anxiety nursing care plan

It is common to feel anxious over a lot of things like having a job interview, attending the first day of classes, taking the board exams. People tend to worry and feel nervous, they may even fear the coming of that day when they will be facing such a life challenge and this is the normal feeling every human being should have under circumstances. But when you seem not to overcome your fears and nervousness, beware; you might already be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Disorder is a severe mental illness that may result when fears and worries felt by a certain person become disabling and incapacitating. It must be noted that anxiety is not at all a bad thing; it is in fact a protective defense of human beings because it maintains alertness and it serves as your drive to find solutions to every problem you are confronted with. But it becomes a problem when you let anxiety control you when your signs of anxiety become recurrent, intense and debilitating.

There are several types of anxiety disorder ranging from


The main characteristic of this type is panic attacks where several psychological and physical symptoms appear such as chest pain, sweating, choking sensation, lightheadedness, chills, numbness and they feel like they are going crazy or dying. Mostly think that they are experiencing a heart attack.


The extreme fear of an object, situation or activity which does not actually present any threat at all is referred to as a phobia. The majority of people suffering from phobia tend to avoid the source of fear so as not to experience the signs and symptoms associated with phobia.

Obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD)

Is a combination of obsession and compulsions where the person would tend to do a certain thing like entering a certain door repeatedly because of the bothering thought that he entered that door with the left foot first instead of the right foot and that thought is disturbing and discomforting. Unless the OCD is assured that he already entered the door with his right foot, until then, he would continue to repeat the same action even it means that he will be late for work or class.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

From the word itself, it is a sequel of a traumatic experience like rape, death of a loved one, or any life-threatening event. Patients suffering from this condition usually present recurring nightmares or flashbacks or they tend to avoid situations which are nearly similar to that tragic event they went through.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorder

There are two treatments most commonly used for patients suffering from an anxiety disorder, which seems to produce positive response; these are psychotherapy and medications.

  • Psychotherapy is managed by a psychiatrist. Some of the therapies being used are cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.
  • The medications which are usually given are antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

Self-Help Treatment 

Medications are most effective when combined with psychotherapy and self-help treatment. The person suffering from anxiety disorder needs to understand that in order for him to overcome his anxiety, first and foremost, he must help himself. Following are helpful tips:

  • Loosen up

Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation in your everyday activities to reduce stress.

  • Limit intake of caffeine-containing products including alcohol and cigarettes.  All of these are known to be stimulants hence, limiting it will somehow help in decreasing signs of anxiety.
  • Regular exercise is also a source of relaxation. Have at least a minimum of 30 minutes work out every day for maximum benefit.
  • Adequate rest and sleep energize body cells and get rid of oxidants. It also provides rest to your mind so you are more relaxed when you are fully rested.
  • Vent-out, express your thoughts to someone who will actively listen to you. Venting out gets rid of unwanted thoughts that reduce stress.

Nursing Care Plan Anxiety Disorder

Diagnosis Planning Intervention Rationale Evaluation
Potential for sleep pattern disturbance related to fear of recurring nightmares secondary to post-traumatic experience. After several nursing interventions, the patient will be able to obtain a good night’s undisturbed sleep.
  1. Obtain baseline data on sleeping patterns.
  1. Observe sleeping patterns after the traumatic event.
  1. Encourage verbalization of fears.
  1. Promote sleep with soft music, a warm glass of milk and good personal hygiene before bedtime.
  1. Baseline information on sleeping patterns before the traumatic event will serve as data for comparison to determine any changes.
  2. PTSD patients are commonly having nightmare attacks s observing their sleeping patterns after the traumatic event will be a cue for further treatment.
  3.  Verbalization of fears will reduce anxiety attacks and will divert unwanted thoughts.
  4.  Soft music if desired by the client will lullaby him to sleep.  A warm glass of milk and personal hygiene promotes sleep.



After several nursing interventions, the patient was able to obtain a good night undisturbed 6-8 hours of sleep.


She is a professional nurse and currently a freelance writer. She had been an educator for nursing students for the last 19 years, handled administrative functions as college secretary, academic and clinical coordinator as well as a level chairman. She became a chief nurse in a tertiary hospital and managed its nursing service. She is well versed in medical surgical nursing, communicable disease nursing, a speaker and a certified researcher. A passionate nurse who cares for patients, an educator who always want to impart and mold new nurses, a writer who writes from her heart.


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