• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Anxiety

Anxiety is your body’s instinctive reaction to stress. It is a feeling of doubt or fear about what’s to come. Examples include going to a job interview, the first day of school, or giving a speech. These may cause most people to feel nervous and fearful.

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

It is natural that you are nervous when you start a new career, move to a new location or test yourself. Even if it is disagreeable, it can encourage you to do a better job and work harder.

Normal anxiety is an feeling, but should not interfere with the daily life. But you may still feel uncomfortable or upset in the event of an anxiety condition.

It’s strong and weakening at times. You can avoid doing activities you love by anxiety disorders.

In advance cases, it may stop you from crossing the street, entering an elevator, or even going outdoors. If not treated, the anxiety will continue getting worse.

Disorders of anxiety are the standard emotional condition, which can affect anyone, at any age. Men are less likely to be Diagnosed with Anxiety Illness than women, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

What Are the Various Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorder can include several different conditions:

Panic Disorder

You feel that anxiety strikes you at random. During a panic disorder, you may have chest pain, sweat, and also feel palpitations (unusually irregular or strong heartbeats). Sometimes you may feel like a heart attack or chock.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, happens whenever you feel anxious about social interactions in daily life or self-consciousness. You only think about people who judge you or insult or .embarrass you.

Specific Phobias

You feel intense fear of a social situation or specific objects, such as flying or heights. The fear is above normal and could lead to normal scenarios being avoided.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

For little or no cause, you feel unreal, excessive tension and concern.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder 

Continuous illogical feelings that make you conduct such behavioral activities.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

This is the fear of being away from your loved ones or home.

Illness Anxiety Disorder

Formerly known as hypochondria, this is the anxiety about your health.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is the anxiety of your lives that you feel after a stressful experience.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Symptoms of anxiety rely on the person. From a beating heart to butterflies in your stomach, your emotions will vary. You might feel like your head spinning as if there’s a disconnect between your body and mind.

You may also experience anxiety through panic attacks, nightmares, memories that you can’t control or painful thoughts. And, you may feel worried and afraid, or you may be afraid of social gatherings or even a particular venue.

Caption: A man not able to sleep due to anxiety Credits: Sound Sleep Health

Generally, symptoms of anxiety include:

  1. increased heart rate

  2. rapid breathing

  3. restlessness

  4. trouble concentrating

  5. difficulty falling asleep

Your anxiety symptoms might be completely different from someone else’s. Therefore, it’s crucial to know all the methods anxiety can present itself in.

What is an Anxiety Attack?

An attack of fear is a subset of anxiety. It’s a sense of overwhelming concern, fear, anxiety or frustration. For several people, an anxiety attack grows slowly. It may worsen with a stressful event approaching.

An anxiety attack and a panic attack have some common symptoms; however, they aren’t the same.

Anxiety attacks symptoms may differ among people and can also vary greatly. This is that not everyone has many signs of anxiety, which can differ with time.

Caption: A feel of dizziness Credits: Pixabay

Typical symptoms of an anxiety attack are:

  1. feeling faint or dizzy

  2. shortness of breath

  3. dry mouth

  4. sweating

  5. chills or hot flashes

  6. apprehension and worry

  7. restlessness

  8. distress

  9. fear

  10. numbness or tingling

What Causes Anxiety?

Scientists are not able to determine the definite cause of anxiety. However a mixture of causes is more likely to occur. There may be environmental, genetic and brain chemistry influences.

Furthermore, researchers believe that the regions of the brain that manage anxiety may be affected.

Present studies of anxiety are further taking a look at the sections of the brain that involve anxiety.

Testing for Anxiety

There should be no anxiety diagnosis with just one test. Instead, the management of anxiety requires a longer period of mental health assessments, psychiatric and physical tests.

Doctors might conduct a physical exam, like urine or blood tests to rule out basic medical conditions that can contribute to the symptoms you’re experiencing.

In addition, various levels of anxiety and measures are used to evaluate the level of anxiety. Your doctor can use one or more of the above tests to evaluate your anxiety level.

Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale

The Zung anxiety measure normally consists of a 20-point questionnaire. You have to score your anxiety on issues such as nervousness between “a little time” and “much of the time” like:

  1. nervousness

  2. anxiety

  3. shaking

  4. rapid heartbeat

  5. fainting

  6. frequent urination

  7. nightmares

Once you finish this test, an experienced professional will assess your responses.

Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A)

The Hamilton Anxiety Test was established in 1959 and is one of the first anxiety rating scales. It is also often used in clinical and testing settings. A well-validated and widely used scale to measure the amount of anxiety in a patient is a Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A). It should always be administered by a professional doctor.

Caption: Effect of therapy on Hamilton Anxiety Rating (HAM-A) scale Credits: Research Gate

Instead of a screening or diagnostic procedure, HAM-A has a key role to assess the respondent to therapy. By governing the scale serially, a doctor can note down the results of psychotherapy or drug treatment.

The HAM-A includes 14 issues, which measure fears, moods, tension, spiritual, physical and behavioural traits.

Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

The Beck scale of anxiety aims to assess the anxiety levels. The evaluation can be done by yourself. Alternatively, it can also be dictated by a professional or paraprofessional person.

The assessment consists of 21 questionnaires based on your symptom history over the last week. The symptoms can be numbness, tingling, and fear. Answer options are ‘mildly,’ ‘moderately,’ ‘not at all,’ or ‘severely.’

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale

This seven-question test is used as a screening for generalized anxiety disorder. You will be asked how often in the past few weeks you’ve been experiencing feelings of nervousness, irritability, or fear. 

Response choices include ‘few days’ ‘not at all’ or ‘nearly every day.’

Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN)

The SPIN is an assessment of your social phobia by 17 questions. You calculate the fear from zero to four on the basis of different social events. Here, zero indicates no anxiety and four indicates extreme anxiety.

Penn State Worry Questionnaire

This test is the most often used stress measure. It can be used to differentiate between generalized anxiety and social anxiety. The questionnaire uses 16 questions to assess the excess, generality and uncontrollability of your tension.

Anxiety Chest Pain

Chest pain is a typical symptom of panic attacks and anxiety. Several people say that it is a notable symptom of their worst experiences. 

Sometimes these painful, uncomfortable, and frightening symptoms are those of anxiety.

Symptoms

Chest pain related to anxiety is different for each individual. Some people may feel chest pain on a steady basis. For others, chest pain can be unexpected and sudden. Anxiety chest pain can be defined by:

  1. sharp, shooting pain

  2. persistent chest aching

  3. a spasm in your chest or a sudden muscle twitch 

  4. numbness, burning, or a dull ache

  5. stabbing pressure

  6. tightness or chest tension

What are the Treatments for Anxiety?

Medical treatment isn’t always necessary for anxiety. Lifestyle changes can be enough for certain patients to handle the symptoms.

However, in moderate or severe cases, treatment can help you overpower the symptoms and lead a more convenient daily life.

Anxiety treatment can be categorized into medication and psychotherapy. Meeting with a psychologist or a therapist can help you learn tools to implement and strategies to handle anxiety when it occurs.

Medications commonly used to treat anxiety include sedatives and antidepressants. They work to avoid depressive attacks, to stabilize brain chemistry and to eliminate the more serious disease signs.

You should analyze medication options with the aid of an experienced psychiatrist after the fear has been diagnosed.

What Natural Remedies are Used for Anxiety?

Lifestyle alterations could be an efficient way to relieve some of the anxiety and stress you may experience every day. Most of the natural “remedies” require taking part in healthy activities, caring for your body, and getting rid of unhealthy habits.

These include:

  1. getting enough sleep

  2. meditating

  3. exercising and staying active

  4. eating a healthy diet

  5. avoiding alcohol and caffeine

  6. quitting smoking cigarettes

These lifestyle changes are a positive and efficient way to help you reduce your anxiety.

Yoga for Anxiety Disorder

Caption: A girl do a stretching yoga pose Credits: Pixabay

There are several uncomfortable physical symptoms of anxiety and panic, such as tightness, pain sensitivity and feelings of tension. 

Yoga postures or asanas can help relieve anxiety-related physical pain. Yoga works to balance, lengthen, and stretch the muscles. 

These asanas can help in easing the stiffness and built-up muscle tension in the entire body.

If you learn in the right way, yoga poses can be a strong physical workout. Exercise can help reduce anxiety illness in many areas, including depression and pain relief.

Yoga not only allows the physical body to relax, it also helps with anxiety. Frequent concern and depressive thought habits are characteristic of an anxiety disorder diagnosed. 

Visualization, meditation, and focus on breathing focus can help with letting go of fear and worry. The overall practice of yoga can evoke the relaxation response for the body, allowing both the mind and body to obtain a sense of calmness.

Yoga can also be a perfect way to be closer to the friends and meet others.

Several people with agoraphobia and panic disorder experience issues of isolation and loneliness. Going for yoga classes can be one way to start socializing while working towards your wellness.

How to Help Teenagers with Anxiety?

College visits, tests, and first dates and many other events worry teenagers. They therefore have many reasons to worry.

Youth with signs of fear or anxiety will however develop an anxiety condition also. Styles, nervousness, avoidance and isolationist behaviors are the symptoms of anxiety.

Further, anxiety in teenagers may lead to unusual behaviours. They may perform poorly in tests, act out, avoid social events, and even engage in drug and alcohol use.

For some teenagers, anxiety might lead to depression. Diagnosing both these conditions is crucial so that treatment can deliver to the underlying issues and help ease symptoms.

The most typical treatments for anxiety in teens are medication and talk therapy. These treatments can also be used to ease depression symptoms.

Can Food Treat Anxiety?

Usually, talk therapy and medication are used to treat depression and anxiety. But, lifestyle changes, like regular exercise and getting enough sleep, can also help. Also, Harvard research suggests that food items that you eat can have a beneficial impact on your body and brain if you frequently experience anxiety.

These foods include:

  1. salmon

  2. chamomile

  3. turmeric

  4. dark chocolate

  5. yoghurt

  6. green tea

Conclusion

A psychotherapy, medicines or a combination of the two should be used to treat anxiety. Nevertheless, few people with slight anxiety or avoidance of something that can be stopped want to deal with it and do not seek therapy.

It is important to recognize that even in advanced stages, anxiety disorders may be treated. Even if you continue to experience anxiety disorders, you can always learn ways to manage it and live a healthy and happy life.

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