What is Anxiety
Anxiety is the natural response of our body to stress. It’s a feeling of trepidation or apprehension about the upcoming things which we need to face. For example, some people feel nervous on exam day. But in some people, their anxiety will be extreme, interfere with their life, and lasts for at least 6 months. These people who have extreme anxiety may be undergoing anxiety disorder.
The causes of anxiety may contain:
- Other medical issues such as depression or diabetes.
- First-degree relatives with generalized anxiety disorder.
- Environmental concerns, such as child abuse.
- Substance use.
- Situations such as surgery or occupational hazard.
Researchers believe that it stems from the areas of the brain where it controls fear and the storing and retrieval of emotional and fear-related memories.
There are some risk factors for different types of anxiety. But there are general influences including: –
- Personality traits – This includes shyness and nervousness present in childhood.
- Life history – This includes being revealed to negative or stressful events.
- Genetics – Of whom there is a diagnosis of anxiety, 25 percent have a relation who also has a diagnosis of anxiety.
- Other health conditions – Thyroid problems and other health problems may cause anxiety.
- Stimulants – Consuming caffeine, specific substances, and medications can increase the symptoms.
Feeling anxious about taking an exam or starting a new job is typical. This type of anxiety is unpleasant, but it may inspire us in doing a task that we like to do and helps us to put in the effort and hard work, and achieve it. But when it comes to anxiety disorder, the feeling of trepidation remains with us, all the time. It’s severe and sometimes debilitating. Anxiety disorder is one of the causes which makes us stop doing things we enjoy. For example, it averts us from entering an elevator. If it is not treated, the anxiety may get even worse. Anxiety disorder is a common form of emotional disorder and it can affect anyone. But, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), women suffer from this anxiety disorder majority, than men. There are different types of anxiety disorders as follows: –
- Panic disorder- When people face panic disorder, they experience constant panic attacks at unpredicted times.
- Phobia is an immoderate trepidation of a particular object, situation, etc.
- Social anxiety disorder- This is a severe trepidation of being judged by others in social situations.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder- This is a type of disorder that causes recurring irrational thoughts that makes you perform some specific, repeated thoughts.
- Separation anxiety disorder- This means it is a fear of being away from home or your loved ones.
- Illness anxiety disorder is related to our health (formerly called hypochondria).
Anxiety might be featured as a symptom when a person is suffering from several mental health or medical conditions. These include: –
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- This is a type of anxiety following an agonizing or disturbing event.
- Major depressive disorders- A disorder with a strong relationship between depression and anxiety.
- Chronic disease- This disease is also the main reason that causes anxiety symptoms when managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes.
- Inflammatory conditions- People who are suffering from anxiety will also face chronic inflammation and diseases like arthritis.
- Substance use disorders- Many people who are suffering from anxiety try to do self-medication to manage their symptoms.
- Chronic pain- Anxiety is often found in those with chronic pain disorders.
The symptoms of anxiety are: –
- Anxious thoughts or beliefs that are difficult to control.
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Unexplained aches and pains
Tests that diagnose anxiety
A single test cannot diagnose anxiety. To diagnose anxiety, there is an anxiety diagnosis that involves some tests like physical examinations, mental health tests, and psychological questionnaires.
Some doctors or healthcare professionals conduct a few physical exams like blood and urine tests to know the symptoms that we go through every day in our life.
As other diseases or any other health issues have their tests, similarly there are several tests and scales to check the level of anxiety experienced by a person. In this way, the doctors get prepared to give treatments according to the level or particular stage of anxiety.
There are many diseases, disorders, and other health issues which are cured because of natural remedies. Similarly, some natural remedies can at least cure 50-60% of anxiety levels. Here are some of the natural remedies: –
- Getting enough sleep
- Staying active and exercising
- Eating a healthy diet
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding caffeine
- Quitting smoking cigarettes if you smoke
When the treatment is given to any of the health issues, it manages all the health issues and helps you to stay healthy and health issues free.
There are so many treatments to cure anxiety. But there are three main important treatments that you need to get done if you want the anxiety to be cured. Let us know about those three treatments and other treatments.
- Psychotherapy- There are two types of therapy which include cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure response prevention.
- Complemental health techniques- These techniques include yoga, meditation, and self-management strategies like stress management help you in curing anxiety by using these types of alternative methods.
- Medication- Doctors prescribe antianxiety and antidepressant drugs.
Some more medications are common. They are: –
- Selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)-
- Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
There are many ways to prevent anxiety. They are:
- Suicide prevention
- Bullying prevention
- Youth violence prevention
- Child maltreatment prevention
- Mental health programs
Anxiety and Alcohol
If you are anxious frequently, you feel like drinking to calm down your nerves. Well, alcohol is a sedative. It makes you feel lazy and due to laziness, you feel like not doing anything. It just makes you relax.
Some people drink and take drugs every day to get away from anxiety. But drinking causes damage to your cerebellum which is a part of your hindbrain.
It may be necessary to treat alcoholic people by doctors before they address their anxiety. But chronic or long-term use can worsen the condition.
Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Stress and anxiety may sound like us. But they are different. Stress is a typical healthy reaction to identifiable events like an upcoming test or any major changes in your life.
Once the trigger goes away, stress will also go away. But, will that happen with anxiety? No way. Anxiety, on the other hand, will be there beyond the trigger and it is difficult to find the root cause. As stress goes away with the trigger, it does not need any treatment while anxiety, does require treatment.
Stress and anxiety react well to physical activities, etc. But if your stress and anxiety are not responding well to any of these physical activities, the mental professional helps you to get rid of them and gives some suggestions regarding the treatment plan.
When a person is suffering from anxiety, he might be suffering from depression also. We think that anxiety and depression occur separately, but it is not unusual that all mental health problems occur together at a time.
Depression can be one of the symptoms of anxiety. Similarly, when the depression gets increased, the trigger will also get high by an anxiety disorder.
These two can also be managed at a time by giving the following treatments: –
- Psychotherapy (Counseling)
- Lifestyle changes
How to help teens with anxiety
Teenagers might have a lot of reasons to be anxious like tests, college visits, first dates, etc. But if they are suffering from anxiety a lot frequently then it is an anxiety disorder.
The symptoms of anxiety in teens are nervousness, shyness, isolationist behaviors, and avoidance. Likewise, anxiety in teens may cause unusual behaviors also.
For example, they skip all their classes, perform poorly in their studies, are addicted to criminal activities like drugs and drinking, and do not take part in social events.
In some teens, anxiety can lead to depression also. In such cases, treatment should be given and taken to mental professionals to address depression and anxiety levels. The most common treatment for anxiety in teens is talk therapy, counseling and medications. These treatments help to get rid of depression also