What Is Anxiety?
Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to a stressful situation, but in some cases it become excessive causing sufferers to dread everyday situations.This type of steady, all-over anxiety is called Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Types of the disorder.
Other related disorders include panic attacks—severe episodes of anxiety which happen as a result of specific triggers. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, (OCD) – as defined by the Mayo Clinic. OCD is classified as a type of anxiety disorder. People with OCD are driven by unreasonable thoughts and unwarranted fears, commonly referred to as “obsessions.These lead the sufferers to perform repetitive behaviours or “compulsions.”
Anxiety so frequently co-occurs with depression that the two are thought to be twin faces of one disorder. Also like depression, it affects twice as many females as males.
Can biology and the environment contribute to the condition?
Generally, the condition can arise often during childhood. Evidence suggests that both biology and environment does play a major role with this disorder. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety, however, this does not make it inevitable. The old saying ‘we do not have to fall victim to our genes’ is especially relevant.
Early trauma can also reset the body’s normal fear-processing system so that it is hyper-reactive towards stress.
The worries and expectations of negative outcomes in unknown situations can typify feelings of anxiousness and are often accompanied by physical symptoms. These may include muscle tension, headaches, stomach cramps, and frequent urination. Behavioural therapies, with or without medication to control symptoms, have proved very effective and as a result can be managed effectively.
Common signs and symptoms.
This condition is more than feeling stressed or worried. Anxious feelings are normal and can happen to everyone when under pressure for whatever reason.
The problem arises when these feelings happen for no apparent reason, or when the stress has passed and the stress/anxiety still remains.
There are many types of this cognitive disorder, but there are some common signs and symptoms which are especially relevant. Feeling very worried or anxious most of the time and:
- Finding it difficult to calm down
- Feeling overwhelmed or frightened by intense feelings of panic
- Recurring thoughts that cause anxiety and may seem insignificant to others
- Avoiding certain places, people or social situations.
- Experiencing recurring nightmares, flashbacks after a traumatic event.
Causes of the condition.
- Family history of mental health problems
- Stressful life events – job stress or change, pregnancy, relationship issues, experiencing verbal, sexual or emotional abuse or trauma, the death of a loved one.
- Physical health problems – hormones, diabetes, heart disease.
- Substance abuse
- Personality factors – children who are perfectionists, who are easily flustered, lack self-esteem or want control of everything, sometimes develop a cognitive disorder as children or go on to develop it as adults.
Types of the condition
- Social phobia
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post -traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Diet – Avoid eating heavy carb-loaded foods near bedtime.
- Adequate exercise – passive walking for 30 minutes per day, you dont’t have to run a marathon.
- Meditation, Yoga, focusing on breathing.
- Reduce alcohol consumption and avoid illicit drugs, also avoid excessive caffeine intake.
- Seek professional advice, avoid self-diagnosing.
- Address the issue which is causing the anxiety (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
As a result of experiencing both depression and anxiety at various stages of my life, I have an understanding of how mental health impacts on you and your relationship. If you would like to learn more about managing your anxiety email or call now.