What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety Disorder is a type of emotion that each of us feels at some point in our life and it springs from doubts and fear. We usually feel anxious when we stress ourselves over something that may happen in the future or if we do something out of our comfort zone.
We may feel anxious on our wedding day, or if we are awaiting the result of a medical test, or even if we are afraid that we will miss an important flight.
General anxiety is also termed as nervousness and it is our body’s natural reaction to stress or fear.
But there are times when the feeling of anxiety is so strong that it overpowers every other emotion that we may be feeling and at times even takes precedence over our senses. If such extreme episodes of anxiety become common and a person suffers them for more than 4 to 6 months, then that person may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
- High Heart Rate
- Excessive Sweating
- Difficulty in Breathing
- Physical Weakness
- Blurry Vision
- Loss of Focus
- Physical Pain
- Tingling of Body Parts
- Chest Pain
- Anxiety Attacks
These are certain symptoms that you may notice due to the presence of anxiety, these symptoms may not always occur as each person has a different response to stress and fear, but these are offered to serve as a general guideline.
How Is General Anxiety Different From Anxiety Disorders?
General anxiety is a common feeling that almost every one of us experiences and it may make us a bit uncomfortable but does not affect our bodies or minds in ways that can cause us harm.
The case is quite different with anxiety disorders and people suffering from anxiety disorders may not able to perform their day-to-day tasks easily without help.
There are different types of anxiety disorders and each person may have different triggers that make them feel severe effects of anxiety.
Let’s have look at the most common anxiety disorders as well as conditions that have anxiety as a common symptom across the whole world:
Agoraphobia is one of the most common anxiety disorders and about 80% of people who suffer from agoraphobia suffer from anxiety which can result in panic attacks.
A person suffering from this disorder is often afraid of living in their house or their comfort areas as they are afraid of feeling trapped and being in such situations triggers the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This is a type of anxiety disorder when a person is anxious about almost anything that comes their way. People suffering from this disorder may feel extremely stressed and burdened by daily life as they feel bogged down with worry regarding all big and small things in their life.
As the trigger of GAD cannot be easily identified and thus a combination of treatments is inevitable to manage this disorder.
There is not much acceptance for GAD and society often takes this disorder as attention-seeking behavior or cowardice.
This kind of anxiety disorder is easily brushed off as a personality type and if not treated well, it can manifest with more severe symptoms.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that will make a person suffer from severe mental and physical symptoms. They often occur after witnessing or being a part of a traumatic event such as a car accident, wars, or even sexual or physical abuse.
Symptoms such as flashbacks, severe chest pain, nightmares, and high resting heart rate are present in people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is perhaps the most popular and misunderstood mental disorder and people often see it wrongly represented in our movies and TV shows.
People who suffer from this disorder have compulsions and obsessive drive about them, they may prefer to eat only in a certain way or may fixate on trivial details of their lives and make life miserable for themselves and others around them if the details are not as per their idea.
People suffering from the obsessive-compulsive disorder also suffer from anxiety and anxiety attacks if their compulsions are not met.
People suffering from panic disorders have panic attacks abruptly and often the triggers are not even clear.
Such people live in the fear and suffer from anxiety that they will have panic attacks at any point during their day, while they are working, or even during commuting.
People suffering from selective mutism have difficulty in speaking around certain people, for instance, a man may have trouble speaking around women or a child may have trouble speaking around strangers. When they come across situations where they have to communicate outside of their comfort zone may make them anxious or even the thought of being in such a situation can trigger anxiety.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder makes people feel extremely distressed and anxious if they have to be away from people, they feel attached to, such as their parents, their children, or even romantic partners.
Young children are especially affected by this anxiety disorder even if the separation from their parents is temporary such as going to a boarding school or a mother leaving during the day for work.
This disorder also includes anxiety as a common symptom and separation can induce an anxiety attack.
Phobias basically imply fears, and there are a variety of things that can trigger fear in us, and if that fear is extreme and unreasonable at the time, leading to physical and emotional distress termed as a phobia.
There are a variety of phobias, for a specific activity or thing such as fear of flying is aerophobia while fear of water goes by the name hydrophobia.
Social phobia is fear of being in social settings such as a gathering, a meeting, or any such other situation when a person may have to interact with other people. It is also referred to as social anxiety disorder where the person feels extremely stressed and anxious merely at the thought of being in a group or social setting.
We live in a world where people often have to interact in social settings, and then there are video calls and conference meetings that bring social life to our homes. Life in social phobia patients can be extremely difficult and it can greatly hinder a person’s personal as well as professional progress.
Most of the time people suffering from social phobia hide their masked as social phobia under the label of being shy or calling themselves introverts, or even termed as laziness by parents or friends.
The Growing Cases Of Anxiety Across The Whole World
Now that we have discussed a few common anxiety disorders and conditions which have anxiety as a symptom, let’s understand why we should be aware of them.
If we look at anxiety cases across the world, the numbers are daunting, there are about 3.8% of people suffering from anxiety disorders across the whole world, which is about 284 million people!
The sad fact is, only a fraction of people seek help for their anxiety disorders so these numbers don’t show us the actual estimate of people who may be a victim of this condition.
It is the most common mental disorder in the United States, and about 40 million cases come to light almost every year.
People in developing and underdeveloped countries are less likely to report anxiety disorders but there is a high case of people suffering from anxiety due to low levels of living conditions.
What Are The Most Common Triggers Of Anxiety And Anxiety Attacks?
People who are suffering from diseases or health conditions, especially chronic ones are more likely to suffer from anxiety as the struggle they go through such as if they are dealing with cancer or a risky surgery can take its toll on their mental health as well.
Various studies have been conducted to verify if there is a link between heart diseases and anxiety but so far substantial results have not yet been obtained.
But seeing that certain symptoms of anxiety and anxiety attacks are similar to those of a heart attack, it is possible that there might be some connection between them.
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable chronic condition that gradually damages the central nervous system. People with this condition suffer from various types of anxiety disorders such as GAD and compulsive disorder. Anxiety in Parkinson’s disease patients is more difficult to manage as this condition slowly alters the chemistry of the brain and the nervous system.
Diabetes is a common disease with no permanent cure and it has impacts on the nervous system and close associations have been found in people who suffer from diabetes to have the possibility of suffering from anxiety and panic attack-like symptoms.
There are different types of thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism. The symptoms of both these conditions are physical but studies have found that people suffering from thyroid disorders have a higher chance of suffering from anxiety and depression.
There are various kinds of respiratory disorders that make it difficult for people to breathe and indirectly impact the respiratory process of the whole body.
Due to rising air pollution, more young people are being reported to suffer from asthma, a known respiratory disorder, and studies have shown strong evidence showing the rise of anxiety in young people suffering from respiratory conditions known as asthma.
Chronic pain is often associated with chronic conditions and often times there is no permanent cure for such pain. There are conditions such as cancer, as well as accidents that can cause severe physical pain to people even if they are seeking active treatment.
People who lose body parts due to accidents or even during surgical procedures also experience phantom pain and having anxiety can make the experience of the pain more severe. As the sensation of pain is relative and different people have a different pain threshold, it is not easy to establish the link between anxiety and chronic pain, and further research and evidence are necessary for further examinations.
Depression is a popular mental health condition and nowadays there are multiple platforms raising awareness about depression. There are chances that depression can also include signs of anxiety.
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that does not allow the person suffering from it to get the benefits of sleep. We are aware that there is a close connection between good sleep and sound mental health and studies have found that people suffering from insomnia have higher chances of suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity is often found in children and with proper treatments, the adults can deal with the symptoms and led a fairly normal life.
This disorder makes it difficult for children to learn through traditional methods of learning, and they have a distinct problem in feeling focused. But there is not much evidence connecting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with anxiety.
The pandemic caused due to the outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken the world and the condition has caused many stages of mass panic and stress. Certain studies have been conducted to study the impact of this virus on the mental health of humans but the duration is too short and more information, as well as further tests, are required to rule out or establish the possibility of anxiety and Covid-19 as a direct cause.
There have been multiple studies establishing the connection between stress and anxiety and as extreme stress triggers the fight or flight response which has symptoms similar to this disorder, the link between them cannot be overruled. Stress can even worsen the symptoms of existing anxiety disorders.
Stress is such a common phenomenon nowadays that we don’t even acknowledge it as a disorder but as something that is part of our life.
There are various people such as entrepreneurs, students, job workers, and new mothers, and many other people who feel anxious and also suffer from anxiety attacks due to their stressful life.
Drug misuse and side effects of medications
There are certain recreational drugs used by people that can induce anxiety-like symptoms, and even misuse of medication drugs can have an adverse effect on a person’s medical health. There are certain medications that can also cause anxiety-like symptoms especially if they are stimulants in nature.
Personal and Relationship Conflicts
People suffering from anxiety disorders report having less satisfying life as well as low relationship satisfaction. If there are constant conflicts and a lack of understanding and support, the symptoms may even become worse and can even trigger anxiety attacks.
People spend most of their active time at work and only go home to relax or get their much-needed sleep and most of the people work way beyond their physical capacity and stress to the point of breaking down. Most jobs come with extreme competitiveness which drives people to outperform others and induces job insecurity which can be a further source of anxiety and stress.
As work is a huge part of our life, workplace stress has a considerable impact on our mental health, and about 71% of men and 54% of the women who participated in a study to establish the link between work stress and mental health reported to have workplace-related anxiety disorders.
Withdrawal from Alcohol, Drugs, or other Addictions
People who decide to give up alcohol or drugs or if they try to break free of various types of addictions, can at times trigger anxiety. For instance, even People who suffer from social media addictions also show symptoms of anxiety if they are trying to cut the usage down and the symptoms can even cause relapse so it is best to seek professional help to avoid triggering anxiety as a withdrawal symptom.
Does Anxiety Manifest Differently In Men and Women and People of Varied Age Groups?
The symptoms of anxiety are similar in both men and women regardless of their age, but every person has a different defense mechanism that can manifest as anxiety symptoms.
But it has been found that women are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than men, but this could be because men are less likely to acknowledge having an anxiety disorder or seeking help.
Certain anxiety disorders are common in younger children such as hyperactivity disorder as well as this disorder caused by separation, while others are more prevalent in teenagers. But the symptoms as well as the severity of the condition varies from person to person and can affect anyone at any age and any gender.
Is Treatment Of Anxiety Available?
Yes, anxiety and almost all anxiety-related disorders are treatable and more awareness has also reduced the stigma associated with anxiety and its treatments.
Each person may need a specific sort of treatment and a treatment is prescribed after careful consideration of all types of anxiety symptoms and triggers.
Talk therapies, counseling, and even physical activities show positive results for people who suffer from anxiety, and mindfulness activities such as meditation and journaling are also cited to be similarly effective as medications such as Etilaam and Etifine for reducing the severity of anxiety.
Your doctor, counselor, or therapist will be able to give you a detailed treatment plan after careful examination of your symptoms, as well as the cause and triggers of your anxiety.
If you want to reduce the financial burden that comes with treatments and you have been prescribed drugs such as etizolam buy them online to get the best prices or refer to your local pharmacies to find out if they stock them. Always consult your doctor before making use of any medication and don’t neglect your mental health any day.