Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry or nervousness you feel when you are about to take on a challenge or make an important decision in life. It is completely normal to experience anxiety when taking on a challenge or making an important decision in daily life. However, if you are feeling anxious frequently and to the point where you are getting sleepless, then you could be suffering from severe anxiety.

Types of Anxiety

Everybody experiences one form of anxiety or another. You may experience various types of anxiety in your life due to career, family and personal financial concerns. Understanding what type of anxiety, you are experiencing is the first crucial step towards your path to recovery.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder :- If you have experienced something physically or emotionally disturbing in the past and keep going back to that memory, you might be going through PTSD. PTSD occurs after a shocking life event and occasionally lasts for years after the event. It is best advised to seek your medical practitioner advice if you think you are suffering from PTSD. The physical effects of PTSD include constant sleeplessness and fatigue.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder :- GAD is the most common form of anxiety. It is an extreme, intense and absurd worry usually associated with everyday life. People with GAD overly anticipate disaster about everyday things such as money, friendship, health issues, work and life. The physical effects of GAD include fatigue, nausea, headaches, muscle tensions, restlessness, sleeplessness and sweating.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) :- If you tend to experience certain thoughts or do certain routine repeatedly and are unable to control them, you might be going through OCD. Drinking only out of a specific cup may be a slight form of OCD but refraining from drinking at all if that cup is unavailable is strong case of OCD. The following are severe cases of OCD – washing of hands every 10 minutes or constantly checking if the door is locked despite knowing that you locked it yourself.

Chronic Stress :- If you are undergoing recurrent panic attacks, it might be likely that you are having a Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder is also accompanied by behavioural changes such as general uneasiness. This happens because one is overly anticipating the next panic attack. The physical effects of Panic Disorder include rapid heartbeat, perspiration, dizziness, hyperventilation and chest pains.

Causes of Anxiety

Basically, there are two categories of factors that cause anxiety i.e. internal and external. Internal factors may consist of the following but are not limited to excessive worry, unnecessary obsessions and/or traumas. External factors arise when we encounter accidents, physical abuse, sexual harassment and war experiences. Generally, anxiety has certain distinct symptoms that can be identified easily.

What can Anxiety Trigger

When left unchecked anxiety can degenerate into several mental health conditions. These health problems can then affect the person more negatively. The following are mental health conditions that anxiety can trigger:

If you experience prolonged and frequent episodes of anxiety, then you are more likely to experience inner tension or mental pain.
Anxiety and depression feed off each other. The more anxious you are the more likely you are susceptible to depression. The more depressed you are the more you are likely to be even more anxious.
If you are suffering from anxiety you might be susceptible to panic attacks. About 33% of people with depression also experience panic attacks while facing depression.
It is possible to develop a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) especially if you suffer from frequent and prolonged episodes of anxiety. The percentage of people who have GAD is even higher among people who have major depression.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Various types of anxiety have different symptoms. Anxiety in general has specific symptoms that can be identified easily. Everybody worries or gets the odd case of butterflies in the stomach but missing out on opportunities and happiness because of fears and worries is exceptional. While moderate anxiety can be limiting, severe anxiety can be crippling.

How Can I Help Myself?

Admitting that you are experiencing anxiety is the first step to a speedy recovery. Here is a list of steps you could use to address anxiety.

If you know what kind of anxiety you are experiencing, you can talk to a friend or family member about it.
Taking a morning walk, enjoying your favourite meal or going out to watch a movie or sports can uplift your mood significantly.
In case your anxiety is so severe that friends and family members cannot help you can see your nearest medical practitioner.

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