Anxiety is a vague feeling of dread or apprehension (uneasiness); it is the activation of the autonomic nervous system in response to an external or internal stimuli that can have behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms. In contrast, fear is the feeling of apprehension over a specific threat or danger to the person.
Anxiety disorders comprise a group of conditions that share a key feature of excessive anxiety with ensuing behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and physiologic responses. People suffering from anxiety disorders can demonstrate unusual behaviors such as panic without reason, unwarranted fear of objects, or unexplainable or unwavering worry. They experience significant distress over time, and the disorder significantly impairs their daily routines, social lives, and occupational functioning.
Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when anxiety no longer function as a signal of danger or a motivation for needed change but becomes chronic and permeates major portions of the person’s life, resulting in maladaptive behaviors and emotional disability.
Panic disorder is composed of discrete episodes of panic attacks usually of 15 to 30 minutes of rapid, intense, escalating anxiety in which the person experiences great emotional fear as well as physiologic discomfort. It is diagnosed when the person has recurrent, unexpected panic attacks followed by at least one month of persistent concern or worry about future attacks or their meaning or significant behavioral change related to them.
Nursing Care Plans
Nurses encounter anxious clients and families in a variety of situations. The nurse must first assess the person’s anxiety level because this determines what interventions are likely to be effective. Treatment of anxiety disorders usually involves medication and therapy. A combination of both produces better results than either one alone.
When working with an anxious person, the nurse must be aware of her own anxiety level. It is easy for the nurse to become easily anxious – remaining calm and in control is essential if the nurse is going to work effectively with the client.
May be related to
- Lifestyle of helplessness
- Fear of disapproval from others
- Consistent negative feedback
Possibly evidenced by
- Dependence on others that may result in irritability, resentment, anger, and/or guilt.
- Verbal expressions of having no control
- Nonparticipation in care or decision making when opportunities are provided.
- Reluctance to express true feelings.
- Client will participate in decision making regarding own care.
- Client will be able to effectively problem-solve ways to take control of his or her life situation.
|Have client take as much responsibility for own self-care practices.||Providing client with choices and responsibility will increase his or her feelings of control.|
|Help client set realistic goals.||Unrealistic goals set the client up for failure and reinforce feelings of powerlessness.|
|Help identify areas of life situation that client can control.||Client’s emotional condition prevents his ability to solve problems. Support is required to perceive the benefits and consequences of available alternatives.|
|Help the client identify areas of life situation that are not with his ability to control; encourage verbalization of these feelings.||To deal with unresolved issues and accept what cannot be changed.|
|Identify ways and instances in which the client can achieve and encourage participation in these activities; provide positive reinforcement for participation.||Positive reinforcement enhances self-esteem and encourages repetition of positive behaviors.|
Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.
- Nursing Care Plans: Nursing Diagnosis and Intervention (10th Edition)
An awesome book to help you create and customize effective nursing care plans. We highly recommend this book for its completeness and ease of use.
- Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
A quick-reference tool to easily select the appropriate nursing diagnosis to plan your patient’s care effectively.
- NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023 (12th Edition)
The official and definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA-I. This book focuses on the nursing diagnostic labels, their defining characteristics, and risk factors – this does not include nursing interventions and rationales.
- Nursing Diagnosis Handbook, 12th Edition Revised Reprint with 2021-2023 NANDA-I® Updates
Another great nursing care plan resource that is updated to include the recent NANDA-I updates.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5(TM))
Useful for creating nursing care plans related to mental health and psychiatric nursing.
- Ulrich & Canale’s Nursing Care Planning Guides, 8th Edition
Claims to have the most in-depth care plans of any nursing care planning book. Includes 31 detailed nursing diagnosis care plans and 63 disease/disorder care plans.
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans (3rd Edition)
If you’re looking for specific care plans related to maternal and newborn nursing care, this book is for you.
- Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care (7th Edition)
An easy-to-use nursing care plan book that is updated with the latest diagnosis from NANDA-I 2021-2023.
- All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health (5th Edition)
Definitely an all-in-one resources for nursing care planning. It has over 100 care plans for different nursing topics.
Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:
- Nursing Care Plans (NCP): Ultimate Guide and Database
Over 150+ nursing care plans for different diseases and conditions. Includes our easy-to-follow guide on how to create nursing care plans from scratch.
- Nursing Diagnosis Guide and List: All You Need to Know to Master Diagnosing
Our comprehensive guide on how to create and write diagnostic labels. Includes detailed nursing care plan guides for common nursing diagnostic labels.
Other care plans for mental health and psychiatric nursing:
- Alcohol Withdrawal | 5 Care Plans
- Anxiety and Panic Disorders | 7 Care Plans
- Bipolar Disorders | 6 Care Plans
- Major Depression | 9 Care Plans
- Personality Disorders | 4 Care Plans
- Schizophrenia | 6 Care Plans
- Sexual Assault | 1 Care Plan
- Substance Dependence and Abuse | 8 Care Plans
- Suicide Behaviors | 3 Care Plans