Do you feel anxious while taking a test or starting a new job? This feeling of anxiety is normal because it tends you to work hard. Anxiety is a feeling of fear that makes people nervous. Everyone deal with it on a daily basis. But, if the feeling of fear is with you all the time it’s an anxiety disorder. According to the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 19% of Americans experience anxiety disorders each year. This article will cover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of anxiety. First, learn more about what this disease is and how it affects us.
About 80% of individuals above the age of 20 are suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a major cause of underlying mental illness. You feel fear to get in public transport, gatherings, and entering the elevator. Anxiety can be caused by environmental factors and hormonal changes. Symptoms of anxiety vary with age and situation. However, common symptoms of anxiety are sweating and trembling. Moreover, shortness of breath and fast heartbeat are also common signs. The most common treatment of anxiety is mental therapy from a psychiatrist. However, medications can also help to manage anxiety. Scroll down to learn the types of this disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders:
There are several types of anxiety disorders. It depends upon the reaction of people toward certain events.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD):
Firstly, generalized anxiety disorder makes people suffer in everyday routine. You feel anxious and worry about routine work. It is characterized by tension and worry, chronic anxiety, headache, upset stomach, and difficulty sleeping.
2. Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD):
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is the continuous experience of unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety. You may know that these thoughts are trivial but you have no control over yourself. You relieve the anxiety by doing certain rituals including washing hands, counting time, and checking doors. Thorough cleaning, again and again, is also an attempt to let these obsessive thoughts go away.
3. Panic Disorders:
It is a sudden and rapid attack of anxiety. A person may feel intense fear about something. It remains for a certain period and can cause chest pain and shortness of breath.
4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
PTSD develops after experiencing certain fearful events such as war, violence, and disasters. Symptoms include dreams and flashbacks of the event. Post-traumatic stress disorder may disturb a person’s whole life.
It is the phobia of certain places, events, and situations. A person feels trapped and helpless. It may be the fear of using public transport, elevators, and even leaving the house. According to a study conducted in America, about 0.8% of adults are suffering from agoraphobia.
6. Social phobia:
This disorder is characterized by anxiety in a social gathering. An anxiety disorder may be limited to certain gatherings such as workplace, school, and functions. While you are confident at home and with friends, you feel fear to talk in front of people and eat properly. In addition to it, the person experiences this situation in every social gathering.
Causes of anxiety:
A single reason can’t trigger anxiety. It may be due to environmental factors, genetics, a sudden shock, and long term use of certain medicines. Let’s get into the causes of anxiety one by one.
Genetics is the main cause of anxiety. A person with a family history of anxiety disorders is more prone to it. Genes of chromosome 9 are linked with an anxiety disorder. There are 3 times more chances for children to get anxiety disorder if one of the parents is already a victim of this disease.
There are 25% chances of the genetics behind an anxiety disorder. However, other factors such as the behaviour of parents might influence.
Certain environmental factors are also causes of anxiety. Loss of job, financial problems, and stress from a relationship can create panic. As a result, you feel powerless and lose control over your nerves. Every 99 people out of 100 suffer from anxiety disorders due to changing environmental conditions.
Use of medicines:
Lastly, long term use of medicines and hospitalization can create panic. A feeling of uselessness prevailed. And it may lead to stress. If you’ve diagnosed with an unexpected disease, it can also cause anxiety. In this case, your anxiety is accompanied by pain and restlessness. These all are the causes of anxiety among people. Now, let’s learn about the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety:
Symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person. People respond differently to every situation. However, common symptoms include:
- The restlessness which may lead to insomnia
- Rapid breathing
- Difficulty in concentration
- Muscle twitching
- Anxiety may also affect your digestive health. Because certain hormones released during anxiety can affect the functioning of the stomach.
Avoiding social events is a common symptom of anxiety. You may also avoid the situation that triggers anxiety or have difficulty in controlling your emotion.
People may also feel very weak to handle the situation. Their heartbeats very fast.
Anxiety disorders also vary with age. Children most probably show Selective mutism. It is a disorder in which you cannot speak or give your opinion at certain places such as school. While you behave normally at home or with friends. People with a high level of anxiety disorders have fear to control their everyday problems.
Some people have a phobia of certain things such as fear from water, height, and animals. Phobias promote anxiety in people. You may experience panic attacks that last long for hours, days, and even weeks. Panic attacks are characterized by difficulty in breathing, excess sweating, feeling faint, trembling, numbness, and depersonalization. These above-mentioned symptoms help in the diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Some symptoms need emergency checkups while others can be entertained at home. But, the diagnosis process should start as soon as you observed the symptoms of anxiety.
Diagnosis of Anxiety:
The diagnosis of anxiety disorder is difficult. You can check your medical condition by yourself if you’re uncomfortable in every situation. However, a psychologist will diagnose your anxiety better. Your physician will check whether the anxiety is due to an underlying medical problem or not. If yes, treatment of that disease can ease the symptoms of anxiety. However, a psychologist will treat mental illness better. Discussions of your perception about things and your feelings will help to evaluate your condition. He may compare your symptoms with DSM-5 to diagnose your disease.
Treatment of Anxiety:
Treatment of anxiety includes self-treatment, counselling, and medications.
If you know about your anxiety disorder, you can manage it on your own. Control over your nerves in a situation where you might get panic is the best exercise. You should relax with meditation and yoga. Connection with supportive people will also help to treat anxiety on your own. The mental exercise of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones may also work. However, if you’re experiencing severe stress you should seek medical attention.
A psychiatrist can help to get over the anxiety by one-on-one sessions. Sessions may include discussions about how you feel and your fears. By knowing these, psychologists will have an idea of your disorder type. Mental therapies such as CBT can work to change the way you think about certain things. A psychiatrist may also take you to the places that trigger your anxiety. This will encourage you to manage your anxiety and reduce your sensitivity.
Your anxiety can also manage through medications such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
Antidepressants help to prevent anxiety and depression. People use serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), fluoxetine, and citalopram. These medicines may cause nausea and jitters.
Benzodiazepines such as diazepam and valium can prevent anxiety. Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of neurotransmitter GABA and slow down the activity of the brain. It thus reduces the symptoms of anxiety. But, these medicines make you feel drowsy.
Prevention of anxiety disorder:
By taking good care of your health, you can avoid the chances of getting anxious. A well-balanced diet, proper sleep, and taking time for yourself can prevent anxiety. In children, chances of anxiety are very high. One in every eight children is anxious. Parents should manage their time table and behave well in front of them. This will help them to cope up with anxiety. While in teens, therapy and medication are the only ways to treat anxiety. Certain foods can prevent anxiety such as yoghurt, black chocolate, salmon, chamomile, and turmeric.
Everyone becomes anxious during a daily routine. It is the feeling of fear and nervousness, especially in public places. It is a major cause of mental illness. Major causes of anxiety are genetics, environmental factors, and long term use of medicines. Symptoms of anxiety include fast heartbeat, trembling, excess sweating, and muscle twitching. A person can get rid of it on its own. Treatment includes mental therapies from psychologists. However, antidepressant medicines may also work. You can also prevent anxiety by taking good care of yourself. Proper sleep and a balanced diet can prevent anxiety. If you have will power, you can get rid of your anxiety on your own.