What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Ever wondered why you were trembling before your exam, or why your palms got sweaty before that job interview? These anxious feelings are a natural way for the body to prepare itself for an important event. You would have also noticed how you started to calm down once the event was under way; you started to breathe easier and your heart stopped thumping. Such an anxiety actually helps us perform better as it makes us more alert.

However, some people experience anxiety or anxiety attacks for no apparent reason. If you find it hard to control your worries and if these constant feelings of anxiety affect your ability to go about your daily activities, then it might be a case of an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety, so it is difficult to say when it can be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. If your feelings of worry and dread have a disabling effect on you over a period of time, you should seek advice from a mental health professional. There are many types of anxiety disorders but their most common symptoms are:

  • Increased heart rate and heavy breathing
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Tightening sensation in the chest
  • Unsubstantiated and growing worries, and restlessness
  • Obsessing over needless things leading to compulsive behavior

If you have noticed these signs in a friend or family member, you should talk to them about their possible condition and advise them to meet a mental health professional.

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

There are several types of anxiety disorders:

Generalized anxiety disorder:

You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.

Panic disorder:

 You feel sudden, intense fear that brings on a panic attack. During a panic attack you may break out in a sweat, have chest pain, and have a pounding heartbeat (palpitations). Sometimes you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack.

Social anxiety disorder:

Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You obsessively worry about others judging you or being embarrassed or ridiculed.

Specific phobias:

You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.

Agoraphobia:

You have an intense fear of being in a place where it seems hard to escape or get help if an emergency occurs. For example, you may panic or feel anxious when on an airplane, public transportation, or standing in line with a crowd.  

Separation anxiety:

Little kids aren’t the only ones who feel scared or anxious when a loved one leaves. Anyone can get separation anxiety disorder. If you do, you’ll feel very anxious or fearful when a person you’re close with leaves your sight. You’ll always worry that something bad may happen to your loved one. 

Selective mutism:

 This is a type of social anxiety in which young kids who talk normally with their family don’t speak in public, like at school.

Medication-induced anxiety disorder:

Use of certain medications or illegal drugs, or withdrawal from certain drugs, can trigger some symptoms of anxiety disorder.

Causes Anxiety Disorders:

The most common factors that cause anxiety disorders are:

  1. Family history: People who have a history of mental health issues in the family may usually have problems with anxiety. For instance, OCD can be passed down in a family.
  2. Stressful events: Stress at the workplace, loss of a loved one, or troubled relationships, can also trigger symptoms of anxiety.
  3. Health issues: Ailments such as thyroid problems, asthma, diabetes or a heart disease can also cause anxiety. People suffering from depression can also develop symptoms of anxiety disorders. For instance, someone who has been suffering from depression for a long period, may start to under-perform at work. This can then lead to work-related stress which could trigger anxiety.
  4. Substance use: People who are heavy users of drugs, alcohol and other substances, develop anxiety problems when the effects of the substance begin to wear off (in withdrawal).
  5. Personality factors: Sometimes, people with certain personality traits such as perfectionists or people who like to be in control, develop anxiety-related issues.

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders:

Anxiety disorders can be overcome but one must not underestimate the seriousness of the problem. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, it is best you seek professional advice and treatment. Anxiety disorders are treated through anxiety medication, counseling or a combination of the two.

Caring of someone having Anxiety Disorders:

If you have a family member or a friend who is suffering from anxiety disorders, your support can go a long way in reducing their distress. As with any sort of illness, the first thing you should do is to learn about the sufferer’s problem so that you can empathize with their condition. Dealing with people suffering from anxiety disorders requires a lot of patience, but they also need to be pushed and encouraged from time to time to face their stressors or fears so that they may overcome these fears. It is essential that you find the right balance for this.

Coping with Anxiety Disorders:

There are many skills which you can learn in order to manage your anxiety. Positive thinking, stress management, leading a healthy lifestyle and relaxation are some of the common techniques that people use. Trying to manage anxiety by yourself can be challenging, especially if you are experiencing a lot of discomfort and unease. It’s always a good idea to reach out for professional advice in such cases.

Crux:

For Being Anxiety free, 

  • Do Meditation
  • Be Happy
  • Care of your loved ones
  • Be Confident in your life
  • Love your Family
  • Make True Friends

“Love is the only key for being Anxiety Free”


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