Anxiety: Overview, symptoms, causes, and treatments

Have you ever felt anxious, panic, or even shivering? The feeling you get before an exam that you would pass out during it? Or the realization that you lost the ground beneath your feet? If yes, then you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness in the United States of America. According to stats, 18.1% of the U.S. population suffers from it, yet only 36.9% of the sufferers receive treatment.

What, why, how, can't, no, yes

Anxiety disorder is a very general term, and it embraces different conditions:


1)      Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GeneralizedAnxiety Disorder, GAD, generates from nothing. It has little or no provoking causes, yet it still exists. It might affect your sleep schedule, appetite, and peace of mind.

2)      Panic Disorder (PD): Frequent panic attacks characterize Panic Disorder. Panic attacks involve nausea, numbness, increased heart rate, palpitations, and dizziness. They can be a result of a response to a feared object or even unexpected at times.

3)      Phobic Anxiety Disorder: A phobia is an intense fear of a specific situation or condition.

a      a) Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): People with Social Phobia avoid social interactions due to the fear of humiliation, embarrassment, or judgment. They become self-conscious and distance themselves from others.
b     b)     Specific Phobias (Simple Phobias): Specific Phobias include fear of particular objects or situations, such as height, darkness, flying, insects, and so on. People having Specific Phobia have no control over this fear and often panic when they come across it.
c      c)      Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia is the fear of such places from where escape is inconvenient. The person feels trapped in such places, which includes crowds, open or enclosed spaces, public transportation, and queues.
d    d)     Separation Anxiety Disorder: Separation Anxiety Disorder occurs in children as well as adults. This disorder makes people feel that their loved ones will suffer harm if not with them. Thus, when separated, they get anxious and often suffer from panic attacks.

After understanding the types of anxiety disorders, the next step is to know its causes. It is clear that some events, emotions, or experiences cause anxiety to begin or may make them worse. These elements are “triggers”.
Anxiety triggers vary from person to person, but several are common among the sufferers. Most people find they have many triggers. They are categorized into the following broad categories:
      1)      Past or childhood experiences: This includes physical or emotional abuse, the trauma of losing a loved one, or bullying.

2    2)      Current life situation: This consists of work or relationship problems, emotional trauma, or abuse.

3    3)      Physical and mental health problems: Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, or depression can lead to anxiety.

4    4)      Drugs and medication: Withdrawal or regular consumption of psychiatric or recreational drugs make anxiety worse in the long run.

5    5)      Genetics: People having family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder.


The symptoms for anxiety vary from type to type, but there are some common symptoms between all of them:
1   1)      Feeling nervous or tense: You may feel very much nervous and confused, whatsoever people talk about, it may make you feel tense.

2   2)      Increased heart rate, sweating or trembling: These occur because your brain senses a threat, and prepares your body to react to it. Your body shunts blood away from your digestive system and towards your muscles in case you need to run or fight.
3   3)      Hyperventilation: It is a condition when you are going to start breathing very fast. The healthy breathe is the balance between breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.

4   4)      Insomnia: Waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling asleep are the two most reported problems. While insomnia and anxiety are related, it is unclear whether insomnia adds to the anxiety, anxiety adds to insomnia or both.

5   5)      Panic attacks: Panic attacks produce an intense, awful sensation of fear that can be debilitating. They can happen in isolation, but if they occur again and again, they may be a sign of a panic disorder.
Though not all these symptoms may occur at the same time, controlling them is difficult except with proper treatment.


1   1)      Eat a healthy diet: A diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and whole grains can limit anxiety disorder, but cannot eradicate it.

2   2)      Limit caffeine and alcohol: Excessive caffeine and alcohol worsen the anxiety symptoms.

3   3)      Quit Smoking: The reason for most of the people suffering from anxiety is that they smoke in excess, smoking is very dangerous for your physical and also mental health. Many people become healthy when they quit smoking.

4   4)      Regular exercise: Exercising regularly can decrease the risk of anxiety, it was found in a research that a person who exercises half an hour daily has a low risk of diseases. Exercising can make you feel physically fit and mentally strong.

5   5)      Practice meditation and yoga: Meditation and yoga help to clear your mind and organize your thoughts.
If the symptoms of anxiety disorder are severe, seek help from a professional doctor. Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists treat anxiety disorder by using several methods. Common methods include cognitive behavioral therapy or anti-anxiety medications. This manages anxiety and reduces its symptoms.

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