What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental disorder connected with one person’s fear, anxiousness, feeling of worry that can mess with their daily life.
Anxiety is normal when you have stress about anything. Still, if you feel anxiety for six months or more than six months, there is a high possibility that you have developed an anxiety disorder.
There are quite a few types of anxiety disorders out there. They are mentioned down below.
- Illness anxiety disorder: Illness anxiety disorder which is also known as hypochondria, is a disorder when a person is in constant fear that something is wrong with their health.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder is when a person goes through panic attacks often. They can not say when the next panic attack will happen, but panic attacks usually occur when something triggers it.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Post-traumatic anxiety disorder, also known as (PTSD) is a disorder that happens with people who go through a terrifying event or witness something terrible, which can last for months or even years.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly known as OCD, is a disorder known for its common re accruing of irritation and an urge to do something frequently.
- Separation anxiety disorder: mostly happens between the children when they get separated from their parents, and the fear takes over them.
- Social anxiety disorder: People with social anxiety can’t interact with people well and get anxious around people.
- Phobias: Phobias are fear of particular subjects. It can be water, fire, height, anything.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders:
Symptoms of anxiety can defer from one person to another, but there are few common general symptoms. Those are
- increased heart rate
- rapid breathing
- trouble concentrating
- difficulty falling asleep
Causes of Anxiety Disorder
There can be several causes for anxiety disorder. Some causes of anxiety disorders are:
- Genetics: Anxiety disorders can be inherited from your family. Maybe someone in your family had a history of this disorder which can explain why you have it.
- Brain chemistry: According to some research it is stated that anxiety disorders or mental disorder may be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that controls fear and emotions.
- Environmental stress: meaning that there might be many stresses you had faced in your life, and even in your childhood, maybe you’ve lived through some hard times. Life events like childhood abuse and neglect, death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence can be the reason that causes you to have anxiety as well.
- Withdrawal or misuse of drugs: Certain drugs can be used to hide or decrease some of the anxiety symptoms. Mental disorder often goes side by side with alcohol and substance use.
- Medical conditions: few conditions like the heart, lungs, the thyroid can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorders or even can make anxiety symptoms worse than they already are. That is why it is essential to get a complete physical exam to check your medical conditions before talking to your doctor about anxiety.
Treatments for anxiety
Usually, people with anxiety take medication to deal with it and go for counseling to a psychiatrist.
Many types of medication are there to treat anxiety Example:
- Antidepressants– SSRIs and SNRIs are types of modern anti-depressants that are typically the first thing a psychiatrist suggests to a person who has an anxiety disorder. Escitalopram and Fluoxetine are examples of SSRIs, and Duloxetine and Venlafaxine are examples of SNRIs.
- Bupropion– Bupropion is different from SSRIs and SNRIs, but this is also a type of antidepressant used to treat anxiety.
- Other antidepressants- tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also used to treat anxiety, but they aren’t that common because of side effects that include drops in blood pressure, dry mouth, blurry vision, and urinary retention; these can be unsafe for some people.
- Benzodiazepines– In case of frequent panic attacks or anxiety attacks, these are prescribed by the doctor. They help to lower anxiety. Examples of these types of medicine being alprazolam and clonazepam. They work fast, but you can become dependent on them, and you should not take them for a long time.
- Beta-blockers– This is a type of high blood pressure medication that can help you with your physical anxiety symptoms, such as racing heart, trembling, or shaking. A beta-blocker will help you relax when you go through an anxiety attack.
- Anticonvulsants These are usually for the treatment of seizures in people with epilepsy. These can also relieve specific anxiety disorder symptoms.
- Antipsychotics– Low doses of this medicine can be used to help make other medications work better.
- Buspirone (BuSpar)– This anti-anxiety drug sometimes is used to treat chronic types of anxiety. You have to take it for quite some time before you notice the progress.
- Psychotherapy– psychotherapy is a type of counseling that helps you learn about your emotions and affect your behaviors. It is also called talk therapy. A trained mental health specialist listens to you and talks to you about your thoughts and feelings, and suggests ways to understand and manage them and your anxiety disorder.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy– Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a common type of psychotherapy that teaches you how to turn your negative or panic-causing thoughts and behaviors into positive ones. You’ll learn various ways to approach and control your scared or worried situations without any symptoms of anxiety.
How to manage anxiety?
There are few ways how you can-
Learn about your disorder. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to manage symptoms and roadblocks along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have. Remember, you are a vital part of your health care team.
Stick to your treatment plan-Suddenly stopping your meds can cause unpleasant side effects and can even trigger anxiety symptoms.
Eat right and exercise– Brisk aerobic exercises like jogging and biking help release brain chemicals that cut stress and improve your mood. Cut down on foods and drinks that have caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine is a mood-altering drug, and it may make symptoms of anxiety disorders worse.
Don’t use alcohol and recreational street drugs. Substance abuse increases your risk of anxiety disorders.
Get better sleep– Sleep problems and anxiety disorder often go hand in hand. Make getting good rest a priority. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine. Talk to your doctor if you still have trouble sleeping.
Learn to relax– Stress management is an integral part of your anxiety disorder or mental disorder treatment plan. Things like meditation or mindfulness can help you unwind after a stressful day and make your treatment work better.
Keep a journal- Writing down your thoughts before the day is down may help you relax, so you’re not tossing and turning with anxious thoughts all night.
Manage your negative thoughts.
Positive thoughts- Thinking positive thoughts instead of worrisome ones can help reduce anxiety. This can be challenging if you have certain types of stress, however. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can teach you how to redirect your thoughts.
Get together with friends– Whether it’s in person, on the phone, or on the computer, social connections help people thrive and stay healthy. People who have a close group of friends that support and chat with them have lower levels of social anxiety.
Seek support- Some people find it helpful and uplifting to talk to others experiencing the same symptoms and emotions. Self-help or support groups let you share your concerns and achievements with others who are or who have been there.