Anxiety definition: Anxiety can come in many forms. Sometimes anxiety is accompanied by an episode of intense panic, dread, or fear in which an individual may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, and/or stomach discomfort.
Anxiety, what exactly is?
Definition of anxiety Anxiety
is a sense of apprehension, dread and/or uneasiness. Stress
is a state of tension related to your body attempting to cope with its environment, it’s the body’s way of preparing to meet a tough situation.
Fact sheet on anxiety and stress
We tend to perceive anxiety and stress as negative, but in fact both are normal and can be adaptive. The stress response involves the nervous system and specific hormones in the body, and it enhances the ability to perform under pressure as well as avoid danger. It is when stress is excessive or ongoing and interfering with functioning that anxiety and stress become a problem. This can lead to wearing out the body’s reserves and leaving a person feeling depleted or overwhelmed, weakening the immune system and making it harder to cope with daily demands.
Treatments for anxiety and stress
There are effective treatments available for anxiety and stress management. The first step is to learn to recognize when you are stressed, the next is to find a way to deal with stress.
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Symptoms of anxiety
Common symptoms of anxiety and stress:
Trouble catching your breath- butterflies in your stomach- sweaty and/or trembling hands- feeling lightheaded- feeling nervous or jumpy- feeling overwhelmed- feeling tired all the time- having trouble concentrating- irritability and moodiness- headaches- problems sleeping- feeling sad or depressed
What are the causes of anxiety?
- Problems related to anxiety and stress are among the most common reasons for people to see health professionals.
- Any sort of change- good or bad, can make you feel stressed out.
- You are more likely to experience difficulties with anxiety if someone in your family has an anxiety disorder.
- Chronic stress lasting a month or more can put you more at risk of medical problems such as frequent headaches, viral illnesses and ulcers.
- Avoiding situations that cause anxiety can make the anxiety worse.
- Test taking anxiety is very common among students and there are strategies to help.
- Physical exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet and a good sleep routine help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Anxiety can put you more at risk of developing depression.
Types of anxiety
Over 100 symptoms of anxiety
There are over 100 symptoms of anxiety. Each person has a unique chemical make up so the type, number, intensity, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person may have just one mild anxiety symptom, whereas another may have all anxiety symptoms and to greater severity.
Treatments for anxiety
Many people can achieve some form of anxiety and symptom reduction on their own although the results may be temporary. There are two main forms of treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
This is often prescribed before medication. The main form is psychological treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Evidence suggests that about 50% of people who have CBT recover and many others obtain some benefit. CBT mainly focuses on the problems that you are experiencing in the present, rather than events from the past. It teaches you new skills and helps you to understand how to react more positively to situations that would usually cause you anxiety. Psychologists recommend that you should have a total of 16 to 20 hours
of CBT over a period of four months. Your treatment will usually involve a weekly one- to two-hour session.
Medication for anxiety Usually antidepressants.
Antidepressants are one option but decisions about their use need to be based on a shared problem assessment and a care plan that accounts for your preferences. Depending on the circumstances, one of these treatments or a combination of both may be beneficial. No single treatment is best for everyone although there is evidence that psychological treatments last the longest.
Your doctor should discuss all your treatment choices with you before you begin any form of treatment. You should be given the advantages and disadvantages of all and at the same time, discuss any possible risks or side effects. You can then make a decision with your doctor about which treatment is most suitable for you, taking into account your circumstances and preferences. For example, some people may prefer psychological treatment such as counseling, in preference to treatment with antidepressants.
Exercise for anxiety
It is well worth remembering that physical activity helps to relieve anxiety.
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