A slight feeling of anxiety is familiar to everyone. We experience it almost every time we encounter something new – work, knowledge, feelings. There are so many fun things surrounding us daily from new foods to exotic bookmaker online offers. But when excitement becomes anxiety, it can make life difficult for us. We begin to worry about nothing, fear becomes too much, negatively affects our daily life and can lead to depressive disorders. So how do we avoid over-anxiety? And what is anxiety disorder and how can we get rid of it?
What Is an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder is related to a mental state, characterized by being in a situation of general persistent anxiety. In this case, the person unreasonably worries about upcoming events and is afraid of what is happening in real time. In this case, it does not matter how important or serious these events are: it can be as simple as going to the store or moving to another country.
How Anxiety Disorder Manifests Itself
The main symptoms are divided into psychological and physiological. At the same time, the degree of their manifestation may vary from person to person and depend on the form of the disorder and how neglected the disease is.
The psychological ones include:
- Excessive excitement, nervousness and internal tension in connection with current affairs or without special reason.
- A sense of impending danger, unreasonable panic, or fear for their lives or the lives of those closest to them.
- An uncontrollable desire to avoid situations which may cause anxiety.
- Constant nervous tension, inability to relax.
- Lowered ability to work, difficulty in concentrating;
- Constant feeling of fatigue and weakness.
- Muscle tension.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Pain in the head and abdomen.
- Muscle tremors and chills.
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia.
- Increased sweating.
- Shortness of breath to the point of suffocation, or, conversely, rapid breathing (hyperventilation).
- Nausea and vomiting.
Causes of Anxiety
Doctors cannot name them precisely, but a certain role is played by genetic predisposition, chronic overexertion, and lack of sleep.
Common causes also include:
- Chronic cardiac or hormonal abnormalities, persistent circulatory disorders.
- Intake or abrupt withdrawal of psychotropic substances, chronic alcoholism, and drugs.
- Head injuries and their consequences.
- Prolonged stressful situations.
- Melancholic temperament or tendency to exaggeration.
- Mental trauma in early childhood or in adults in extreme situations: war, life-threatening (terrorist attack, accident, being in a war zone), departure of close people or loss of their support.
- Neurotic conditions (neurasthenia, depression, hysteria) or mental illnesses (schizophrenia, paranoia, mania).
Types of Anxiety Disorders
According to the classification of scientists, anxiety disorders are divided into two large groups: anxiety-phobic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders, reactions to severe stress, adaptation disorders.
Usually it manifests as recurrent panic attacks, when a person experiences breathing problems, rapid heartbeat and uncontrollable feelings of dread. Other symptoms include a feeling of suffocation, chest pain, nausea or abdominal pain, weakness, dizziness, a feeling of loss of consciousness or unreality of what is happening around, fear of losing control, death or going insane, increased sweating, shivers or fever, and numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition can occur unexpectedly, for no apparent reason, or can be caused by a particular situation or nervous overexertion. At the same time, a panic attack itself rarely lasts longer than 10 minutes, but individual signs can last longer. A person’s individual feelings during an attack may, in turn, lead to avoidance of any situations that are associated with an attack. For example, if it happened on a bus, a person may avoid them or any public transportation.
At this point, no single factor is singled out for the onset of this condition, it’s usually the result of several factors. The most common causes of stress include prolonged restless situations or nervous tension, a disturbance of the chemical balance in the brain and heredity.
Such fears are also called specific phobias. These include those that relate to certain animals (most often spiders or snakes), natural environmental conditions (high altitude), blood or trauma (the very sight of blood, cuts, medical operations), and specific situations (being in a tight confined space, a plane crash).
Most often, this fear occurs after a stressful situation involving some object of fear. It’s unnecessary that the person has encountered the fear directly – he or she has been attacked by a dog or fallen from a height – the phobia can also arise if someone close to the person has gotten into a similar situation.
This condition is characterized by excessive anxiety and apprehension about different life situations or events. In other words, fears can arise suddenly and for any reason, and sometimes even without. At the same time, the excessive anxiety and worries must manifest constantly for at least 6 months in various situations.
The exact causes are unknown, although disorders are usually seen in people who drink alcohol, suffer from depression or have suffered from panic disorder.
These dread and anxious thoughts occur in situations or places with large crowds of people or in large open spaces. In this case, anxiety is also connected with the fact that it’s impossible to easily leave these places or avoid the situation, and that help may not be available if one is severely stressed. Such thoughts can occur, for example, in a line at the supermarket, in a crowd in a theater, or in a large parking lot or deserted street.
This group includes behavioral manifestations that aren’t age-specific and in which there is an excess or lack of emotion. For example, when one of them extends to all areas of life.
Factors of occurrence include shock events (loss of a loved one, experience of violence, etc.), heredity and brain trauma.
This condition is also called reactive anxiety. It’s characterized by subjectively experienced emotions (tension, anxious thoughts, concern, nervousness) and occurs as an emotional reaction to a stressful situation related to external factors. In other words, the person responds with this anxiety to circumstances that are assessed as a life or social threat. When the irritant disappears, the condition stabilizes.
The intensity and extent of such anxiety may be different. They are provoked for a variety of reasons: a difficult political and economic situation, natural disasters, problems in the family or at work, etc. At the physiological level, anxiety is manifested by increased heart rate, rapid breathing, increased blood pressure, decreased threshold of sensitivity and increased general excitability as a desire to change a difficult life situation.
How to Get Rid of Anxiety and Fear
An anxiety disorder is treated by a therapist. Usually therapy includes not only the use of medication, but also behavioral therapy and adjustments to certain habits and lifestyles.
Therapy will help find the root of the problem, medication will ease the condition here and now, but in order for the situation to improve in the long term, you need to monitor your daily habits. The most common recommendations are:
- Normalize sleep – during it our brain and nervous system restore its resources.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Take care of your diet – vitamins and minerals are useful for our body and are essential for the normal functioning of the brain.
- Exercise more often – during physical activity the brain gets more oxygen, and it restores its functions.
It’s also good to meditate and breathe – they focus on yourself and your body, not on worries and circumstances around you.