Situational Anxiety

Situational Anxiety : Causes – Symptoms – Medications & Treatments

Situational Anxiety

Situational anxiety is also termed as a generalized anxiety disorder. Medically, there is no definite term to classify the situational anxiety disorder (SAD) from the other terms of the anxiety such as depression, tension, and anger. Though, the situational anxiety disorder is a very common condition of anxiety. Furthermore, in this article, we have discussed the basic information regarding the situational anxiety disorder.

The situational anxiety disorder is often caused by changing occasions or new circumstances. It can likely be produced by various incidents that make a particular individual uncomfortable feeling. The occurrence of the situational disorder is extremely typical. For example, a man will oppose extraordinary anxiety or hysterics of anxiety in particular circumstances. A particular condition that makes a man to encounter nervousness may not an indication of anxiety disorder in different people. For instance, a few people feel uncomfortable in tight spaces or group, from remaining in pushed lines, for example, store lines or bank line may make them confront extraordinary nervousness, potentially developing situational anxiety. In many cases, others may encounter anxiety due to significant life changes, for example, getting married, entering a school or college and having kids and so on.


Situational Anxiety

Sign and Symptoms

Situational anxiety disorder is considered as excessive anxiety driven by many specific stimuli. This condition can also be classified according to the sign and symptoms of the person’s condition. Common sign and symptoms of the situational anxiety disorder are given below:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty napping
  • Muscle tension
  • Tension and headaches
  • Muscles pain (particularly chest)

Causes of Situational Anxiety Disorder

There are many reasons that are developing the situational anxiety disorder. The specific things that cause generalized anxiety disorder (Situational) are listed below:

  • Drugs
  • Medical condition
  • Genetics
  • Evolutionary mismatch


Depression and situational anxiety can be caused by drug abuse, which in some cases improves the prolonged abstinence. Even sustained, moderate alcohol use may increase the risk of anxiety level in some persons. Benzodiazepine, alcohol and caffeine dependence can cause or worsen the panic attacks or condition of situational anxiety.

Commonly, anxiety occurs during acute withdrawal phases of drugs and may persist for more than two years as part of the post-acute withdrawal syndrome, in half of the people recovering from the alcoholism. In one research, sickness in half of the patients approximately attending the mental health services in psychiatric clinics for the conditions includes panic disorder, social phobia and anxiety disorder that was found to be the result of benzodiazepine or alcohol dependence. In these individuals, an initial enhanced level of anxiety occurred during the serious period followed by cessation of their panic symptoms. There is an indication that chronic exposure to some organic solvents at the workplace can be associated with situational anxiety disorder. Varnishing, carpet-laying, and painting are some of the toughest jobs in which the significant exposure to some organic solvents may increase anxiety.

Use of caffeine may worsen the effect of situational anxiety, including panic disorder syndrome. Those individuals with anxiety symptoms can have the highest percentage of caffeine sensitivity. The anxiety induced by caffeine is a subclass of the DSM-5 diagnosis of medication/substance-induced anxiety disorder. Medication/substance anxiety disorder included in the classification of an anxiety disorder, and not included in the category of the addictive disorders or substance-related anxiety, even although the signs of substance are expressed in terms of anxiety. Cannabis addiction is associated with the situational anxiety condition. However, the relationship between anxiety and cannabis still needs more research.

Medical Conditions

Sometimes, a situational anxiety disorder may be the side-effect of a primary endocrine disease that causes hyperactivity complications such as hyperthyroidism or pheochromocytoma.


Situational anxiety disorder runs in families and it is more common in the children of individuals with the given condition. During the increase in an anxiety disorder, in modern time it is always thought of the negativity in the terms of the anxiety. People having sensitive systems may experience an anxiety disorder. Hence, the system tends to react to harmless stimuli.

Evolutionary Mismatch

According to recent research, the high rates of the situational anxiety are the reaction of the social environment that has a different form of the Paleolithic era, such as in the past few decades, there was a high percentage of skin-to-skin contact and handling of babies by their parents, both strategies reduce the risk of anxiety. Moreover, there is high interaction with the strangers in the present time as opposed the interaction of solely between different close-knit tribes.

The scientist explains the lack of social interaction is a driven cause of situational anxiety, especially in the recent years. Many new cases have resulted from the evolutionary mismatch that has been specifically named as “psychopathological mismatch”. In the term of evolutionary history, a mismatch develops when the individual has traits that were modified for an environment differs from the person’s current state. An anxiety reaction and depression have been evolved to help the serious situations, for sensitized persons in western culture simply hearing the serious or bad news can elevate the severe reaction.

Occasional Anxiety Disorder

Everyone come across the following terms such as nervousness, tension, depression, mild panic attacks. All these terms are the alternate name of an occasional anxiety disorder. The body responds to the external stimulus by preparing to deal with the changing in running away or fighting condition. The response is completely common, normal and natural. We encounter depression every day, and we experience the anxiety response to some extent. Everyone should know about the term and condition to reduce the effects of anxiety and how to control occasional anxiety disorders. Physiotherapist are here to help you to fight against these conditions. Several therapies are listed below to treat the conditions:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychotherapy

These therapies are helpful to reduce the risk of occasional anxiety disorder. Medicines are also recommended in severe condition. If medicines are not effective, alternative approaches are available and consult with your doctor in severe conditions.

Situational Anxiety VS Anxiety Disorder

Here are several key differences:

Characteristics Situational anxiety Anxiety disorder
Stressor It occurs due to a specific stressor such s interview, exam, fighting or finding a job. Situational anxiety has six types of stressor It occurs in all situations such as small responsibilities, paying bills or getting confused on small issues.
Intensity and length Produce excessive and intense emotional response. Situational anxiety is disproportionate to stressor.

This condition is ongoing from weeks to several months.

Produces minor effects in some conditions but not specific. This condition is fleeting.
Impairment Affects specific situations, can be quite debilitating and avoidance is the symptoms of situational anxiety It affects the entire condition after small intervals of time.
Other symptoms Excessive form, developing the confusing condition. Confused personality, sweating, uncomfortable feeling etc. Anxiety Dizziness, light-headedness, trembling, sweating, nausea, heart pounding.

Situational Anxiety Attack

The situational anxiety attacks revolve themselves around the specific situations that a sufferer finds the extremely anxiety producing feeling. Also known as, panic triggers, this situation is more likely to induce a situational anxiety attack response when exposed to some specific condition such as:

  • Waiting for an Appointment
  • Driving in Traffic
  • Riding in an Elevator
  • Dental Anxiety

Stress Solutions

While it is going to be significant for an individual to spend some time either consulting with a specialist who can provide you pinpoints of your anxiety condition or thinking about the life situations. The following anxiety situations are important activities that most individuals find beneficial in lowering the general stress level. These activities include the following list:

  • Discover Healthy Recipes
  • Get Your Body Moving
  • Sleep On It

Differential Diagnosis of Situational Anxiety

The diagnosis and identification of anxiety disorder need an underlying medical cause. The anxiety disorder may present similar to other depression symptoms includes endocrine diseases (hyperprolactinemia, hyperthyroidism), deficiency states (low levels of folic acid, vitamin B2,B12 and vitamin D), metabolic disorders such as diabetes, heart diseases, brain degenerative diseases (dementia, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease), blood diseases and gastrointestinal diseases (non-celiac gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease).

Many drugs can worsen or cause the situational anxiety, whether from chronic use, withdrawal or intoxication. These include tobacco, sedatives (benzodiazepines), alcohol, cannabis, opioids (pain killers and illicit drugs such as heroin), inhalants, hallucinogens and stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine).

Situational Anxiety Treatment

Situational anxiety treatment options include medicines, therapy, and lifestyle changes. There is not proper evidence about the effectiveness of medicines or therapy. The choice chooses up to the person having an anxiety disorder and most individuals choose a therapy option. The other option is offered in addition to the first option, or if the first option fails to provide you comfort.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes include exercise, for which there is moderate evidence for some improvement, regularizing sleep patterns, reducing caffeine intake, and stopping smoking. Stopping smoking has benefits in anxiety as large as or larger than those of medications.


Cognitive behavioral therapy is operative for situational anxiety disorders and this is known as a first-line treatment. This therapy appears to be equally active when carried out via the online help or internet. While evidence for mental health applications is promising it is initial aspects. Self-help books can also contribute to the situational anxiety, treatment of people having anxiety disorders. Online programs also appear to be very effective for situational anxiety disorders. It is unclear if the medicines have a great effect on situational anxiety and transcendental medicines appear to be no different than other kinds of medicines.

Medications for Situational Anxiety Disorder

Medicines include SNRIs or SSRIs are the first line of choice for the situational anxiety disorder. These medicines are better to use as compared to other drugs, so often cost drives drug choice. If these medicines are effective, it is suggested to continue for at least one year. Medicines stopping results in high risk of relapse. Quetiapine, buspirone, and pregabalin are the second line of situational anxiety treatment for those people who do not respond to SNRIs or SSRIs. There is no specific evidence that benzodiazepines, including clonazepam and diazepam, are effective against anxiety, but have low favor due to risk of abuse or dependence.

Medicines require being used with care for older adults, who are likely to have different side effects because of physical disorders. Adherence issues are likely to develop among older people, who have difficulty in understanding, remembering or seeing instructions or ways. In general, the medicines are not seen more effective in specific phobia condition, but a benzodiazepine medicine is used to help and recover the acute episodes. Chronic forms are recovered after proper consultation with your specialist.

Alternative Medicine for Situational Anxiety Disorder

Many other home remedies for situational anxiety disorder have been used. These include kava, the potential for benefit appears greater than that for impairment with short-term use in those having mild to moderate anxiety disorder. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests the use of kava for those having situational anxiety disorders who are not using any drugs or alcohol and taking other medicines metabolized by the liver, and who want to use “natural” home remedies. Disadvantages of kava in the clinical trials were infrequent and mild. Aromatherapy has shown many uncertain benefits for situational anxiety reduction in those individuals having cancer when done with massages, though it is not clear whether it could just increase the effect of massage. Inositol has been found to have modest effects in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. There is no sufficient evidence to support the use of passionflower or valerian.

If It’s Excessive Anxiety

If you are stressed with overwhelming situational anxiety and you can relay on above-mentioned precautions, don’t hesitate to seek help for your serious condition if you are facing situational anxiety or other types of depression. First, know that you are not alone. About  50 million adults throughout the world have an anxiety disorder. Secondly, situational anxiety disorders are always treatable. In fact, they are one of the most treatable conditions among all emotional diseases.


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