Anxiety

Anxiety

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Anxiety is a common, and sometimes productive emotion. When an individual experiences elevated amounts of anxiety on a regular basis, however, it can develop into a medical condition. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses marked by extreme nervousness, terror, trepidation, and stress.

Mild anxiety:  Might be vague and unsettling

Severe anxiety: Seriously affect day-to-day living


The American Psychological Association (APA)  anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety may have a duration or intensity that is out of proportion to the actual cause, or stressor. Physical signs and symptoms including high blood pressure and nausea can appear. These behaviors progress from anxiety to anxiety disorder. As anxiety becomes a disease, it may make it difficult to work on a regular basis.

Symptoms

The following are common symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD):

  • Restlessness and a fear of being “on edge”
  • Difficulty in focusing 
  • Enhanced irritability
  • Uncontrollable emotions of stress
  • Sleep issues, such as difficulty falling or maintaining asleep

The following diagnoses have also been added to the list of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobia
  • Selective mutism
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Separation anxiety disorder

Causes

Anxiety disorders have a variety of causes. The following are some possible causes:

  • External stressors, such as job insecurity, relationship issues, or family problems
  • Genetics, as individuals with anxiety disorders in their families are more likely to develop one themselves.
  • Medical considerations, such as signs of another illness, drug side effects, or the stress of a major surgery or a lengthy recovery
  • Withdrawal from an addictive drug, which may amplify the effects of other potential triggers.

Treatment

Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medicine can also be used in the treatment. Alcoholism, depression, and other disorders may have such a strong impact on mental health that addressing an anxiety disorder must be postponed before the underlying conditions are addressed.

Self-treatment

In certain cases, an anxiety disorder may be treated at home without the need for professional supervision. However, for serious or long-term anxiety disorders, this may not be successful.There are a variety of activities and actions that can help someone cope with milder, more concentrated, or shorter-term anxiety disorders, such as:

  • Stress management: Knowing how to deal with stress will help you avoid possible causes.
  • Relaxation techniques: Simple exercises can help alleviate anxiety’s mental and physical symptoms.
  • Practices to help you substitute negative feelings with positive ones include: Make a list of the negative thoughts that could be cycling as a result of anxiety, and next to it, make a list of constructive, believable thoughts.
  • Create a support network: Talk to people you know who are helpful, such as family or friends.
  • Exercise: Physical activity will boost your self-esteem and release feel-good chemicals in your brain.

Counseling

Psychological therapy is a common treatment for anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or a combination of treatments may be used.

Medications

Several forms of medicine are available to help with anxiety management. You must take the medication according to your doctor’s advice.

Prevention

Anxiety disorders can be prevented in some cases. To better manage anxious feelings, take the following steps:

  • Limit caffeine, tea, cola, and chocolate consumption.
  • Consult with a doctor or pharmacist before using over-the-counter (OTC) or natural treatments for any toxins that could exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
  • Eat a balanced diet and sleep on a daily schedule.

Treatment consists of a variety of therapies, medications, and counselling, as well as self-help steps. An active lifestyle combined with a well-balanced diet will help keep nervous emotions in balance.

Written By: Saima Tehseen and Fatima Sarfraz

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