Anxiety is how our bodies naturally react to stressful situations. It’s a feeling of worry or fear about what will happen. Most people feel nervous and scared before a job interview, on the first day of school, or when they have to give a speech. But you may have an anxiety disorder if your anxiety is extreme, lasts for more than six months, and gets in the way of your life.
In the worst cases, you might not be able to get into an elevator, leave your house, or even cross the street. If it is left untreated, the anxiety will keep getting more worse. The most prevalent kind of emotional problem is anxiety disorders, which may afflict people of any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are diagnosed with anxiety disorders more frequently than males.
Different kinds of anxiety problems
Among these are:
illness anxiety disorder:
- Angst about the health (earlier called hypochondria)
- Repeated irrational thoughts lead a person to make specific, repeated behaviors.
People with separation anxiety:
- Worry about being away from their loved ones or home.
- An apprehension attack after a traumatic medical condition or illness.
- It is a form of distress in which a person tries to avoid locations or circumstances that might make them feel anxious, trapped, embarrassed, or helpless.
A person with generalized anxiety:
- Disorder worries and feels nervous about everything, even commonplace, everyday occurrences. The concern is out of proportion to the situation, hard to control, and makes you feel bad in your body. It often happens with other forms of anxiety or depression.
- It involves recurrent episodes of abrupt feelings of solid anxiety and fear that reach their peak within a few minutes (the panic attacks). You can have chest discomfort, shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat, or the sensation that you will pass away (heart palpitations). These types of panic attacks may lead to upsetting about them happening again or circumventing the situations in which they occurred.
- It is a form of anxiety in which children don’t talk in certain places, like school, even though they can talk well in other areas, like at home with their close family members. This type of anxiety can affect work, school, and social life.
Social anxiety disorder:
- It is defined by high degrees of nervousness, dread, and avoidance of social interactions due to emotions of shame, self-consciousness, and fear of being evaluated or seen adversely by others.
- These are marked by an intense fear of a particular object or situation and a strong desire to stay away from it. Some people have panic attacks because of their phobias.
- This disorder is characterized by symptoms of extreme angst or panic that occur as a direct result of drug abuse, prescription use, exposure to a hazardous substance, or drug withdrawal.
Separation anxiety disorder:
it is a disorder in children categorized by a restlessness that is unnecessary for the child’s developmental level and related to split from parents.
Symptoms of Anxiety Attack
Common signs and symptoms are :
- Feeling of nervousness, tension, or restlessness.
- Come up with a sense of impending panic or danger
- Hyperventilation (fast breathing)
- increased heartbeat
- Feeling tired or weak
- Sweating at average temperatures
- Getting difficulty sleeping
- Trouble focusing or thinking about something other than the present trouble
- Feeling difficulty in controlling a situation of worry
- Having the push to escape things that generate anxiety
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
When to consult with a doctor
you should consult your doctor if:
- When you think your anxiety could result in severe physical and mental health issues.
- You have suicidal behaviors or thoughts. In this case, you have to seek emergency treatment urgently.
- Your fear or anxiety is upsetting you too much and become difficult for you to control it
- When you feel sad, having trouble with drug use or alcohol, or have some other mental health problems along with this anxiety
- You feel like you are upsetting too much, affecting your routine work, relationships, or other elements of your life.
Some significant reasons are:
- Brain chemistry: Some researchers find that anxiety disorders may have a strong link with faulty circuits in the part of the brain which controls the feelings of fear and emotions.
- Genetics: This might be in a person’s genetics, inherited from parents, and it can run in families.
- Environmental stress: sometimes stressful events occur in your surrounding you have seen cause a disturbance in your mind. TheseThese life events are often linked with anxiety disorder, including childhood neglect or abuse, a loved one’s death, or witnessing violence or being attacked.
- Medical causes: Restlessness for some people may be linked to a primary health issue. In some situations, signs and symptoms of concern indicate a medical problem. If your doctor thinks that your angst results from a medical cause, he may ask you for tests to look for the signs.
Examples of medical issues that can be associated with anxiety include:
- Drugs misuse, overdose, or withdrawal
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Thyroid complications, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Respiratory diseases, such as asthma, tuberculosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Abandonment from alcohol or medications for anxiety (benzodiazepines).
- Irritable bowel syndrome or chronic pain
- Rare tumors in adrenal glands that produce the fight-or-flight hormones
- Sometimes anxiety disorder may be due to a side effect of medications
Some other things also make you more likely to develop anxiety. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors you can’t change, but others you can.
Risk factors for anxiety disorders include:
- We are living through a traumatic event that increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can result in panic attacks.
- Severe illness: Constant care about your health or the health of your loved one or concern for someone who is ill can cause you to think anxious.
- They are a shy child. Shyness and isolation from new people and places during childhood are strongly linked to social anxiety in teens and adults.
- History of mental health disorder. Another mental health issue, like depression, can raise your risk of an anxiety disorder.
- Childhood sexual abuse. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse during childhood is also linked to anxiety disorders later in life.
- Negative life events. Traumatic or adverse life events, like losing a parent in early childhood, increase your risk for anxiety disorder.
- Substance abuse. The use of illegal drugs and alcohol makes you more likely to get an anxiety disorder. Some people also use these things to hide or ease their anxiety symptoms.
- Low self-esteem. Negative experiences about yourself may lead to social anxiety disorder.
Complications due to anxiety
- If you have an anxiety disorder, it does more than make you worry. It can also lead to mental and physical ailments, such as:
- Social isolation of a person from the community
- Problems facing in functioning at their school or workplace
- Depression or other mental health disorders
- Trouble in sleeping with peace (insomnia)
- Digestive or irritable bowel syndrome problems
- Headaches, aches, and chronic pain in the body
- Poor quality of life
- Suicidal behavior or thoughts
Treatments and Therapies of anxiety disorder
Anxiety disorders are usually handled with medication, psychotherapy, or both. There are several ways to treat anxiety disorder, and you should work with a health care provider to choose the best treatment.
Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can cure people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be addressed your specific anxieties and be customized to your needs.
2-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an excellent example of psychotherapy that can help people having anxiety disorders. CBT has been well researched and is considered a gold standard for psychotherapy of anxiety attacks. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches people various ways of behaving, thinking, and reacting to situations to help them feel fear and anxiety.
Exposure therapy is one of the CBT methods employed to treat anxiety disorders. It mainly concentrates on facing the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help the people participate in behaviors they have been evading. It is occasionally used along with some relaxation exercises.
3-Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Another therapy option for several anxiety disorders is tolerance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT takes a unique method to CBT to negative thoughts of a person. It commonly uses the strategies such as goal setting and mindfulness to reduce stress, discomfort, and anxiety. Compared to CBT, ACT is a fresher type of psychotherapy treatment, so fewer data are available on its effectiveness.
Medication does not heal apprehension disorders but can help relieve the signs and symptoms. Health care providers, such as a primary care provider or psychiatrist, can recommend a medication for this disorder. Some situations also allow psychologists with expert training to recommend psychiatric drugs to the patient. The most familiar classes of these medications used to prevent anxiety disorders are anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines), antidepressants, and beta-blockers.
Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression attacks, but they can also be supportive for handling anxiety disorders. These may also help improve how your brain utilizes certain chemicals to control mood or stress. You may have to try several antidepressant medicines before realizing the one that enhances your signs and symptoms and has controllable side effects.
Antidepressants can take several weeks to start working, so giving the medication a chance before concluding its effectiveness is essential. If you begin taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them without the help of a health care provider. Your provider can help you slowly and safely decrease your dose. Stopping them abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
In a few cases, children, teenagers, and adults younger than 25 may encounter increased suicidal feelings or behavior when taking some antidepressant medications, mainly in the first few weeks after the start or when the dosage is changed. People of all ages enduring the antidepressants must be examined closely, especially during the first few weeks of treatment.
Anti-anxiety medications can help reduce signs of anxiety, panic attacks, worry, and extreme fear. The most common anti-nervousness medications are called benzodiazepines. Although benzodiazepines are occasionally used as the first-line therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, they have both advantages and drawbacks. Benzodiazepines are effective in relieving apprehension and take effect quicker than antidepressant medications.
Though beta-blockers are most frequently used to cure high blood pressure, they can also help relieve symptoms, such as elevated heartbeat, body shaking, trembling, and blushing. These can also help people to keep their physical symptoms under control as soon as taken for short periods.
8-Choosing the Right Medication
Several drugs may work well for specific types of apprehension disorders. Therefore people should work carefully with a health care provider to recognize which medication is most acceptable. Certain types of substances such as caffeine, some cold medicines, drugs, and some herbal supplements may also aggravate the symptoms of this disorders. People should talk with a doctor to learn which elements are safe and which to prevent.
Picking the proper medication, a dose of drugs, and a treatment plan should be done below an expert’s care and based on a person’s needs and medical situation. You and your doctor may try several medicines before discovering the right one.
Some patients with this disorders may benefit from linking a self-assistance or support group to share their problems and achievements with others. Support groups are accessible both online and in person. Though, any suggestion you receive from a support group member must be used carefully and does not replace the treatment suggestions from a health care provider.
10-Stress Management Techniques
Stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, exercise, and meditation, can also help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve the effects of psychotherapy. Speaking with a therapist can discover more about how these techniques help your therapy.