Anxiety

Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety

Anxiety is a common feeling. It’s your brain’s way of responding to stress and warning you about impending danger. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. For example, you may worry  when confronted with an issue at work, before taking a test, or before making a major decision. Anxiety is normal on occasion. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are distinct. They’re a collection of mental diseases that produce uncontrollable worry and fear. Excessive anxiety may cause you to avoid work, school, family gatherings, and other social settings that may exacerbate or provoke your symptoms. Many persons with anxiety problems can control their emotions with the right treatment.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are classified as follows:

Generalized anxiety

You experience excessive, irrational worry and tension for no apparent reason.

Panic disorder

You experience a panic attack as a result of a sudden, overwhelming terror. You may break out in a sweat, have chest pain, and have a racing heartbeat during a panic attack (palpitations). You can feel like you’re choking or suffering a heart attack at times.

Anxiety about social situations

This is also known as social phobia, and it occurs when you experience excessive anxiety and self-consciousness in ordinary social interactions. You’re constantly worried about being judged, shamed, or mocked by others.

Phobias that are specific

You have a strong aversion to a particular object or scenario, such as heights or flying. When fear gets out of hand, it can force you to avoid normal situations.

Specific phobia is a type of anxiety
Specific phobia is a type of anxiety

Agoraphobia

You have a strong aversion to being in a situation where it appears difficult to flee or find help in the event of an emergency.

When you’re on an airline, taking public transportation, or waiting in a long line, for example, you could feel anxious.

Anxiety about being separated

Separation anxiety disorder can affect anyone. If you do, you’ll be tremendously worried if someone you care about leaves your sight. You’ll be concerned that something horrible will happen to your loved one at any time.

Selective mutism

This is a form of social anxiety in which young children who spoke normally with their families do not converse in public, such as at school.

Anxiety disorders caused by medication

Some symptoms of anxiety disorder can be triggered by the use of certain pharmaceuticals or illegal drugs, or by the withdrawal from certain drugs.

 

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Excessive fear or worry is the most common sign of anxiety disorders. Anxiety can make breathing, sleeping, staying motionless, and concentrating difficult. The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the sort of anxiety disorder you have.

The following are common signs and symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, and apprehension
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • being unable to maintain calm and stillness
  • Hands or feet that are cold, sweaty, numb, or tingling
  • Breathing problems
  • Breathing more quickly and deeply than usual (hyperventilation)
  • Palpitations in the heart
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tenseness
  • Dizziness
  • Unable to stop yourself from thinking about a problem over and over again (rumination)
  • The inability to focus
  • Avoiding feared objects or places with obsessiveness

Causes

Anxiety disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics. Anxiety disorders can be passed down through generations.
  • The chemistry of the brain. Anxiety disorders may be connected to malfunctioning brain circuits that control fear and emotions, according to some study.
  • Stress caused by the environment. This relates to tense situations you’ve witnessed or experienced. Childhood abuse and neglect, the death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence are all common triggers for anxiety disorders.
  • Withdrawal or usage of a drug. Certain medications can be used to mask or reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Medical problems. Some heart, lung, and thyroid diseases can mimic the symptoms of anxiety disorders or exacerbate them. When talking to your doctor about anxiety, it’s crucial to undergo a comprehensive physical check to rule out any medical disorders.

Anxiety Disorder Risk Factors

You’re also more prone to acquire an anxiety disorder if you do certain activities. These are referred to as risk factors. You can’t change some risk factors, but you can modify others. Anxiety disorders can be caused by a number of circumstances, including:

If there is a history of mental illness. Anxiety disorder is more likely if you have another mental health issue, such as depression.

Sexual abuse as a child. Childhood abuse or neglect, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect, has been associated to anxiety disorders later in life.

Trauma. After experiencing a traumatic experience, you’re more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to panic episodes.

Life’s negative experiences. Anxiety disorder is increased by unpleasant life events, such as losing a parent as a youngster.

A serious sickness or a long-term health problem. Constant concern about your or a loved one’s health, or caring for someone who is ill, can make you feel overwhelmed and nervous.

Abuse of drugs and alcohol. Anxiety disorders are more prone to develop if you use alcohol or illegal drugs.

Childhood shyness. Adult social anxiety is linked to childhood shyness and withdrawal from unfamiliar people and settings.

Low self-confidence. Social anxiety disorder can be caused by negative self-perceptions.

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder

Your doctor will check you and ask questions about your medical history if you have symptoms. They may do testing to rule out the possibility of other health issues causing your symptoms. There are no specific lab tests that may be used to diagnose anxiety disorders. If your doctor can’t uncover a physical cause for your symptoms, he or she may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional. These doctors will ask you questions and do tests to determine if you have an anxiety issue.

When diagnosing you, your doctors will take into account how long you’ve had symptoms and how severe they are. If your anxiety makes it difficult to enjoy or perform everyday chores at home, work, or school, it’s critical to tell your doctors or counsellors.

What are the different types of anxiety treatments?

Once you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, you can talk to your doctor about treatment choices. Medical therapy isn’t required for certain persons. Changes in one’s lifestyle may be sufficient to alleviate symptoms.

Treatment, on the other hand, can help you overcome the symptoms and live a more bearable day-to-day existence in moderate or severe cases.

Anxiety treatment is divided into two types: psychotherapy and medicines. Meeting with a therapist or psychologist can assist you in developing tools and methods for dealing with anxiety when it arises.

Antidepressants and sedatives are common medications used to manage anxiety. They act to restore brain chemistry, prevent anxiety attacks, and alleviate the disorder’s most severe symptoms.

What natural anxiety therapies are there?

Changes in your lifestyle can help you relieve some of the tension and anxiety you experience on a daily basis. The majority of natural “remedies” entail taking care of your body, engaging in healthy activities, and avoiding unhealthy ones.

These are some of them:

  • meditating and getting enough sleep
  • eating a healthy diet
  • staying active and working out 
  • avoiding alcohol
  • caffeine abstention
  • quitting cigarette smoking

Anxiety vs Depression

You may be depressed if you have an anxiety problem. While anxiety and depression can arise on their own, it’s not uncommon for these two mental health issues to coexist.

Anxiety can be a sign of serious or clinical depression. An anxiety condition can also contribute to the exacerbation of depression symptoms.

Many of the same treatments can be used to treat the symptoms of both diseases, including psychotherapy (counselling), drugs, and lifestyle changes.

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