Anxiety is an all encompassing, possibly life consuming, level of worry, rumination, and focus on any number of everyday scenarios or events.
It can manifest both psychologically and physiologically (rapid heart rate, fatigue, sweating, etc.) and can get to the point where it causes those afflicted to alter their life to help abate what they are feeling.
What Is It?
Anxiety can manifest in many different ways.
Anxiety can be triggered by a crisis or an acute stressor such as employment loss, a family malady, or the death of a relative.
Even when this crisis has resolved it is possible to continue to experience feelings of anxiety after the fact.
The disorder can also be defined by persistent worry for extended periods of time.
This can lead to others intentions or events being viewed negatively, or experiencing tasks as daunting or vital.
Physical symptoms can lead some to seek treatment from a medical care doctor, as the panic attacks and other acute instances can feel physical rather than psychological or emotional.
Some individuals with this anxiety have a genetic (inherited) tendency to develop it.
These feelings likely stem from brain structures communicating with each other while trying to manage the response to external events and internal feelings.
Life experiences, important relationships, and a myriad of other environmental stressors can influence both short term and long term anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting about 18% of the entire population every year.
The most common demographic to seek help is between the ages of twenty and thirty.
However, the malady can occur at any age.
Anxiety disorders have been diagnosed in children, adolescents, and seniors.
Anxiety is the most common psychological disorder affecting individuals ages sixty-five and older.
Anxiety has been found to have the highest level of comorbidity.
Between 50 and 90% of individuals with the disorder could be dual diagnosed.
Some of the disorders that can be seen along with anxiety are phobias, depression, alcoholism or other substance abuses, as well as various other personality disorders.
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What are the symptoms of Anxiety disorders?
Symptoms of Anxiety disorders can sometimes feel out of proportion to the first trigger or stressor.
If physical symptoms are present such as intense sweating or elevated heart rate this is a sign that the individual is having trouble linking the stressor to a stimulus-appropriate anxiety reaction.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is categorized as a chronic and potentially progressive, excessive worry over life events.
These anxiety surrounding these events can feel out of proportion to the difficulty that one would simply encounter in day to day life.
With GAD, feelings can accumulate over time, not in one individual attack, and last for months or even years.
Worry can be excessive to the point that it interferes with every aspect of one’s life.
GAD can additionally be found concurrently with depression and other disorders.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety is an element of our survival response and is how our body responds to possibly harmful or worrying triggers.
Strong emotions or concern cause a surge of adrenalin from our adrenal glands.
This increases heartbeat, our sensitivity to our surroundings, and prepares the body for physical confrontation or to escape (fight or flight).
Common anxieties now largely revolve around relationships, health, money, or work. Individuals often site the source of their anxiety being:
- Relationship issues
- Jobs involving long hours, high workloads, very little support, or danger
- Members of family with illness or disabilities
- Medical conditions that lead to life changes, pain, or restricted movement
- Past traumatic events
- Attempting to fight alcohol, opioid, or other substance abuses
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
- Excessive and uncontrollable worry
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive perspiration and sweating
- Trembling, quivering
- Avoidance of circumstances that may trigger severe anxiety
- Sleep difficulties
Consult a doctor if you think your physical symptoms require treatment from a trained medical professional.
Your primary care provider is trained to do tests to examine if any pain or symptoms are the result of physical injury.
Primary care doctors are also trained and able to discuss mental health as well.
Feel free to discuss with your doctor your medical history, history of any mental distress, current anxiety or worry, recent stressors, and daily use of prescription and nonprescription medicine.
Some medicine can potentially cause anxiety symptoms. Your doctor is a great resource for referrals.
If you decide to seek help from a mental health professional as well, your Primary Care Provider is a good place to start.
A mental health professional would be able to help by asking questions surrounding:
- Your worries, anxieties and anxiety-related symptoms.
- How long your symptoms have persisted
- Your ability to function at work and socially
- Other feelings, thoughts, or instance you deem worth exploring
Stress is a normal part of life.
There are sometimes no ways around stressful situations and so having some tools to help cope when feeling anxiety can be useful.
One tool that is used to treat anxiety is medication.
This kind of treatment can be provided if deemed necessary by a licensed clinical physiatrist.
Treatment of anxiety through Medicine:
As stated above, most people feel anxious at some point in their lives.
If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder you may have difficulty managing anxiety.
Treatment usually consists of psychotherapy and medication.
While the medicine is not used to cure anxiety, they’ll assist in managing your symptoms, letting you operate in your day to day life. For example, Gabapentine is used to treat seizures or panic attacks in an anxiety disorder. Clonidine is a drug used to treat anxiety by lowering ones blood pressure.
A treatment or dosage that works for one person is not guaranteed to work for someone else.
By seeking medical help you and your doctor may attempt various medications to seek out the correct one for you.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives that may facilitate relaxation in your muscles and calm your mind.
They work by increasing the impact of a specific neurotransmitter. This when dosed correctly can have a calming or relaxing effect.
Benzodiazepines are used to treat a variety of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety. Samples of this medicine include:
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- lorazepam (Ativan) Despite both being Benzodiazepines, people still seek to know which medicine is more effective, Diazepam or Ativan.
Benzodiazepines can be used for the short-run treatment of hysteria.
This is because they can increase in drowsiness and cause issues with balance and memory.
Benzodiazepines have been found to be addicting if abused incorrectly.
It is vital to solely use this medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
In addition to drowsiness and memory issues, taking benzodiazepines may cause confusion, vision issues, headaches, and feelings of depression.
If prescribed benzodiazepines, it is not recommended to cycle off the medication without consulting a doctor, as this can potentially cause a seizure in some individuals.
Refer to your doctor regarding slowly scaling back to reduce the risk of seizure.
The severity of side effects also depend on how long does a drug, such as Diazepam stays in your body.
Buspirone is employed to treat both short term and chronic (long-lasting) anxiety disorders.
This drug has an effect on chemicals within the brain that regulate mood.
It can be used to treat common symptoms associated with anxiety such as fear, tension, irritability, dizziness, pounding heartbeat.
Buspirone can take many weeks to become effective.
Side effects can potentially include dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
Some individuals conjointly report strange dreams or problems sleeping after they take the anti-anxiety drug.
Antidepressant medications work by interacting with certain neurotransmitters in the brain and helping to balance them.
This medicine is often not used to treat symptoms of anxiety such as sweating or restlessness.
However, it can help with anxiety symptoms after the chemical changes in the brain have taken effect.
Types of antidepressants include:
Selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by increasing levels of serotonin, a neuro-chemical that affects mood, concupiscence, appetite, sleep, and memory.
SSRI dosage is something that is different depending on the person and is something that is worked out with a doctor over time.
Examples of SSRIs used to treat anxiety include:
- escitalopram (Lexapro)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
SSRIs can cause a number of side effects; however, generally most people tolerate them well with little to no issues. Side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle fatigue
- Changes in libido
If you are prescribed SSRIs and experience side effects, contact your doctor.
Beta-blockers are frequently used to treat heart conditions.
They’re conjointly used off-label to assist in the relief of physical symptoms of anxiety such as rapid heart rate or sweating.
They are only used to treat symptoms of anxiety and do not help with the underlying psychological aspects of anxiety.
Doctors sometimes order beta-blockers, such as propranolol (Inderal), to scale back anxiety symptoms in nerve-wracking acute situations, like giving a speech or other short term, high pressure events.
Beta-blockers can cause side effects in some instances.
Some potential aspect effects will include:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
Home remedies for anxiety
There are at-home interventions that may facilitate relief of anxiety symptoms.
Many interventions can and should be practiced additionally to taking medications.
Examples of these interventions include:
- Meditation or Therapeutic practices such as Reiki
- Avoiding caffeine
- Aromatherapy with essential oils
Examples of essential oils used to produce anxiety relief include:
- Bitter orange
Other than medicines, you can also treat your anxiety by following the different ways mentioned in the anxiety no more blog.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general
What causes anxiety?
As anxiety is being studied more it has been discovered that there is a hereditary component.
This means that it is possible that it can be inherited from family and certainly contains a biological component.
However, even if one is not genetically predisposed they can still suffer from anxiety, both acutely and long term.
Are treatments effective?
Treatment for everyone is different and varies depending on numerous factors.
Severity of condition, age, acute versus chronic, and a variety of other internal and external influences can all play a role in what kind of treatment a person receives.
However, it is very common for someone taking anxiety medication to also do some type of talk psychotherapy.
This entails regularly meeting with a clinical social worker or psychologist.
What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is characterized by surprising and recurrent episodes of intense concern in the course of physical symptoms which can embody pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, giddiness, or abdominal distress.
It’s characterized by sudden attacks of terror, sometimes in the course of a pounding heart, sweatiness, or weakness.
Throughout these attacks, individuals with an anxiety disorder could feel flush or chilled; their hands could tingle or feel numb; and they could experience nausea, pain or suffocating sensations.
Panic attacks sometimes manifest a feeling of unreality, a concern of impending doom, or a concern of loss of control.
Panic attacks can occur at any time, even throughout sleep.
What’s social phobia?
Social anxiety disorder, or Social phobia, is an associated mental disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social type.
Social phobia can be restricted to just one sort of scenario, like a concern of speaking in formal or informal settings, or eating or drinking in front of others.
In its most severe form it can also manifest more broadly with an individual experiencing symptoms nearly anytime they’re around people.
Interested to learn more? Check out these books on anxiety:
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life
Panic attacks can leave you feeling powerless and out of control.
In her book “From Panic to Power,” author Lucinda Bassett shares how she personally used techniques to fight back against anxiety and reclaim power over her life.
She offers skills and methods to help you respond to anxious thoughts and negative self-talk.
Author Barry McDonagh asks readers to “Dare” anxiety to do its worst.
The book focuses on facing anxious thoughts and challenging them instead of feeding into them or trying to ignore them.
McDonagh’s technique is based on scientific evidence and his 10 years of helping people with anxiety.
The book also comes with a free app and audiobook to use for relaxation and anxiety relief.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.