What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling in which a person gets preoccupied with unpleasant worries all the time. Restlessness, muscle tightness, exhaustion, dyspnea, a tight stomach, difficulty concentrating, and nausea are some signs that people with anxiety may face when they get anxious. This feeling, which is closely related to fear, arises when your brain perceives a threat in the environment.
This circumstance may be the result of an existing or impending circumstance. Additionally, past events might also cause worry to manifest. Prolonged constant states of anxiety (more than 6 months) lead to anxiety disorders. It may have a significant impact on both your personal and professional/academic lives.
What is the Difference Between Anxiety and Fear?
Anxiety is different from fear. Anxiety works as a fight-or-flight behavioral response to certain situations. It doesn’t necessarily come only under uncontrollable and unavoidable situations. On the other hand, fear is an emotional reaction to real danger. Fear gets triggered only in real threatful situations and anxiety gets triggered with or without reason. Moreover, it is interesting to note that fear can cause anxiety and vice versa.
How to know if you are Anxious or not?
Being in a state of constate anxiety can be exhausting. Know the signs of anxiety and seek professional help if you find yourself falling under any of these symptoms. Signs that you have anxiety:
- Reduced quality of life
- Stressful panic attacks
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Gradual changes in lifestyle habits
- Changes in huger levels
- Increased body movements
- Feeling dreadful
- Trouble with concentration
- Constantly under a state of mental tension
- Expecting the worst
- Feeling agitated
- Always looking for signs of danger unnecessarily
- Absent mind
- Getting nightmares
- Feeling deja vu
- Getting scared of everything
- Experiencing feelings of helplessness
- Chest pain
- Stomach ache
- Short breath
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
What are the Types of Anxiety?
You may experience different types of anxiety as follows:
- Existential anxiety/nihilistic anxiety- It can be also referred to as an existential crisis which can be further divided into three: realistic, neurotic, and moral.
- Mathematical anxiety- Also known as test and performance anxiety. The need to perform well in exams or competitive events can lead to anxiety of this type.
- Somatic anxiety
- Stage fright
- Social anxiety- It is anxiety caused due to interaction with strangers, social and intergroup.
- Trait anxiety
- Choice or decision anxiety
- Panic disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Agoraphobia – feeling trapped, embarrassed, or helpless
- Selective mutism
- Other phobias
- Substance abuse
What are the Risk Factors for Anxiety?
Anxiety can lead you to other mental or physical medical conditions or may worsen your existing ones. Risk factors of being anxious for a long time are:
- Drug dependency
- Sleeping problems
- Issues with the digestive system
- Socially isolating yourself
- Anti-social behaviors
- Cardiac arrest
- Problems with functioning at work
- Quality of life starts to degrade
What are Some Common Anxiety Disorders?
There are various forms of anxiety disorders. They are as follows:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Specific phobias
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
How to Treat Anxiety?
If you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety and you find the above-mentioned signs relatable to your situation then it is advisable to seek professional medical help. As we know there are various types of anxiety disorders, and it is important to know what type of anxiety you are going through exactly.
Therefore, your doctor might suggest you run some medical tests and methods. You may go through some psychological evaluation to know your anxiety condition. The treatment for anxiety is mainly psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. There are some natural methods to treat anxiety as well.
Psychotherapy is also known as psychological counseling or talk therapy. For treating anxiety Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used. It trains you in specific skills which can improve your conditions and help you get a return to your normal state of mind. CBT includes exposure therapy in which you will be exposed to things or situations gradually that trigger your anxiety. It makes you immune to those triggers and you can cope with them effectively.
- Benzodiazepines like alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline
- Tricyclics like clomipramine and imipramine
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine
- Beta-blockers like propranolol
Natural ways to Treat Anxiety:
- Chamomile tea or taking a chamomile supplement
- Aromatherapy oils
- Avoid caffeine
- Quit alcohol or intoxicant consumption
- Sleep enough
- Eat healthily
- Practice breathing techniques
- Cold water bath
Anxiety is a feeling in which a person gets preoccupied with unpleasant worries all the time. Anxiety is different from fear. It works as a fight-or-flight behavioral response to certain situations. Being in a state of constate anxiety can be exhausting. Anxiety can lead you to other mental or physical medical conditions or may worsen your existing ones.
If you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety and you find the above-mentioned signs relatable to your situation then it is advisable to seek professional medical help. The treatment for anxiety is mainly psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. There are some natural methods to treat anxiety as well.
Read our other blog: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)