What is anxiety?
While Anxiety symptoms vary widely, odds are good that at some point you’ve experienced occasional physical and emotional distress signals such as panicky breathing, your heart pounding in your chest, troubles sleeping, feelings of dread, or even loops of worry. That’s normal.
Experiencing occasional Anxiety is a normal part of life. However people with Anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, Anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense Anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes.
Experiencing occasional Anxiety is a normal part of life. However people with anxiety disorder frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, Anxiety Disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within second.
These feelings of Anxiety and Panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen and continue into adulthood.
Common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms Include:-
- Feeling of nervousness
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak or tired
- Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing you are worried about
- Having trouble sleeping( insomania)
- Experiencing gastrointestinal problems such as gas, constipation or diarrhea
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
- Weakness and lethargy
- Performing certain behaviors over and over
TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDER
The main symptom of anxiety disorders is excessive fear or worry. Anxiety disorders can also make it hard to breathe, sleep, stay still, and concentrate. Your specific symptoms depend on the type of anxiety disorder you have.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
It involves persistent and excessive worry that interfers with daily activities. This ongoing worry and tension may be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as restlessness, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension or problems sleeping.
Often the worries focus on everyday things such as job responsibilities, family health or minor matters such as chores, car repairs, or appointments.
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger. You may feel as if you are losing control.
A panic attack is a sudden increase of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you may think you’re losing control, or having a heart attack or even dying.
Any people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder.
- Sense of impending doom or danger
- Fear of loss of control or death
- Rapid, pounding heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramping
- Chest pain
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
- Numbness or tingling sensation
Selective mutism (SM), also known as situational mutism, is an anxiety disorder in which a person normally capable of speech cannot speak in specific situations or to specific people if triggered.
How do I know if my child has selective mutism?
Your child may have selective mutism if s/he…
- Speaks in certain settings but stops talking, either completely or almost completely, when other people are around.
- Looks paralyzed (like a “deer in the headlights”) or even angry when asked questions by strangers or when s/he feels uncomfortable.
- Uses gestures like pointing, nodding, or funny facial expressions to get his or her needs met despite knowing how to talk.
- And the difficulties speaking…
- Have occurred for more than one month, not including the first month of school, and are interfering with your child’s life.
- Are not better explained by another disorder.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is diagnosed when symptoms are excessive for the developmental age and cause significant distress in daily functioning.
What is separation anxiety disorder in children?
Separation anxiety disorder is a type of mental health problem. A child with SAD worries a lot about being apart from family members or other close people. The child has a fear of being lost from their family or of something bad occurring to a family member if he or she is not with the person.
What are the symptoms of separation anxiety disorder in a child?
- Refusing to sleep alone
- Repeated nightmares with a theme of separation
- Lots of worry when parted from home or family
- Too much worry about the safety of a family member
- Too much worry about getting lost from family
- Refusing to go to school
- Fearful and reluctant to be alone
- Frequent stomachaches, headaches, or other physical complaints
- Muscle aches or tension
- Too much worry about safety of self
- Too much worry about or when sleeping away from home
- Being very clingy, even when at home
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
A chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety.
For people with social anxiety disorder, everyday social interactions cause irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment.
Here are some examples of experiences and environments that tend to cause people to develop social anxiety, according to experts:
- Excessive social isolation, including studying alone in academic environments
- A childhood with parents or guardians who are overprotective, controlling, restrictive or anxious
- Traumatic bullying
- Emotional, physical, sexual or verbal abuse
- Parents not validating concerns or feelings about social anxiety, dismissing them as ridiculous or non-existent
- Addictions to or withdrawals from drugs
- Excessive use of technology that does not involve in-person or face-to-face interaction
- Traumatic family conflicts such as violence or divorce
- People in their environment not accepting them or discriminating against them based on part of their identity, including sexual orientation, race and religion
- Experience with mental illness
- Excessive moving during childhood
How is social anxiety disorder treated?
First, talk to your doctor or health care professional about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or counselor. The first step to effective treatment is to have a diagnosis made, usually by a mental health specialist.
Social anxiety disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk” therapy), medication, or both. Speak with your doctor or health care provider about the best treatment for you.
A specific phobia is any kind of anxiety disorder that amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. As a result, the affected person tends to avoid contact with the objects or situations and, in severe cases, any mention or depiction of them.
Some examples of phobias:
- A teenager with a dog phobia avoids going to the houses of friends and family who own dogs
- A businessman with a fear of flying loses out on a promotion because he is unwilling to travel
- A woman with a needle phobia avoids getting blood work her primary care physician deemed necessary for her physical health
- A young man with a fear of enclosed spaces takes the stairs each day to his office on the 11th floor to avoid taking the elevator
Types of Specific Phobia
- Animal Type (e.g. dogs, snakes, or spiders)
- Natural Environment Type (e.g., heights, storms, water)
- Blood-Injection-Injury Type (e.g. fear of seeing blood, receiving a blood test or shot, watching television shows that display medical procedures)
- Situational Type (e.g., airplanes, elevators, driving, enclosed places)
- Other Types (e.g., phobic avoidance of situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness; in children, avoidance of loud sounds like balloons popping or costumed characters like clowns)
PREVENTION FOR ANXIETY
- It increases your body temperature, which can have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
- It releases chemicals like endorphins, which can boost mood.
- It reduces immune system chemicals that may worsen depression.
- Cut back on social media time
- deleting all social apps from your phone
- using website-blocking extensions that only let you use certain sites for a preset amount of time
- only going to social media with a purpose and avoiding logging on several times a day just for something to do
Build strong relationships
Make sure that you’re regularly connecting with friends and family, even when your lives are busy. Attending social events when you can and finding new hobbies that could help you meet new people can all help you build new relationships too.
Minimize your daily choices
Have you ever walked into a theme park and been overwhelmed at what you want to do first? Researchers think that having too many choices can actually cause significant stress that can lead to depression.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the book “The Paradox of Choice,” describes research that shows that when faced with too many choices, those who aim to make the best possible choice — “maximizers” — face higher rates of depression.
For many of us, our lives are filled with choices. Which outfit do we wear, and should we buy yogurt or eggs or bagels or English muffins or sausage for breakfast? The pressure of making the right — or wrong — choice is thought to contribute to depression.
If making choices stresses you out, simplify things. You can:
- Learn to be decisive more quickly.
- Reduce the decisions you’ll have to make during the work week: Plan out your outfits, and have your meals prepped and ready to go.
- Avoid overcommitting to things.
- Practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Learn to let things go that you can’t control.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting plenty of high-quality sleep is necessary for both mental and physical health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people with insomnia have a tenfold risk of developing depression compared to those who sleep well.
Stay away from toxic people
We’ve all met that person who just makes us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes they’re an outright bully, and other times they subtly put us down to make themselves feel better. They may even be someone who takes advantage of us. Regardless of the specific situation, toxic people should be avoided at all costs. They can lower our self-esteem.
One study from 2012 found that negative social interactions were linked to higher levels of two proteins known as cytokines. These two proteins are associated with inflammation as well as depression.
To avoid toxic people, you should:
- Stay away from anyone who makes you feel worse about yourself.
- Cut people out of your life who take advantage of you.
- Know the signs. If someone spreads rumors or talks badly about someone as soon as they leave the room, they’re likely to do the same for you.
Recent research has shown that regularly consuming a high-fat diet can have similar effects as chronic stress in terms of causing depression. In addition, an unhealthy diet can also deprive your body of vital nutrients it needs to maintain physical and mental health.
To prevent depression with your diet, you should:
- Eat balanced meals with lean protein, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce high-sugar and high-fat foods.
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet as much as possible.
- Incorporate more omega-3s into your diet, with foods like salmon or nuts.