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An Understanding of Anxiety

By Naisha Gandhi

Highlights

  • Anxiety can be partly genetic.

  • Anyone can have anxiety, it is not exclusive to any age groups.

  • Anxiety disorders can increase risk of health complications.


Introduction


What is Anxiety? Anxiety is a commonly known disorder connected with your mental health and has several different causes and symptoms. The emotion of anxiety is one of fear, dread, and unease. Anxiety affects almost 30% of adults at some point in their life. Factors such as social media, poor sleep habits, lowered stigma and poor diet have caused an increase in anxiety.


Causes


Anxiety can be caused by many things such as a clutter of thoughts swirling around in your brain which is commonly known as overthinking. This can also be caused by stress at work, school or home. Since anxiety is genetic, other blood relatives who might have anxiety can also be why you may have anxiety too. Trauma in the past, drugs or alcohol, stress from anything and other mental health disorders are also causes of anxiety. Another common trigger for many people with anxiety is difficult experiences in childhood, adolescence or adulthood. People may have had past difficult experiences which then causes them to be more prone to anxiety.


Symptoms


Physical and mental symptoms can commonly be viewed in the early stages of anxiety. Some symptoms tend to come and go. However, other symptoms might last for a few months or even a few years and may take longer to go away. Here are some symptoms of anxiety:

  • Getting tired easily

  • Feelings of restlessness

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • Getting irritated easily

  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains

  • Difficulty controlling your emotions

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

  • Having sleep problems

  • Feeling tense or nervous.

These are all symptoms of anxiety disorders and can be treated with time. As previously mentioned, some symptoms are short and won’t last long but others may take longer to go away depending on your stage of anxiety.


Treatments


The treatments of anxiety will depend on person to person and will also depend on how bad your anxiety may be. If your anxiety is not too severe, then it can go away with the help of time and with the support of family members. However, if your anxiety is extremely severe and is constantly causing you to be distressed, you may require the following treatment(s).


Psychotherapy - Psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy or psychological counseling, entails working with a therapist to lessen your symptoms of anxiety. It might work well as an anxiety therapy. For treating anxiety disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective type of psychotherapy. CBT, which is typically a short-term therapy, focuses on teaching you specific techniques to reduce your symptoms and eventually resume the things you've put off due to worry.


Medication - different types of medication may be used to help relieve your symptoms, depending on your specific anxiety disorder and whether you have other mental health issues. Certain anti-depressants are used to treat anxiety disorders. You may also be prescribed an anti-anxiety medication called buspirone.



References

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