In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about fighting anxiety. You will learn what this disorder is, what causes and triggers it, as well as its symptoms and treatments.
We’ll even look at some effective natural remedies for treating anxiety. We will also address the relationship between anxiety, depression and stress. In short, we will offer you information that will help you to control your anxiety in a more effective way.
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What is an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is defined as a natural response of our body to stress. Most people with this disorder experience a sense of fear or apprehension about something that has not yet happened or is not known to happen. This can be anything from a job interview to presenting a topic to an audience. All of this can generate fear or nervousness.
However, when these feelings of anxiety become extreme. Even if they last for more than six months, and affect daily life, it is most likely an anxiety disorder. At this point, people are not able and do not know how to control anxiety.
However, to some extent it is normal to feel anxious about changes in our lives. Moving to another city, starting a new job, or preparing for an exam. Certainly this kind of anxiety is unpleasant, but at the same time it can give us the motivation we need to work harder and successfully overcome obstacles.
But in a case of anxiety disorder, that unpleasant feeling of fear and nervousness stays with you all the time. Most of the time that feeling is very intense and debilitating. In people who do not know how to calm anxiety, entering an elevator, crossing the street, or leaving home, can become a martyrdom. If left untreated, anxiety will simply continue to get worse.
It is also important to keep in mind that anxiety disorders can affect people of any gender and age. Despite this, women are more likely to experience an anxiety disorder compared to men.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several anxiety disorders that are important to know about, as this will allow you to get the right treatment.
It is a disorder in which some people experience recurrent panic attacks in unexpected situations or at unexpected times. People with this disorder do not live calmly for fear of the next panic attack.
Phobias are another type of anxiety disorder, which in this case is related to extreme fear of a specific object, animal, situation or activity.
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Overcoming anxiety is not easy, especially when it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this type of disorder, the sufferer experiences recurrent irrational thoughts that lead to specific repetitive behaviors.
Social anxiety disorder
It is one of the most common types of anxiety and in recent years has increased the number of people who suffer from it. This disorder consists of having an extreme fear of being judged by others in a social setting or situation.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
It is an anxiety disorder that appears after experiencing a traumatic event. Such an event may involve a real risk of injury or death. It often arises when a person experiences a natural disaster such as earthquakes, participates in military combat, even physical or sexual abuse.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Many people who don’t know how to remove anxiety often overlook the symptoms. That is, anxiety is experienced differently depending on the person who suffers from it. Even anxious feelings can range from feeling “butterflies in your stomach” to a racing heartbeat. At times, some people feel out of control, as if there is no connection between their mind and their body.
On the other hand, some people experience anxiety through nightmares, painful memories, panic attacks, or thoughts they can’t control. It is also possible to have a general fear and worry, or it may be a fear of a particular place, situation, or event. At this point, controlling anxiety becomes indispensable.
For all cases, the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- An increase in heart rate
- It is also common for the person to breathe rapidly
- A feeling of restlessness and trouble concentrating
- Many difficulties falling asleep
But as mentioned above, the symptoms of anxiety can be completely different from person to person. Hence the importance of knowing all the different ways in which anxiety can appear.
What is an anxiety attack?
Many people with this condition want to know how to get rid of anxiety. To do this, it is first necessary to determine what exactly an anxiety attack is. Basically this is a feeling of overwhelming apprehension. It can also be a feeling of worry, fear, or distress.
In many people, an anxiety attack develops gradually, and may get worse as a stressful event or situation approaches. It is also a fact thatpanic attacks can be very different, and their symptoms are usually not the same in everyone. The reason for this is that many of the symptoms of anxiety don’t happen to everyone, and may even change over time.
In this sense, the most recurrent symptoms in an anxiety attack are the following:
- Experiencing difficulty breathing
- Feeling very weak or dizzy
- Having dry mouth, hot flashes, and chills
- Suffering from anguish, worry and fear
- You may also feel tingling or numbness.
What causes anxiety? What are the causes?
Before determining the anxiety treatment, it is essential to know the causes or what is causing the anxiety. This becomes very important due to the fact that a single test cannot accurately diagnose anxiety disorder. In fact, multiple tests and physical exams are required, in addition to regular mental health evaluations. Most of the time, psychological questionnaires must also be completed.
The physical examination usually involves a blood or urine test. This is done to rule out medical conditions that could trigger anxiety symptoms. Doctors also often use different tests and scales to measure the intensity of anxiety and provide an accurate diagnosis.
How to combat anxiety?
People with this disorder wonder what to take for anxiety. Obviously many people want to eliminate anxiety forever, but as we have seen, both the symptoms and the causes can vary from person to person. Therefore, what works for some, may not have the same result for others.
Once the anxiety disorder has been properly determined, the person can explore different treatment options. In some cases, treatment with medication may not be necessary. Often, making lifestyle changes is enough to counteract the symptoms of anxiety.
When it is a moderate or severe type of anxiety, proper treatment can help overcome symptoms and improve daily life. For most people suffering from anxiety, the recommended treatment is based on psychotherapy and medication.
On the one hand, sessions with a psychologist or therapist can help the patient learn the different tools and strategies to implement to deal with anxiety whenever it arises.
As for medications to treat anxiety, the most common include antidepressants and sedatives. This type of medication is aimed at balancing brain chemistry. At the same time, its function is to prevent episodes of anxiety, as well as to prevent more severe symptoms from occurring.
Anxiety in children
Many would not believe thatchildren can experience anxiety disorders, but in fact it is natural and common. According to a Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), one in eight children experience some form of anxiety. However, as children get older, they develop skills to calm themselves and cope with those anxious feelings.
Despite this, anxiety in children can also become a chronic and persistent condition. When this happens it becomes an anxiety disorder that needs to be treated quickly. If left untreated, unmanaged anxiety can interfere with children’s daily activities, preventing them from interacting with friends and family.
The most common symptoms of anxiety in children include:
- Nervousness and irritability
- Feelings of fear and shame
- Insomnia and isolation
In addition to the above, physical symptoms such as sweating, fainting, difficulty breathing, may indicate an anxiety disorder. In these cases, treatment for anxiety in children involves cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to medication.
Anxiety can be cured, how to avoid anxiety: Natural Remedies
If you’re wondering what to do when you have anxiety, natural remedies are a good option. Beyond non-drug exercises for anxiety, lifestyle changes may be the most effective way to manage anxiety. Using anxiety-calming drops or sleep drops may also help.
In addition, most natural remedies for anxiety involve taking care of your body, engaging in healthy activities, and eliminating negative habits. For example:
- Make sure you get enough sleep
- Staying active and exercising regularly
- Practice yoga or meditation
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and smoking.
Anyone feeling anxious can try these natural remedies as a way to find calm. All of these activities and lifestyle changes can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, but should not replace medical treatment. If anxiety increases, therapy or medication approved by a specialist may be required.
How are anxiety and depression related?
People with an anxiety disorder often feel depressed as well. If you find yourself in this situation and do not know what to do when you have anxiety and depression, it is essential that you consult a doctor.
Although anxiety and depression can occur separately, it is not uncommon for a person to experience both mental disorders. In fact, anxiety can be a symptom of major depressive disorder, which is distinguished by a loss of interest in activities.
Not only that, an anxiety disorder can worsen symptoms of depression. The good news is that in both conditions, symptoms can be controlled with psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
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Does stress cause anxiety?
Both stress and anxiety are part of the same disorder. On the one hand, stress is the result of physical and emotional tension in the body or brain. It is a condition that may be brought on by an event or activity that causes nervousness or worry. Anxiety, on the other hand, is that same worry, fear or general discomfort.
However, anxiety can also be a reaction to the stress experienced. Despite this, anxiety can occur in people who have no obvious stressors. In both cases the symptoms are physical and mental, including for example:
- Headache and stomach pain
- Perspiration and rapid heartbeat
- Nervousness, dizziness and muscle tension
- Rapid breathing and panic
- Difficulty concentrating, anger or irrational irritability
- Sleep problems and restlessness
Despite the above, neither stress nor anxiety are always bad for daily life. They can even provide the incentive needed to reach a goal or overcome a challenge. Of course, if anxiety and stress become persistent, they will begin to interfere negatively with your daily life.
If this happens, it is essential to seek medical treatment. If left untreated, chronic health problems such as heart disease can develop.
How does alcohol affect anxiety?
Many people who don’t know how to manage anxiety properly often turn to alcohol. In fact, there are people who feel anxious and to calm their nerves decide to have a glass of wine or drink beer. Because alcohol acts as a sedative, it has the ability to affect the central nervous system and make you feel more relaxed.
In a social setting, this would seem to be the best way to overcome anxiety. However, it is not always the best solution to the problem. In fact, drinking alcohol when you have anxiety can lead to dependence and addiction. As a result, it may be necessary to treat the alcohol problem first, before eliminating the craving for good.
Also keep in mind that drinking alcohol in excess or for a long time can make the anxiety disorder worse. This is because alcohol affects the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can make anxiety much worse.
Can anxiety be treated with food?
As we have seen above, medication and psychotherapy are the most common treatments for anxiety. You can also resort to natural remedies such as lifestyle changes, getting enough sleep, or exercising regularly. However, according to research from Harvard Medical School, anxiety can be treated with food.
That is, the foods you eat can have a positive impact on your brain if you experience recurring episodes of anxiety. Foods that are recommended to treat anxiety include:
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
In the case of salmon for example, it contains nutrients that are healthy for the brain. These include vitamin D, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. The latter can help regulate dopamine and serotonin, which have calming and relaxing properties.
Chamomile has also been shown to help reduce anxiety. In this case it is an herb that contains high concentrations of antioxidants that reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of anxiety.
In the end it is important to keep in mind that anxiety can be combated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. Many people who experience mild anxiety, or fear of something they can’t easily avoid, choose not to seek help to overcome their anxiety.
So it is very important to be aware that anxiety disorders can be treated, even if it is a very serious condition. While it’s true that you can’t get rid of anxiety forever, it is a fact that you can learn to manage it and lead a normal, healthy life.
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