Health & Diet

All You Should Know About Anxiety

80/365 - the sick feeling of anxietyPhoto by natfly

Usually everybody feels anxious sometimes. Something is happening, whether you are worried, afraid or obsessed about something which happened in a certain way.

When an anxiety or fear gets in the way of your life, such as relationship, work, school, or ability to enjoy things, it doesn’t go away and it may cause you distress, which could be a more serious anxiety disorder.

It is normal wanting to avoid or run away from things we are afraid of or worried about. This is a reaction which has been developed over the course of evolution and helps up to respond to situations which are life-threatening. So, people who have an anxiety disorder usually have more problems due to this response. According to a research, around 15% of young people have anxiety disorders, and most of them have their first symptoms before the age of 15.

Causes

There are several causes of an anxiety disorder, and they are:

– One or more stressful events such as abuse, a family break-up, sexual abuse, ongoing bullying at school, a relationship break up, a death, or family conflict can lead to the increased anxiety which sticks around.

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– A history of anxiety in your family tree

– Biochemical : According to a theory, it is caused by an imbalance of the chemicals in your brain which regulate physical and feelings reactions. It can alter your emotions, thoughts or behaviour and result in anxiety

Symptoms

People who suffer from anxiety disorders have a variety of physical symptoms as well as non-physical symptoms which characterize the disorders such as unrealistic, excessive worrying. A lot of these symptoms are similar to those exhibited by a person suffering heart attack, general illness, or stroke and this leads to additional anxiety.

Some physical symptoms which are associated with anxiety are churning stomach, trembling, nausea, headache, diarrhea, backache, numbness in arms or legs, restlessness, trouble concentrating, muscle tension, trouble falling or staying asleep, heart palpitations, sweating, easily tired, irritability, frequent urination, and being easily startled.

Types

There are a few recognized types of anxiety disorders, and they are as following:

– Social anxiety disorder : This disorder is also called social phobia. Social phobia includes self-consciousness and overwhelming worry about everyday social situations. The worry usually concentrates on a fear of being judged by other people, or behaving in a way which might lead to ridicule or cause embarrassment

– Panic disorder : People who have this condition have feelings of terror which strike out of blue and repeatedly without warning. Other symptoms of panic attack involve palpitations, chest pain, sweating, and feeling of choking, which can make the person feel like he or she is going crazy or having a heart attack

– Specific phobias : A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific situation or object, such as heights, flying, or snakes. Usually, the level of fear is inappropriate to the situation and can cause the person to avoid typical, everyday situations

– Generalized anxiety disorder : This disorder includes unrealistic, excessive worry and tension, even if there is nothing or little to provoke the anxiety

Treatments

A lot of progress has been done in last several decades in the treatment of people who have mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. Although the exact treatment depends on the type of disorder, on or more combination of the following therapies can be used for most anxiety disorders:

– Psychotherapy : Psychotherapy addresses the emotional response to mental illnesses. This process is performed by trained mental health professionals who help people by talking through strategies for dealing and understanding with their disorder

– Medication : Anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing drugs are used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders

– Cognitive-behavioral therapy : This is a certain type of psychotherapy in which the patient learns to recognize and change patterns of his or her thoughts and behaviors which lead to troublesome feelings

– Relaxation therapy

– Dietary and lifestyle changes

Prevention

Anxiety disorders cannot be prevented, but there are some ways which can reduce the risk and methods to lessen or control symptoms. Recommendations for prevention are as following:

– Checking with a pharmacist or doctor before using herbal or over-the counter remedies to see if they have chemicals which can contribute to anxiety

– Eating healthy foods

– Seeking support after a disturbing or traumatic experience

– Exercising regularly

– Keeping a regular sleep pattern

– Avoiding alcohol and cannabis

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