What is Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may react to certain things or situations with fear or anxiety. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety such as Palpitations and sweating.
It's normal to feel a little scared. You may feel anxious and nervous when dealing with problems at work, going to interviews, taking tests, or making important decisions. And fear can even be beneficial. For example, fear helps us recognize dangerous situations and focus our attention on staying safe.
But such disorders go beyond the normal nervousness and mild anxiety you may feel from time to time. The disorders occur when:
- It affects your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cannot control your reactions to situations.
These disorders can make it challenging to get through the day. Fortunately, there are some effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
Who is at Risk for these Disorders?
A combination of genetic and environmental factors can increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder. You may be at greater risk if you have or have had:
Certain personality traits, such as shyness or shyness - make people uncomfortable or avoid unfamiliar people, situations, or environments.
A stressful or traumatic event in childhood or adulthood.
A family history of such disorder or other mental illness.
Certain physical conditions, such as thyroid problems and arrhythmias (arrhythmias).
These are disorders are more common in women. Researchers are still investigating why this happens. It may come from female hormones, especially those that fluctuate throughout the month. The hormone testosterone may also play a role.
They may be less likely to seek treatment, and their anxiety may worsen.
What types of anxiety disorders are there?
There are different types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
- panic disorder.
- Separation anxiety.
Other mental illnesses share features with this disorder. These include post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is characterized by sudden, severe panic attacks. These attacks are often stronger and more intense than other types of anxiety disorders.
Feelings of fear can arise suddenly, unexpectedly, or from triggers such as: Face the situation you fear. A panic attack can resemble a heart attack. If you think you might have a heart attack, go to the emergency room. We encourage you to play it safe and seek medical attention.
During a panic attack you may experience:
- Palpitations (feeling of a pounding heart).
- Chest pain.
- A suffocating feeling that makes you think you're having a heart attack or that you're "crazy."
Panic attacks are very annoying. People with panic disorder often spend a lot of time worrying about the next panic attack. We also try to avoid situations that might provoke aggression.
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an intense fear of a particular situation or object. Some of these fears are meaningful, such as the fear of snakes. But often the level of fear does not match the situation.
As with other related disorders, you can spend a lot of time avoiding situations that can trigger your phobia.
A specific phobia or simple phobia is an intense fear of a particular object or situation. It causes you to avoid everyday situations. Some specific phobias include the fear of:
- Animals such as
- spiders, dogs, and snakes.
- injection (shot).
social anxiety disorder doctors called the condition social phobia. In everyday social situations, you can have overwhelming worries and self-esteem. You may worry about being judged by others, or fear being embarrassed or ridiculed. People with a social anxiety disorder may avoid social situations altogether.
People with agoraphobia may have an intense fear of being overwhelmed or not being able to get help. We are usually afraid of two or more of these environments.
- closed space.
- queue or crowd.
- open space.
- place outside the house.
- Public transport.
In severe situations, people with agoraphobia may not leave their homes at all. They are so afraid of having panic attacks in public that they prefer to stay indoors.
What is Separation Anxiety?
This condition mostly occurs in children and teenagers who may worry about being separated from their parents. Children with separation anxiety may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or that they will not return as promised. A lot can happen to preschoolers. However, older children and adults who have experienced stressful events can also develop separation anxiety.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are like other forms of mental illness. They do not stem from personal weaknesses, character flaws, or parenting issues. But researchers don't know exactly what causes anxiety disorders. They believe a combination of factors play a role.
Chemical imbalance: Severe or prolonged stress can alter the chemical balance that controls mood. Excessive stress over a long period of time can lead to anxiety disorders.
Environmental Factors: Experiencing trauma can lead to anxiety disorders, especially in people who are at high risk of developing them.
Genetics: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. Like eye color, it can be inherited from either or both parents.
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
Symptoms depend on the type of anxiety disorder. Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Cold hands or sweaty hands.
- Increased thirst
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
- muscle tension.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Panic, fear, and discomfort.
- Recurrent thoughts and flashbacks from traumatic experiences.
- An obsession that you can't control.
- Behavioral symptoms:
- can't sit still.
- Ritual behavior such as repeated hand washing.
- Sleeping disorder.
How do medications treat anxiety disorders?
Medication cannot cure anxiety disorders. However, they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
Antianxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines can reduce anxiety, panic, and worry. They act quickly, but you can build up resistance to them. This makes it less effective over time. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety drug for a short time and then taper it off or add an antidepressant to the mixture.
Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. Optimize how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve your mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants take time to work, so be patient. If you feel ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your doctor first.
Beta-blockers, commonly used for high blood pressure, help alleviate some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders.
How does psychotherapy treat anxiety disorders?
Psychotherapy and counseling can help people deal with their emotional reactions to illness. Mental health providers share strategies to help them better understand and manage disability. Approaches include:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common psychotherapy used for anxiety disorders. CBT for anxiety teaches us to recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to unpleasant emotions. Then work to change them.
Exposure therapy focuses on addressing the fear behind anxiety disorders. It helps you tackle activities and situations you might have avoided. Doctors may also use relaxation exercises and imagery in exposure therapy.
Can anxiety disorders be prevented?
Anxiety disorders cannot be prevented. However, steps can be taken to control or reduce symptoms.
Medication Checks: Before taking any over-the-counter or herbal medicines, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist. Some of these contain chemicals that can make anxiety symptoms worse.
Limit caffeine: Stop or limit your intake of caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate.
Live a Healthy Life: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Seek help: If you've experienced a traumatic or tragic event, seek counseling and support. This will prevent anxiety and other unpleasant emotions from interfering with your life.