Feeling Anxious? Here’s What You Should Know About Anxiety

How does anxiety make you feel? Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders that manifest as feelings of worry (anxiety), fear, and agitation that are intense enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. Anxiety disorders usually start between the ages of 15 years and 35 years old.

Risk Factors Of Anxiety Disorders:

  • Family history of anxiety disorders
  • History of child abuse and child neglect
  • History of being bullied
  • History of mental illness
  • Poverty
  • History of substance abuse

What are the seven types of anxiety disorders?

There are different types of anxiety disorders. The most common types are:

Panic attacks

This is a very intense attack of fear or panic, which is significantly accompanied by physical bodily reactions such as increased blood pressure, chills, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and hyperventilation.

Separation anxiety disorder

It is an anxiety disorder that happens when a person is frightened of being separated from a particular person or place that makes them feel safe or secure. Some instances of separation can lead to panic in the person.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

PTSD can result in a person affected by a traumatic event, which is seen as a life threat. For instance, robbery, war, sexual abuse, mental and physical abuse, natural disasters, or accidents. A person who has PTSD will attempt to forget about the traumatic event, but the trauma experienced keep replay again and again, in reality, in the form of memories and a dream in the form of nightmares.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

It is an anxiety disorder in which the person has unwanted obsessive thoughts or obsessive compulsive nature. For instance, frequent checks if the door is locked, calling your loved ones every minute to guarantee that they are safe or washing hands every minute or cleaning the environment always to avoid dirty environments.

Generalized anxiety disorder

It is an anxiety type disorder in which is characterized by persistent general anxiety irrelevant to certain things or situations. This anxiety is often co-occurred by sweating, palpitations, constant nervousness, shaking, muscle tension, dizziness, and distress.

Selective mutism

It is an anxiety type disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak normally. Selective mutism only happens when the person is in a group setting, irrespective of the consequence of staying silent.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder also popularly called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of distress and impaired ability to function in public. It is triggered by perceived judgment and negative evaluation from others. Feeling awkward once in a while in the mix of people you don’t know is okay, but feeling awkward regularly to a point where you do not feel like leaving your house is not a healthy state of mind.

What are the main causes of anxiety?

The causes of anxiety disorders include:

  • Genetics
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Caffeine
  • Drugs such as amphetamine or cocaine
  • Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a set of flags that occur after withdrawal from alcohol, opioids, antidepressants, or benzodiazepines
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Stress from chronic physical ailments, financial worries or low self-image
  • Asthmatic attack

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder:

  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Sweating profusely
  • Shakiness/fidgeting
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Inability to set your fear aside and focus on the issue/event at hand
  • Restlessness
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation

Diagnosis Of Anxiety Disorders

Presence of anxiety symptoms for a minimum of 6 months with decrease functioning (inability to carry out day to day activities due to anxious thoughts and behaviors).

Treatment Of Anxiety Disorders:

Treatment of anxiety include the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: it is talking therapy that can help you handle your anxiety problems
  • Counseling
  • Medications such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines
  • Avoid anything that triggers your worry, fear, or tension
  • Decrease stress in your life
  • Embrace healthy lifestyle habits
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or drugs that will make your anxiety worse.
  • Try mindfulness meditation

What can happen if anxiety is not treated?

Untreated anxiety disorder leads to:

Final word

  • Anxiety is a worry about things that will happen in the future that lead to inner turmoil. 
  • Fear is a reaction to current events that lead to an unsettled state of mind. Fear occurs when you feel you are unsafe due to a perceived danger or threat. 
  • Anxiety in itself is a typical way the body responds to fear, unknown events, and new experiences, but it doesn’t interfere with everyday life, unlike anxiety disorders that do.
  • Some of the factors that can trigger anxiety are: Giving a speech, going for a job interview, the first day of school, upcoming examination, and traveling alone for the first time.

Don’t be scared to reach out for help and know that everything will get better