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What exactly is an Anxiety Disorder?
19 Nov 2021
What exactly is an Anxiety Disorder? image

Table of Contents

How does anxiety affect a person?
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorder?
What are the types of anxiety disorder?
What are the causes of anxiety disorder? 
What is the most effective treatment for anxiety? 

In today’s world, anxiety has become extremely common among people. It is something that everybody experienced during their hard times. We consider it as a normal emotion like anger and stress.

Some people experience it way more than others and on a daily basis. Even on things that might be irrelevant or a very minor situation. But that person would not have any control over it as it becomes a part of their life and a part of who they are. Has this been incorporated in your life and now become a part of you? If yes, then it is a problem that needs to be dealt with so that your other areas of life do not suffer or get hindered because of your anxiety. 

It is very eminent that if a person faces severe or extreme anxiety, it will reflect on all his tasks. Be it school, workplace, housework, on his/her moods. Even on the conversations that you have with others. As because of your anxiety you might either act out or are not able to give the best appropriate response. We become engrossed inside our head with some different thoughts which the other person has no clue about. 

How does anxiety affect a person?

What anxiety does is, it alerts our body from some potential danger that is around us. Which later gives us the awareness that we have to handle the situation promptly. If a girl has a nightmare that she is followed by someone, then she will have extreme anxiety. Which is a body’s reaction to make her thinking process speedy so she can get out of the situation quickly. But on the other hand, if someone just faces anxiety during a normal conversation with someone new or in a crowd even when he/she is safe and even with a text message that pops up on your phone, that is something that needs help. 

We have normalized these reactions to even trivial matters. That is the reason majority of people are not happy these days. We do not realize the reason behind this because we ignore the signs associated.

What are the symptoms of anxiety disorder?

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Difficulty in staying calm and still 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Cold, sweaty, or numb 
  • Dry mouth
  • Overthinking  
  • Breathing faster 
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Inability to concentrate 
  • Obsessively avoiding feared objects, places or situations 
  • Trembling 
  • Difficulty in managing emotions and worry 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Extreme nervousness

What are the types of anxiety disorder?

Generalised Anxiety disorder

  • In GAD, a person is consistent about worrying and being anxious about all big things in life. From even the tiniest stressful situation.
  • This person would worry about all the things in his life. He would feel that this behavior is out of his control to manage. 

Panic disorder

  • Panic attacks are psychological when there is intense fear which a person is not able to manage.
  • It portrays out in form of bodily symptoms which feel like a heart attack.
  • The person would feel shortness of breath, pain in the chest, increased heartbeat and thoughts of being dead. It is an aggravated form of anxiety. 

Agaraphobia

  • Agoraphobia forces people to stay inside their homes as they fear going out.
  • This fear is because they have experienced a panic attack once or maybe more times in life. It installs fear in them that they would experience it again.
  • They don’t want it to happen in a public place as it may be another trigger for the person.
  • So they avoid going out as they feel extreme fear anxiety due to this. 

Specific phobias

  • People fear various things enormously which ranges from a fear of heights, fears of snakes, fear of closed places, fear of public places, and the list goes on.
  • Phobias are acute irrelevant fears of some specific thing. It usually has a prior encountered traumatic experience which had led to their phobia in most cases.
  • For more clarity, if a person fears snakes, a person with a phobia from snakes will be different from us. As we would only be scared when there is an actual encounter with the snake. But people suffering from a phobia of snakes would even feel extreme anxiety by the thought of a snake or even when they hear the name snake.

Social anxiety

  • Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety that people experience.
  • One may feel embarrassed and can be too much critical of their selves by putting a great deal on what they wearing, how they are walking and excessive torture towards themselves for being out in public settings.
  • They might not be able to express themselves openly. Because this intense fear makes them want to stay unnoticed and they feel that everybody is looking towards them, judging them and criticising.

Other anxiety disorders

  • Separation anxiety disorder, substance-induced anxiety disorder and other specified & unspecified anxiety disorders.

What are the causes of anxiety disorder? 

In some cases, genetics plays a role but in most of them it’s a combination of a lot of factors of past experiences that an individual has had which leads to their current problem which might be:

  • Genetics: As we inherit our genes and characteristics from our families. So if somebody is already suffering from an anxiety disorder in your family the chances for you to acquire it through them becomes higher. 
  • Brain chemistry: According to some researches, anxiety disorder is a result of some faulty brain circuits because of which make it unable to handle anxiety-provoking situations. 
  • Drug usage: It can be either be prescribed to you by the doctor for some medical reasons or any recreational drugs. They will increase your likelihood to experience anxiety. As it will stimulate, your body’s response to those drugs or guilt or any negative feelings attached to using those drugs.
  • Childhood traumatic incidents are one of the most common reasons why anxiety disorder initiates. Sometimes it is only one small event that will remain with you all your life. You run for your life when a dog was chasing you. Because of this now you might have had a phobia of dogs for all your life. It can be anything and in most cases, people do not even realize where it started from. Until a Psychologist finds the root cause of the problem so it will not be resolved. 
  • Environmental factors: The conditions a person is staying in sometimes are too stressful and triggering. Because of which easily leads a person to have an anxiety disorder. 
  • One’s health issues can also be a reason for you to experience anxiety. But you should know that it jeopardizes your health more. Instead puts your health in a more grave situation.
  • A person’s temperamental traits and personality characteristics also can be a reason. It increases your chances to experience anxiety even in other incidents in life. Suppose if a person lost somebody close to them at a very young age. Then that person will remain fearful during all her life to not lose anyone which gets deeply embedded in the person’s personality for all life which can also make the person overly protected towards loved ones which becomes a reason for anxiety. If a person is shy, the chances of this person having social anxiety would be more than others. So a person’s own temperament and personality influences anxiety disorders in this manner.
  • If too much stress is accumulated over years. The mental pain or emotional instability is bound to turn into a grave outcome later on.

What is the most effective treatment for anxiety? 

  • Medications: In some cases when a person experiences too much anxiety. He/she may be prescribed the convulsants, beta-blockers, or antidepressants by a psychiatrist. But these medications are not healthy for being on a long time as it is just a temporary solution for the problem and one does not want to spend his whole life on medications.
  • Therapy: There are a lot of therapies that can help people suffering from anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most used therapy for dealing with stress and anxiety as it helps in replacing distorted thoughts with healthier ones.
  • Learning to manage anxiety: Anxiety-provoking situations will always be there in your life for some or another. So what you can do is to learn how to manage those symptoms effectively and not let them impact your personal and professional life. 
  • Bringing in lifestyle changes with your diet, sleep, exercise, and many others. Becoming aware that how these things can impact you and enhance the anxiety you already experience. It will help you to get a better depth of dealing with this problem. But it would work if you stay consistent with it 
  • Do not hesitate in taking the help of mental health professional. If you are not being able to manage it or it has started to impact your life in different ways now 
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