Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders in which anxiety is the main symptom. It is characterized by feelings of worry, nervousness, and fear. Simply, it is the worry about future activities or goals while fearing or panicking in the current situation. Anxiety is a vague, uneasy feeling in response to stress. These negative mental feelings can even lead to physical symptoms and reactions. If you are always feeling anxious without an apparent reason, you may have an anxiety disorder.
According to research, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness and affect about forty million American adults age eighteen years and older. A mild anxiety can be very brief and can be caused by a stressful event such as speaking in public or even going out on a date. Anxiety disorders occur with other mental or physical illnesses including alcohol or substance abuse and can last at least six months. The condition will get worse if not treated.
Some amount of anxiety is normal, but people with anxiety disorders experience extreme anxiety. Their fears and worries affect their normal functioning. Anxiety may be rational, such as the anxiety about making good in a new job, about passing an examination, or about moving to a new home. Sometimes mass communications tend to create normal anxieties into large issues by making minor incidents as though they were major crises.
What will increase anxiety?
Most people experience a certain amount of unrealistic and irrational anxiety. Certain periods of life will cause increased anxiety. Adolescence and middle age are especially anxious times for many people. People who spend most of their time alone may suffer more anxiety than those who live and work with others. Anxiety is differentiated from fear in that the anxious person cannot identify the threat, whereas the fearful person recognizes the source of the fear. Everyone occasionally experiences anxiety as a normal response to a dangerous or unusual situation. In an anxiety disorder, the person feels the same emotion without any apparent reason and cannot identify the source of the threat that produces the anxiety.
Signs and symptoms
Anxiety is an umbrella term with many signs and symptoms, however, symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person. These attacks can be so severe that people rush to the emergency rooms because they think they’re having a heart attack. These are some of the symptoms of anxiety disorder which are commonly seen among many people.
Restlessness: It is the most primitive and commonly occurring symptom of anxiety. It is an uncomfortable feeling of being unable to stay still or feeling that something is about to happen to you.
Tachycardia: (rapid heart rate) It is the rate that exceeds the normal heartbeat (more than 60-100 heartbeats per minute in adults)
Rapid breathing or hyperventilation: It is the increasing rate of breathing than the normal rate. It occurs due to the imbalance of oxygen intake or carbon dioxide output.
Heavy sweating: This occurs due to nervousness, fear and elevated stress followed by anxiety. This is a direct result restlessness and rapid breathing.
Trembling or muscle twitching: Muscle twitching is the result of the contraction in small muscles in the body. Irregular stimulation that occurs due to anxiety can cause automatic muscle twitchings or fasciculations.
Weakness and lethargy: It can cause you to feel sleepy or fatigued and sluggish during your daytime activities. Not only mental weakness or laziness but also you feel lazy to do any physical activity. This is also a very common symptom associated with anxiety disorder.
Difficulty focusing: This develops in later stages or in severe situations of anxiety. Due to lack of focus, day to day activities will become detailed and complex. Several secondary problems can occur which can even worsen the situation. It is recommended to treat any secondary conditions to gain a better outcome from anxiety.
These are some secondary problems: Difficulty sitting still, inability to make decisions, inability to perform complicated tasks, lack of focus, difficulty thinking clearly (lacking the physical or mental energy to concentrate), making careless mistakes, unable to remember things that occurred a short time ago, frequently losing things or difficulty remembering where things are.
Insomnia: It is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms: Difficulty falling asleep. Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep.
Digestive or gastrointestinal problems: Common digestive problems that can occur due to anxiety include heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms may include bloating, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain and stomach cramps. Treatment includes a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Obsession with certain ideas: This is the persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling. Additionally, something that causes a phobia, which is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.
Panic attacks: These panic attacks come on suddenly and involve intense and often overwhelming fear. They are accompanied by frightening physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat or shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, headaches, feeling tense, a feeling of losing control and other symptoms.
Performing certain behaviors over and over again and also a strong desire to avoid the things that trigger your anxiety will also trigger an attack. People who suffer from anxiety disorders struggle with difficult symptoms such as agitation, feeling uptight, worry, and apprehension on a daily basis.
Fear and worry
Anxiety is often a healthy response to uncertainty and danger, but constant worry and nervousness may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. It is not unusual to feel nervous about meeting new people or going out in public, but if you are so anxious that you dread or avoid such situations, you may have a social anxiety disorder or social phobia. People with this disorder feel uneasy and self-conscious in everyday social situations. They also have a hard time making and keeping friends.
How to prepare yourself
If you have mild to moderate anxiety you can control it by using these simple steps. One of the best ways to control your anxiety when facing situations such as an interview or speaking in public is to be prepared as much as you can ahead of time.
Taking deep breaths is one of the best ways to reduce shortness of breath, slows your heart rate and other anxiety symptoms.
Stop irrational thinking that something is about to happen. When this is happening to you, try to control this by saying “Stop” to yourself to distract those troublesome thoughts.
If you are someone you know, has symptoms of anxiety disorder, a visit to your family doctor is the best way to start. Your doctor can help determine whether your symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder, or some other medical condition. He can also refer you to the right person to get the help and treatment you will need to improve your health. If you are prescribed medications, follow doctors order and take medications as prescribed.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Learn how to start a successful business online. Click here to find out more.