SMC Clinic
SMC clinic is psychiatric clinic. If you're struggling with an emotional or mental health problem, call us now to make an appointment 023 955 999. Address: No 247, St. Preah Trasak Paem (St. 63), Sk. Boeung Keng Kang I, Kh. Cham Karmorn, south of Boeung Keng Kang Market, 12302-Phnom Penh.
Anxiety Disorders
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Anxiety Disorders > Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a normal part of life.  However, for many people anxiety becomes a real problem because it occurs too frequently, is out of proportion to the circumstances, or interferes with their work, family and social life.

Anxiety can be an uncomfortable feelings of fear, dead, become crazy, or danger. 

Anxiety disorders are group of psychiatric condition and their symptoms are varying in severity and duration.

The causes of anxiety disorders are unspecific, other than a combination of factors including a family history of mental health problems, stressful life events, and long-term physical illness and personality traits.

Anxiety symptoms are generally divided into physical symptoms and mental symptoms:

Physical symptoms consist of:

  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Chronic headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Tannitus
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Palpitation
  • Chest oppression
  • Unusual awareness of the heart beat
  • Chronic unspecific causes stomach pain or discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequency urination
  • Cold extremities…,etc.
       Mental symptoms consist of:
  • Fearing of dying 
  • Fearing of going crazy
  • Fearing of physical or organic illness
  • Fearing of leaving home alone (Agoraphobia)
  • Fearing of opening space
  • Fearing of crowds or performance (Social phobia)
  • Fearing of specific things or animal (Specific phobia)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation or irritable mood
  • Restlessness
  • Fear of contamination germs
  • Memory low
  • Constantly worry of life problem or future…,etc.



Management of anxiety disorder generally combination between medication (pharmacotherapy), and psychotherapy.

     Common psychotherapies in anxiety disorder are:

  • Breathing method
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Aromatherapy
  • Music therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Sleeping pattern
  • Structure problems solving…,etc. 


Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety; or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions.



Obsessions are thoughts, ideas, or image that persists in mind.



Compulsions are mental acts or behavior that carried out repeatedly.



Everyone double checks things sometimes. For example, you might double check to make sure the stove or iron is turned off before leaving the house. But people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel the need to check things repeatedly, or have certain thoughts or perform routines and rituals over and over.



OCD affects about 2.2 million American adults. It strikes men and women in roughly equal numbers and usually appears in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood



    Most common symptoms of OCD:



   People with OCD generally:



Have repeated thoughts or images about many different things, such as fear of germs, dirt, or intruders; acts of violence; hurting loved ones; sexual acts; conflicts with religious beliefs; or being overly tidy



Do the same rituals over and over such as washing hands, locking and unlocking doors, counting, keeping unneeded items, or repeating the same steps again and again



Can't control the unwanted thoughts and behaviors.

Don't get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but get brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause.



Spend at least 1 hour a day on the thoughts and rituals, which cause distress and get in the way of daily life.



OCD usaully accompanied by eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, or depression. The most effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder is often cognitive-behavioral therapy. Antidepressants are sometimes used in conjunction with therapy, although medication alone is rarely effective in relieving the symptoms of OCD.




Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or apprehension that are of sudden onset and of variable duration from minutes to hours. Panic attacks usually begin abruptly, may reach a peak within 10 to 20 minutes, but may continue for hours in some cases. 



The body has a natural “fight or flight” response to danger or threatening.



Sufferers of panic attacks often report a fear of dying or heart attack, flashing vision, faintness or nausea, numbness throughout the body, heavy breathing and hyperventilation, or loss of bodily control.

Signs and symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • Agitation
  • Sense of impending death
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach
  • light-headedness
  • hyperventilation
  • paresthesias (tingling sensations)
  •  sensations of choking or smothering
  • difficulty moving and derealization…,etc.


Panic disorder can be effectively treated with a variety of interventions including psychological therapies and medication with the evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy has the longest duration of effect.



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as sexual assault, serious injury, or the threat of death.



People with post traumatic stress disorder have feeling of intense fear and helplessness in response to the traumatic event.



PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear.



PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms

  • Flashbacks or memories of event
  • Recurrent bad dream of the event
  • Frightening thoughts mean sensation that event is reoccurring 

They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing

2. Avoidance symptoms
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Sensation of detachment or isolation from other people
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Loss of  interest in  daily life activities 
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
  • Feeling of shortened future that lead to refusal of making future plan

These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable mood
  • Low memory 
  • Lack concentration
  • Persistent of anxiety
  • Somatic symptoms may intense like headache, sweating, palpitation, chest oppression, dizziness…,ect.  
Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating. 

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. 

Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include: 
  • War
  • Natural disasters
  • Car or plane crashes
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Childhood neglect



Pharmacotherapy of PTSD is similar to those anxiety group disorders. 

Psychological treatments focus on a number of key areas:

  • Relaxation training and anger management training
  • Exposure therapy
  • Mood control training
  • Skills training for managing addictions
  • Communication and relationship skills training

Treatment includes inpatient, or day patient programs.  Family groups are very helpful in assisting partners and children to understand what is happening to their partner/parent.






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