Anxious, anxious and anxious…
Yes, we often get anxious about lots of things, anxious about surrounding, about ourselves, about social media.
You know, this anxiety often get over us and can cause serious damage.
Let’s see what exactly is this Anxiety ?
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. It is the feelings of dread over anticipated events such as the feeling of imminent death.
Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat, whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat.
This is a feeling of uneasiness and worry, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration.
These affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can seriously affect day-to-day living.
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States (U.S.). It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only 36.9 percent of people with the condition receive treatment.
The duration or severity of an anxious feeling can sometimes be out of proportion to the original trigger, or stressor. Physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and nausea, may also become evident. These responses move beyond anxiety into an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders occur when a reaction is out of proportion to what might normally be expected in a situation. The APA describes a person with anxiety disorder as “having recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns.”
This disorder is classified into 6 types. Let’s find them out:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This is a chronic disorder involving excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worries about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations. It is the most common anxiety disorder. People with GAD are not always able to identify the cause of their anxiety.
Panic disorder: Brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension characterize panic disorder. These attacks can lead to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and breathing difficulties. Panic attacks tend to occur and escalate rapidly and peak after 10 minutes. However, they may last for hours.
Phobia: This is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias differ from other anxiety disorders, as they relate to a specific cause. The fear may be acknowledged as irrational or unnecessary, but the person is still unable to control the anxiety. Triggers for a phobia may be as varied as situations, animals, or everyday objects.
Social anxiety disorder: This is a fear of being negatively judged by others in social situations or a fear of public embarrassment. This includes a range of feelings, such as stage fright, a fear of intimacy, and a fear of humiliation. This disorder can cause people to avoid public situations and human contact to the point that everyday living is rendered extremely difficult.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This is an anxiety disorder characterized by thoughts or actions that are repetitive, distressing, and intrusive. OCD suffers usually know that their compulsions are unreasonable or irrational, but they serve to alleviate their anxiety. People with OCD may obsessively clean personal items or hands or constantly check locks, stoves, or light switches.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is anxiety that results from previous trauma such as military combat, sexual assault, a hostage situation, or a serious accident. PTSD often leads to flashbacks, and the person may make behavioral changes to avoid triggers.
Separation anxiety disorder: This is characterized by high levels of anxiety when separated from a person or place that provides feelings of security or safety. Separation sometimes results in panic symptoms. It is considered a disorder when the response is excessive or inappropriate after separation.
I will discuss on these types in my future post one by one as they themselves are the huge one.
Anxiety disorders have a complicated network of causes, including:
- environmental factors such as stress from a personal relationship, job, school, finances, traumatic event, or even a shortage of oxygen in high-altitude.
- medical factors such as the side effects of medicine, symptoms of a condition, or stress from a serious underlying medical condition.
- brain chemistry.
- use of or withdrawal from an illicit substance.
Excessive anxiety is most commonly triggered by the stress of day-to-day living and any combination of the above. It is usually a response to outside forces, but it is possible that anxious feelings can emerge from a person telling himself or herself the worst will happen.
Anxiety can result from a combination of one or more of the above. For example, a person may respond to stress at work by drinking more alcohol or taking illicit substances, increasing anxiety.
There are several different anxiety disorders, each with a distinct set of symptoms :
- increased or irregular heartbeatback pain
- restlessness and fatigue
- muscle tension
- being easily startled
- recurring and ongoing feelings of worry, with or without known stressors
- avoidance of certain situations that may cause worry, often affecting quality of life
It is crucial that passing feelings of anxiety are seen as temporary to avoid increasing the amount of worry and the risk of an anxiety disorder. However, it is also important not to ignore symptoms of anxiety disorders so that timely treatment can be received.
People with an anxiety disorder often present symptoms similar to clinical depression and vice-versa. It is rare for a patient to exhibit symptoms of only one of these conditions.
Children and Anxiety
Anxiety is the most common emotional problem in children. Kids can develop crippling worries about many things, from germs to vomiting to their parents dying. Some anxious kids are painfully shy, and avoid things that other kids enjoy, some have tantrums and meltdowns and others develop elaborate rituals, like compulsive hand washing, aimed at diminishing the fear.
Illegal drug- Cocaine and Anxiety
Cocaine is an illegal recreational drug that causes severe anxiety, even in those that do not normally suffer from anxiety. If you also have an anxiety disorder, the potential for short and long term consequences is high.
There are many different issues that appear to link cocaine to anxiety. They include:
Before all else, cocaine is a stimulant, and all stimulants can increase anxiety cocaine rapidly excites neurotransmitters in your brain, and while most people think that only low levels of neurotransmitters lead to anxiety, there are many – like norepinephrine – that in excess create extreme levels of anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common side effects of cocaine use, and may be even worse if you already have an anxiety disorder.
Once cocaine wears off, the body goes into withdrawal mode. During withdrawal, those same neurotransmitters drop dramatically, leading to the development of depression and anxiety. The brain also tries to adapt to recover, and any time the brain is struggling the person may become more prone to anxiety.
Many of the behaviors that people engage in on cocaine can also lead to anxiety. For example, those that have chronically abused the drug may find themselves with severe insomnia, and insomnia is known to cause the development of anxiety disorders. In addition, the exact behaviors people engaged in while high may also cause feelings of anxiety and regret.
The mind and body are often connected. Cocaine use can cause many physical stresses, from the way the nerves react to the drug to the itching that may be caused by severe abuse. No matter the symptom, physical stress often leads to the development of mental stress, and thus anxiety.
Finally, there are many components of the cocaine lifestyle (due the legality, the effects, and the addictive power) that contribute to anxiety. Often it needs to be bought in dangerous neighborhoods. It can be so addictive that people lose their jobs or lose money, and are forced to find ways to pay for it. It can cause severe dehydration (which causes anxiety), pain, psychomotor agitation, nausea, increased heart rate and more. All of these have components that may lead to the development of anxiety.
This is just a small sample of the number of ways that cocaine use can lead to severe anxiety. Because the mind can quickly adapt its neurotransmitters to cocaine, using the drug one or two times can lead to the development of an anxiety issue.
Overcome your Anxiety
There are a number of practical steps to take in dealing with anxiety. The following 6 steps are Dr Leahy’s recommendations:
1. Recognise what your anxiety is and what triggers it – your anxiety may be fear of meeting people, traveling, fear of heights, talking with your boss, worrying about the future, etc.
Keep a Feelings Diary and record situations, symptoms and thoughts that make you feel uneasy, dizzy, nauseated, unable to sleep, etc.
2. What are your thoughts when you are anxious? Try to identify specific thought distortions. In cognitive therapy we often recognise anxiety as the result of biases in thinking.
Fortune-telling – ‘something bad will happen’
Mind-reading – ‘he thinks I am a loser’
Catastrophic thinking – ‘it would be terrible if’
Personalising – ‘she’s yawning because I am boring’
These are likely to reflect your perception of threat and the belief that you need to control things.
3. Challenge your negative thinking. There is always a different way to view things. Look at the evidence for and against your negative thoughts. Challenge these thoughts. Ask yourself “what kind of advice would I give a friend?”
4. Practice your fear. Identify some of the situations that are bothering you. Visualise in detail facing the fear and getting through it. Then gradually practice doing something that you fear doing. Your fears are generally worse than the reality.
5. Be willing to be anxious in order to overcome anxiety. You can’t get past it if you aren’t willing to go through it.
6. Accept imperfection and uncertainty. You don’t have to be perfect to make progress. You don’t have to know something for sure in order to do it. Doing it is better than worrying about it.
I know when we face this Anxiety, it’s difficult to face it or fight it .
But we should be calm and cool, it’s must to remember that every face of life can’t be as we expect neither do the society.