Emotional and Mental Health

Anxiety - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Written by
Dr. Pratap Chandra Jena Jena
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published on Oct 17, 2019   -  3 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Anxiety is your body's natural reaction to stress. It is a feeling of fear about what is to come. The first day of school, heading off to a prospective employee meeting, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and anxious. But if your sentiments of anxiety are severe and they last for longer than six months and have started interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety issue.

Anxiety - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

It is ordinary to feel anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking before your exam. These things might feel unpleasant, but the anxiety that results may motivate you to work more earnestly and to do a better job. Common anxiety is a feeling that goes back and forth but does not interfere with your regular daily existence.

On account of an anxiety issue, the sentiment of fear may be with you constantly. It can be so severe that it sometimes is debilitating. Such type of anxiety makes you stop doing things that you find exciting and appreciate. In extreme cases, it may prevent you from doing common daily activities like taking the elevator, going across the street, or leaving your home. If left untreated, this condition will worsen.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of emotional issue and can affect anybody at any age. As indicated by the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety issue.

What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety is a vital part of a few different disorders. These include:

  • Panic disorder - Experiencing repeating fits of anxiety at unexpected times. An individual with panic disorder may live in fear of the next attack of anxiety.
  • Fear - Excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity.
  • Social anxiety issue - Extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations.
  • Over the top impulsive issue - Repeating irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated practices.
  • Separation anxiety issue - Fear of being ceaselessly from home or friends and family.
  • Illness anxiety issue - Anxiety about your health.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - Anxiety following a traumatic event.

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Emotions can feel like butterflies in your stomach to a rapid beating heart. You might feel out of control as if there is a disconnection between your brain and body.

Some other ways people experience anxiety are nightmares, alarm attacks, and painful thoughts or recollections that you cannot control. You may have a general sentiment of fear and stress, or you may fear a specific spot or event.

The common symptoms of general anxiety are:

  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate).
  • Rapid shallow breathing.
  • Restlessness.
  • Problems with concentration.
  • Sleep disturbances.

Your anxiety symptoms might be totally different from somebody else's. That is why it is essential to know all the possible signs of anxiety.

What Is an Anxiety Attack?

An anxiety attack is a feeling of overpowering trepidation, stress, distress, or fear. For many people, an anxiety attack assembles slowly. It may intensify as a stressful event draws near.

Anxiety attacks can shift significantly, and symptoms may differ among people. That is because many symptoms of anxiety do not occur to everybody, and they can change after some time.

The common symptoms of an anxiety attack include:

  • Feeling faint or bleary-eyed.
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Sweating.
  • Chills or hot flashes.
  • Stress.
  • Restlessness.
  • Distress.
  • Fear.
  • Tremors.

A fit of anxiety and an anxiety attack share some common symptoms, but they are not the same.

What Causes Anxiety?

Researchers do not know the exact cause of anxiety. But, it is thought to be a combination of factors. These include genetic and environmental factors. In addition, researchers accept that the regions of the brain liable for controlling fear may be impacted. Current research of anxiety is taking a more profound take at the parts of the brain that are engaged with anxiety.

How Is Anxiety Diagnosed?

A single test cannot analyze anxiety. Instead, anxiety diagnosis requires a lengthy procedure of physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and psychological questionnaires.

A few doctors may conduct a physical exam, including blood or urine test, to preclude primary medical conditions that could cause similar symptoms.

A few anxiety tests and scales are additionally used to help your doctor evaluate the degree of anxiety you are experiencing.

What Are the Treatment Options for Anxiety?

When you have been diagnosed with anxiety, you can explore treatment options with your doctor. For certain people, medical treatment is not essential. Lifestyle changes may be sufficient to adapt to the symptoms.

Treatment is necessary in moderate or severe cases, which can help beat the symptoms and lead a more sensible life. Consulting a therapist or psychologist can help you cope up with anxiety attacks.

Medications like antidepressants and sedatives are used. They work to balance brain chemistry, prevent scenes of anxiety, and avoid the most severe symptoms of the turmoil.

What Are the Natural Cures Used for Anxiety?

Lifestyle changes can be an effective method to remember a portion of the stress and anxiety you may adapt to consistently. Some of the common home remedies include:

  • Sleep at least for 7 to 8 hours daily.
  • Perform meditation.
  • Stay active and exercise regularly.
  • Consume a healthy diet.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine.
  • Quit smoking.

For more information, consult a psychiatrist online.

Last reviewed at:
17 Oct 2019  -  3 min read

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