Anxiety: What it is, what to do

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Anxiety: What it is, what to do

Although the anxiety symptoms vary greatly, it is likely that at some point you have experienced the occasional physical and emotional distress distress such as panic breath, heart palpitations, sleeping difficulties, fearful feelings, or even a round of worries. That's normal.

By itself, anxiety is not a problem. It anchors a protective biological response to hazards that increase heart rate and breathing, pumping oxygenated blood into your muscles as your body prepares to fight or escape. A healthy drop of anxiety can persuade you to work on time, encouraging you to study diligently for an exam, or to make you reluctant to wander off the dark streets alone. Anxiety: What it is, what to do

"Experiencing anxiety is normal," said Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of the Clay Center for a Healthy Young Mind at Massachusetts General Hospital. "A certain amount of anxiety can even help. The problem is that sometimes the underlying systems of our anxiety response become irregular, so we overreact or react to the wrong situation. "

What is an anxiety disorder?

Severity of symptoms and a person's ability to address separate daily worries or anxious moments of anxiety disorder. National survey estimates almost one in five Americans in over 18, and one in three teenagers aged 13 to 18, has an anxiety disorder over the past year.

If anxiety persists, is excessive, or routinely triggered by situations that are not a real threat, tell your doctor, who can discuss the treatment options or refer you to a mental health professional .

What kind of anxiety disorder do you have?

As with every health problem, an accurate diagnosis is essential.Some common anxiety disorders include: [19659011] Generalized anxiety disorder : Pattern of excessive concern about various problems on most days during setida knya six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, hammering heart, or dizziness.

  • Social anxiety disorder : Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called to appear before others, such as public speaking.
  • Phobia : A particular animal, insect, object, or situation causes great anxiety.
  • Panic disorder : Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of fear that are banging on the heart, shortness of breath, and fear. "It's a feeling that you will have if you just missed being hit by a Mack truck - but for people with panic disorder there is no Mack truck," said Dr. Beresin. Anxiety: What it is, what to do


Cost anxiety

Constant deprivation of anxiety toll on health. For example, anxiety increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, raises blood pressure, which contributes over time to heart problems, strokes, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction. And a 2017 Lancet study that uses brain scans measures activity in an area called the amygdala, focusing a split-second response to harm and encoding frightening memories of events. Larger activity in the amygdala correlates with a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, perhaps, the researchers speculate, by triggering the production of an extra white cell's immune system to counter the perceived threat. In people who struggle with emotional distress, this can encourage inflammation and plaque formation that leads to heart attacks and strokes.

Quality of life also suffers. Disturbing thoughts, fear of panic attacks, intense self-awareness, and fear of rejection, and other signs of anxiety disorders force people to avoid situations that trigger anxiety. It disrupts relationships, work, school, and activities when people isolate themselves, deny opportunities, and forget the joy in life. Anxiety: What it is, what to do

There is effective treatment for anxiety

Treatment is tailored to the diagnosis. Effective choices include:

  • Lifestyle changes such as skipping caffeine, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs or substances that may cause anxiety symptoms.
  • The mind-body approach such as deep breathing, meditation, awareness, and techniques to ease muscle tension and enhance calmness.
  • Psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. CBT teaches people to challenge and reframe disturbed or unhelpful thoughts, as the mind affects feelings and actions. Exposure therapy helps people tolerate and calm anxiety by gradually exposing a person to a dreaded situation or object under the guidance of a therapist.
  • Drugs such as short-acting medicines called benzodiazepines, are taken as needed when anxiety increases. Low doses of some antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), help relieve anxiety when taken daily.

Often, a combination of approaches is best. Eliminating anxiety with medication when using CBT or exposure therapy to strengthen coping skills and help retrain the brain can do a lot to make anxiety manageable.

Anxiety: What it is, what to do

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