Health

Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms, Types, Causes, prevention, and treatment!

Everything you need to know about symptoms and causes of anxiety. How to deal with it?

Before going into the details of the symptoms, types, and causes of anxiety, let us discuss what anxiety is.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the feeling that one experiences in stressful situations. It is our body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety is a common feeling these days in many people due to various reasons like work pressure, studies, responsibilities, etc.

For example, if you have to face situations like public speaking or an interview the next day, you would feel fear and nervous about the upcoming situation. This is the natural process by which your brain prepares you for the situation by making you alert.

But if the feeling of anxiety becomes excessive interfering with your daily activities and if the feelings last for at least six months, you are more likely to have an anxiety disorder.

What is an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder is the most common form of the emotional disorder that makes you feel anxious interfering with your everyday life. In general, everyone feels anxious about their workload, shifting to a new place, going to take a new job, taking a test, etc. This type of anxiety can make you feel anxious for a little time and it should not interfere with your daily activities.

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms, Types, Causes, prevention, and treatment!
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms, Types, Causes, prevention, and treatment!

But in the case of anxiety disorder, the anxiety may become intense making you stop doing the things you enjoy throughout the day. Some examples of people suffering from anxiety disorder may be unwilling to wake up from sleep, and panic attacks in severe cases.

Studies conducted by the American Psychiatric Association on many people have found that women are more likely to receive a diagnosis of anxiety disorder than men.

Types of anxiety disorder

The type of anxiety disorder varies from person to person depending upon the situation in life. People experience panic attacks at unexpected times that make them sick and restless for some time. This should be treated before the situation gets even more deteriorated.

  • Illness anxiety disorder: In this type of disorder, some people face anxiety about their health condition. It is scientifically referred to as Hypochondria.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: In this type of situation, people experience anxiety about getting away from home or from their loved ones.
  • Phobia: It is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders. People experiencing phobia usually face excessive fear of a specific situation, activity, or object.
  • Social anxiety disorder: People with this disorder face extreme fear of being judged by people in society for simple reasons.

Symptoms of anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person depending on the situation and health conditions. A person can feel anxiety in a mild way like an increase in Heartbeat to very intense feelings like a panic attack. A person having a panic attack experiences a disconnect between their mind and the body and behaves out of control.

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety experienced in various people on average are having uncontrollable anxious thoughts, restlessness, decreased concentration, insomnia, fatigue and tiredness, increased irritability, headaches, etc.

We have used the word panic attack repeatedly in this article till now. Let us discuss in detail what a panic attack is.

Also Read: 10 Simple Techniques to release stress and anxiety in women

Panic Attack

A panic attack is an emotion of intense fear where the person becomes uncontrollable for about 10 to 20 minutes. Panic attacks are difficult to predict as the initial Trigger of the fear can be known or unknown sometimes. 

A person having a panic attack may experience a mimic of a heart attack and the condition deteriorates if a person becomes even more anxious or believes that he may be having a heart arrest or a mental health emergency. 

In addition to a mimicking heart attack, other common symptoms of a panic attack include chest pain, choking of the throat, sweating, chills, hot flashes, shivering, tingling of hands and feet, nausea, stomach upset, shortness of breath, and even the fear of dying in some extreme cases.

What is the cause of anxiety?

There is no exact cause of anxiety according to the studies. But it is estimated that a group of health conditions can lead to anxiety. Some of the most causes of anxiety include stress, depression, diabetes, environmental concern, surgery, generalized anxiety disorder, etc.

The below listed are some other factors that may cause general influence anxiety.

  • Genetics: you are most probably to be diagnosed with anxiety if an immediate family member or a first-degree relative has had anxiety in the past. 
  • Health conditions: Some health conditions like diabetes, thyroid, and obesity can make you prone to anxiety.
  • Stimulants: Consuming specific medications and substances like caffeine can even worsen anxiety.
  • Past Life: Most people experience anxiety as a result of a stressful past, toxic lifestyle, etc.

How to diagnose anxiety

There is no specific test to diagnose anxiety as it is a result of various disturbances in our body. Hence lengthy examinations like physical tests, mental health tests, and psychological questionnaires are required to diagnose anxiety. 

Your doctor may also even collect urine and blood samples to find out the underlying medical condition causing anxiety.

Treatments for anxiety

After conducting a series of tests your doctor will prescribe the medicine as per the severity of the condition. However, there are three common types of treatments to treat anxiety. They are psychotherapy, complementary health techniques, and medication. 

  • Psychotherapy: it is a therapy where the patient is treated with a set of techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure response prevention. 
  • Complemental Health Techniques: This technique uses some Lifestyle changes like mindfulness, yoga, self-management strategies, etc. 
  • Medication: If the above two techniques do not show any response in your body, then the doctor may prescribe you anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs to help you out.

The anti-anxiety medication consists of benzodiazepines and escitalopram drugs. These drugs are effective to bring out certain chemistry in your body, helping you to enhance your mood and reduce stress. 

But this drug should be consumed for a short term in limited amounts for the risk of making you completely dependent on it.

Also Read: 5 Simple Yet effective Ways to Relieve Stress & Anxiety!

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