

    Phobia and panic attack

    A distinction is made between anxiety and fear. Fear relates to something very specific, whereas anxiety often causes general uncertainty. A distinction can be made between different forms and manifestations of fear and anxiety, which can range all the way to pathological anxiety.

    If fears are experienced in a directed and focused way, we speak of phobias, for example of animals or situations such as fear of heights or claustrophobia. Fears can also be experienced as diffuse or unfocused, for example in panic attacks.

    The fear of fear

    Anxiety can trigger insecurity, inner restlessness, worry or nervousness and tension. Other symptoms may include somatic changes such as

    • dizziness
    • rapid heartbeat
    • hypotension
    • hyperventilation
    • trembling
    • sweating

    People who have experienced anxiety as a very debilitating emotion often develop avoidance behavior. They panic about being confronted with such a situation again.

    The triggers of anxiety disorders are varied. They range from biological causes to psychosocial and biographical stress and developments. There can also be several causes at the same time.

    Our medical team

    Dr. med. Wolfgang Welke

    Chief of

    Special Pain Medicine

      Joachim Kaiser

      Senior Physician

      Special Pain Medicine

        Ayman Al-Dahshan

        Senior Physician

        Special Pain Medicine

          Houzan Bahlawi


          Special pain medicine

            Lioubov Konztanz

            Special Pain Medicine

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              Tanja Rutenbeck

              Secretariat Center for Special Pain Medicine

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