Anxiety is a problem that affects a large number of people. An individual wondering what is anxiety needs to get complete information on how this condition affects people. Anxiety is marked by persistent feelings of fear, uneasiness and continuous worrying. Many people tend to experience anxiety in small proportions and it can help people to remain motivated and focused on their tasks. But excessive anxiety can be problematic and affect the normal functioning of individuals.
1. Understanding Anxiety
- An individual wondering what is anxiety needs to understand that in cases of anxiety people often continuously worry even when there is no reason for worry. Such individuals continuously think of worst case scenarios. Those suffering from anxiety tend to experience certain physical symptoms and these include sweating, dizziness, trembling, headaches, upset stomach, and palpitations.
- While earning about what is anxiety it is important that in some cases the anxiety may be caused by certain triggering factors like a traumatic event, bereavement or relationship problems. While in other cases there may be no particular cause for the anxiety. The anxiety can be so debilitating in some cases that it can adversely affect the personal as well as professional life of individuals.
- While understand what is anxiety it is important to learn that the anxiety may be caused due to changes in neurotransmitter levels in the brain. In other cases, family history may contribute to certain individuals developing this condition. In some cases, addiction to certain substances can also result in anxiety.
- While understanding anxiety it is important to learn that the diagnosis of this condition can be done by evaluating the symptoms associated with it. Initially, the doctor will ensure that no physical condition is responsible for causing these symptoms. Once that is ruled out a mental health professional evaluates the symptoms. The patient is asked questions about the anxiety, its severity, and duration. Once a diagnosis is made based on the severity the mental health professional may advise medication along with therapy for dealing with the problem.
- While learning about what is anxiety it is important to get information about the different kinds of anxiety disorders. These disorders primarily include generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and panic disorder. For a person to be diagnosed as suffering from anxiety it is important that the feelings of anxiety are experienced for at least six months.
2. Causes of Anxiety
There is no single aspect or situation that can be directly linked to causes of anxiety. Research indicates that both environmental as well as physical factors act as triggers and can result in the development of anxiety disorders. Research indicates that anxiety may develop from fearful experiences that may occur in the past and these may give rise to unconscious conflicts. Such experiences may cause individuals to experience anxiety attacks in similar situations or situations where they feel threatened.
i. Childhood Events
In particular, some psychologists tend to believe that the occurrence of traumatic or difficult events in childhood may result in anxiety in some cases. This is because the child may not be able to react suitably at that time and may find it difficult to express the fear, pain or anger in a healthy way. This may then be expressed through anxiety disorders later in life.
ii. Biochemical Imbalances in Brain
Some other scientists indicate that causes of anxiety include biochemical imbalances in the brain. These can be treated through natural food supplements or medication. Some other research also indicates that anxiety tends to be a learned behavior and it can be handled through lifestyle changes along with therapy.
Research is also directed towards determining if genetics is one of the causes of anxiety. Some scientists are attempting to figure out if certain people are born with some gene that results in anxiety disorders. In fact, clear scientific evidence indicates that anxiety may be running in the family. Stress is also one of the contributing factors to anxiety disorders. A child growing up in a stressful environment is more likely to suffer from anxiety.
iv. Stress and Violence
Long term abuse, poverty, stress, and violence are also some of the causes of anxiety. So individuals experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may suffer from anxiety when they encounter situations where they feel fearful and helpless or situations where the stress levels are high. Personality may also play a role in determining whether a person develops an anxiety disorder.
v. Altered Neurotransmitter Levels
Altered neurotransmitter levels could also be one of the causes of anxiety. Those individuals who suffer from depression and anxiety tend to display altered neurotransmitter levels. Reduced serotonin within the brain can result in sending of faulty messages in the nerve cells and this can cause depression as well as anxiety. Other psychiatric problems may also be one of the causes of anxiety. Alcoholism, schizophrenia, and depression can, therefore, result in anxiety. Use of certain drugs like LSD, cannabis, ecstasy, and amphetamines may result in anxiety. In some cases, intake of caffeine can also make individuals feel anxious.
For the treatment of anxiety disorders, it is important to identify the causes of anxiety. Such detection of causes can allow mental health professionals to determine the treatment plan. Depending on the symptoms, their duration, when they occur and their severity the form of treatment may be determined. In cases where the causes are related to the occurrence of some traumatic event therapy along with medication can help individuals heal. Using specific coping mechanisms can allow such individuals to deal with anxiety.
i. Self/Professional Help Strategies
Social anxiety disorder treatment for some individuals may include simple self-help strategies while in other cases professional help may be needed like joining any NLP Sheffield program. As a part of the treatment plan, certain lifestyle changes may be required to be implemented. Avoiding caffeine can help in reducing anxiety symptoms since caffeine acts as a stimulant.
ii. Changes in Lifestyle
Other lifestyle changes that are a part of social anxiety treatment include drinking in moderation as alcohol increases the possibility of an anxiety attack. Smoking can also cause anxiety as can sleep deprivation. Medication may be prescribed in some cases of social anxiety disorder to treat some of the cases but it cannot resolve the underlying causes but can provide relief from the symptoms.
The medications that may be prescribed as a part of social anxiety treatment include beta blockers, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines. Beta blockers are primarily used to provide relief from performance anxiety by blocking the adrenaline flow that may occur during anxiety. These beta blockers can adequately control the physical symptoms of anxiety that include shaking hands, sweating and rapid heartbeat.
Antidepressants that are prescribed as a part of social anxiety treatment include Effexor, Zoloft and Paxil and these are particularly used for social phobia. Benzodiazepines are rather fast acting medicines for anxiety. They are usually prescribed when the other medicines do not work that well. Treatment for this condition also includes cognitive behavioral therapy wherein the physical symptoms of this condition can be controlled through relaxation techniques as well as breathing exercises.
v. Challenging Unhelpful Thoughts
Social anxiety treatment also includes challenging unhelpful thoughts that act as triggers of social anxiety and replacing these thoughts with balanced thoughts. The treatment may also involve facing situations in a gradual or systematic way instead of avoiding them. Role-playing may also be implemented as a part of the treatment for this condition.