• Shruti GOCHHWAL

FAQs About Anxiety

Anxiety is a condition where a person intensively, excessively and fearfully worries about their everyday life or situation. As a result, it could lead to certain physical and psychological changes in your body.

Here are answers to some of the most common FAQs about anxiety:

1.  What causes or triggers anxiety?

There are various causes of anxiety disorders and the complexity also differs from person to person.

Some of the more common causes or triggers include:

  1. Genetics

  2. Medical factors and illness

  3. Stress due to illness or stressful environment

  4. Childhood abuse

  5. Trauma/ PTSD

  6. Learned behavior patterns

  7. Other mental health disorders

2.  What are five common types of anxiety?

It can be classified into 5 main types:

● Generalized Anxiety Disorder

It is an exaggerated form of anxiety and tension which is  accompanied by physical symptoms like  fatigue, headaches, muscle tension and aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, etc.

● Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This form of anxiety disorder causes fearful ideas and ritualistic behaviors which causes repetitive thoughts, or impulses that cause obsession.

Such obsessions cause stress for the person affected..

● Panic Disorder

Such disorders cause panic attacks due to the unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear which may also cause  chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, etc.

● Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

A person suffering from this will usually feel overwhelmed, self-conscious or intimidated  by social gatherings and socializing.

● POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

A person suffering from PTSD will experience heightened fear, sadness, worry and may also become delusional.

This is caused due to the exposure or experience of a traumatic event like war, accidents, death, etc.

Such triggers and symptoms could become so frequent that it could compromise a person’s normal daily body functions or activities.

Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness, Credit: Wallpaper Flare


3.  What are the common symptoms?

They include:

  1. Sleep problems

  2. Tense or fatigue muscles

  3. Avoidance or fear of socializing

  4. Irrational thoughts or overthinking

  5. Excessive worrying

  6. Feelings of agitation or anxious

  7. Fatigue

  8. Concentration and alertness problems

  9. Overeating or eating too less

  10. Panic attacks: racing heart, feeling shaky, and shortness of breath.

4.  Natural Treatments: How to manage and cope with anxiety?

These tips, if followed effectively and consistently, can help improve your anxiety.

They include:

  1. Be optimistic but realistic

  2. Face your fears or worries

  3. Trust your moral compass and instincts

  4. Turning to religious or spiritual practices

  5. Seek and accept professional support

  6. Reconnect with loved ones

  7. Speak out your worries, don’t hold it in

  8. Exercise regularly

  9. Keep yourself busy to avoid overthinking

  10. Try out mediation

  11. Staying mentally sharp

  12. Work on self care and self love

  13. Find a passion or hobby

  14. Consider music therapy

Breathing exercise

Breathing exercise, Credit: Pikist


5.  Is breathing a good technique to help anxiety?

Yes, this technique works very well.

When a person is anxious or is undergoing an anxiety attack, their breathing pace increases significantly and they start over breathing.

This is bad for the body as this physiological response could increase heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, by practicing the breathing technique, it will help the person control their breathing pace which will consequently lower the heart rate and blood pressure back to its normal rate.

What to do: Inhale deeply and slowly until your stomach expands to the fullest and then exhale slowly until the belly completely contracts. Repeat this until you have noticed a change in your mood and pressure.

6.  Do anxiety medications have side effects?

Some side-effects include:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Drowsiness

  3. Headaches

  4. Vision problems

  5. Dizziness

  6. Memory loss

  7. Coordination and balancing problems

  8. Problems with speech

  9. an upset stomach

Side effect- Drowsiness, Credit: Pxfuel


7.  What foods to avoid if you have anxiety?

They following food products should be avoided if you are suffering from anxiety:

  1. Caffeine

  2. Artificial sugar

  3. Gluten

  4. Fast food

  5. Alcohol

  6. Dairy

  7. Fried food

  8. Processed food

These products are avoided as they  increase episodes of anxiety and the associated symptoms.

8.  What diet helps anxiety?

A Healthy and balanced diet improves brain function and will help your body recover or heal faster. Moreover,  antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds and minerals can also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Such food products include:

  1. Nuts

  2. Fatty fish

  3. Eggs

  4. Pumpkin seed

  5. Dark chocolate

  6. Yogurt

  7. Green tea

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