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Anxiety and You!


Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).



Anxiety can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test. Anxiety is only an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living.


If you’re struggling with anxiety, it may be hard to recall the last time you weren’t feeling tense, worried, or on edge. Anxiety can cause sudden panic attacks, may interfere with your personal or professional responsibilities, and is often associated with depression and insomnia. When you feel overwhelmed, you need a safe and rapid solution that can relieve your anxiety and help you regain your confidence and zest for life.hh


Risk factors

These factors may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder:


  • Trauma.

Children who endured abuse or trauma or witnessed traumatic events are at higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder at some point in life. Adults who experience a traumatic event also can develop anxiety disorders.


  • Stress due to an illness.

Having a health condition or serious illness can cause significant worry about issues such as your treatment and your future.


  • Stress buildup.

A big event or a buildup of smaller stressful life situations may trigger excessive anxiety — for example, a death in the family, work stress or ongoing worry about finances.


  • Personality.

People with certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders than others are.


  • Other mental health disorders.

People with other mental health disorders, such as depression, often also have an anxiety disorder.


  • Having blood relatives with an anxiety disorder.Anxiety disorders can run in families.


  • Drugs or alcohol.

Drug or alcohol use or misuse or withdrawal can cause or worsen anxiety.


  • Medical problems that can be linked to anxiety include:

Heart disease,Diabetes,Thyroid problems,Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma,Drug misuse or withdrawal,Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome.


Types of Anxiety Disorders


Agoraphobia - is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder - includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.


Panic disorder - involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations) with an impending feeling of doom. These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they've occurred.


Selective mutism - is a consistent failure of children to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when they can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.


Separation anxiety - is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that's excessive for the child's developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.


Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)- involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or fear of negative evaluation by others.


Specific phobias - are characterized by major anxiety when you're exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people. e.g. Snake phobia, heights phobia, blood phobia etc.


Substance-induced anxiety disorder - is characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of misusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.


When to see a doctor?


  • You feel like you're worrying too much and it's interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life.

  • Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control

  • You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety

  • You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem

  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately


Treatment

  • Psychotherapy


Also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.


CBT includes exposure therapy, in which you gradually encounter the object or situation that triggers your anxiety so you build confidence that you can manage the situation and anxiety symptoms.


  • Medications


Several types of medications are used to help relieve symptoms, depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have and whether you also have other mental or physical health issues.


Coping and support tips:

To cope with an anxiety disorder, here's what you can do:


  • Learn about your disorder.

Talk to your doctor or mental health provider. Find out what might be causing your specific condition and what treatments might be best for you. Involve your family and friends and ask for their support.


  • Stick to your treatment plan.

Take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments and complete any assignments your therapist may give you. Consistency can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication.


  • Take action.

Learn what triggers your anxiety or causes you stress. Practice the strategies you developed with your mental health provider so you're ready to deal with anxious feelings in these situations.


  • Keep a journal.

Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health provider identify what's causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better.




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