Anxiety can be defined as a normal reaction experienced by human beings and involves the physical being and the brain as well. Anxiety serves as an alert system that is triggered when and individual recognizes peril or risk. It is an imperative fundamental survival function. An individual feels sensations of anxiety when the brain and the body respond to a threat or peril.
Anxiety is characterized by quicker heartbeats and panting, unsettled stomach, tense muscles, shivering legs and hands and sweaty palms. This response is an element of the body that is meant to fight flight. This is the effect of adrenaline rush plus other body chemicals that get the body ready to make a fast escape from danger. These chemicals can either be placid or intense.
The response to danger known as fight-flight response takes place instantly when the body detects threats. The thinking element of the brain, also known as the cortex, takes some seconds to process the circumstance and assess whether it is a real threat and how to take care of it. If there is no threat after the assessment, the cortex sends a signal indicating that all is clear and the fight-flight response is neutralized causing the nervous system to relax. However, is the assessment indicates that there is a threat; anxiety may persist, keeping the individual alert and ready to act.
Worrying when situations become complicated or hectic is totally normal for all human beings. However, if the worrying happens to be overwhelming, an individual may feel that this has control over their lives. If an individual spends excessive time feeling anxious and worried or having trouble getting sleep because of anxiety, it is important to pay attention as this may be a symptom of anxiety disorders.
All human beings encounter feelings of anxiety once in a while. Anxiety is a sense of tenseness, nervousness, worry, trepidation or fear of what might happen in future. It is a sense of projected hazard, difficulty or risk. Mild anxiety is characterized by emotions of nervousness and tenseness while extreme anxiety is characterized by feelings of fright, trepidation and dread. Stress, shyness, worrying and stage fright are all forms of anxiety. Situations that are new or challenging can prompt anxiety.
Since anxiety increases alertness in people, it makes them focused and prepared to contour potential challenges. A small amount of anxiety is good as it helps individuals give their best in performance based circumstances. However, too much anxiety can interfere with an individual’s performance. It can cause individuals to feel beleaguered, embarrassed and incapacity to achieve their objectives.
Anxiety disorders can be described as mental health problems that are associated with extreme amounts of anxiety, dread, nervousness or fear. Constant intense anxiety makes an individual feel inattentive, unfocused, edgy and alert throughout. Anxiety disorders are very widespread mental health problems that affect people in all age groups. Anxiety disorder symptoms can have a sudden onset or build progressively and stay until an individual starts to recognize that they have a problem. Mostly, individuals with anxiety disorders are not able to identify particularly the cause of their worries, emotions and sensations and they tend to get into constant foreboding. Anxiety disorders were discovered in the year nineteen eighty in America by the American Psychiatric Association. Before this the diagnosis for these disorders was either stress or nerves.
There are dissimilar kinds of anxiety disorders which are mainly named according to their particular symptoms. The most common anxiety disorder is known as the generalized anxiety. This condition is characterized by an individual worrying excessively over many things. Individuals with this type of anxiety are very concerned about things like health, future, school and the well being of their family members. They at all times imagine of the most horrible thing that could happen.
Generalized anxiety causes people to experience symptoms such as tiredness, Stomachaches, headaches, chest pains and nausea and vomiting. This condition also causes people to withdraw from social activities and sometimes miss important things such as attending school. This condition also makes the person feel like they have a burden and overwhelmed or not in control.
Another anxiety disorder is the obsessive compulsive disorder that is characterized by anxiety being expressed in form of obsessions which are negative thoughts and compulsions which are deeds that attempt to alleviate anxiety. Phobias are also another type of anxiety disorder. They are powerful fears of particular circumstances that are not necessarily hazardous, things such as tunnels, heights, flying, sailing and dogs. This condition causes refrain from the things they fear.
Social phobia is also another anxiety disorder that is characterized by intense anxiety which is activated by social circumstances or public speaking. A severe type of social phobia known as selective mutism affects the ability to talk in public in some children and teenagers. These children or teenagers tend to mute when faced by the challenge of talking in front of many people.
The other form of anxiety disorder is panic attacks which are episodes of anxiety for no particular reason. There is an unexpected inception of symptoms of anxiety such as numbness, panting, rapid heart beats, dizziness and tingling which is caused by the fight-flight response in the body. Severe form of panic attacks is also known as agoraphobia and causes individuals to refrain from places where the panic attacks could take place.
The last form of anxiety disorder is the post traumatic stress disorder. This is caused by previous experience of situations that cause trauma to an individual. The symptoms of this type of anxiety disorder include nightmare, regular fear and flash backs. This is condition causes extreme anxiety when there is a sign of recurrence of the traumatic event. Individuals tend to imagine that the traumatic event could happen to them again causing them to be anxious even when there is not real danger. Individuals experiencing anxiety disorders may feel strange and confused in the beginning. The bodily sensations can be extreme and disturbing for some individuals. Other individuals may experience feelings of doom and trepidation for no particular reason. This makes them feel scared and defenseless. Little things can overwhelm an individual due to constant anxiety. These worries also affect an individual’s ability to concentrate, eat properly, sleep and feel confident.
Individuals with the mentioned anxiety disorders may refrain from discussing their worries with the fear that other people will not understand them. They are usually scared of being judged or being thought of as weak. Persons who have these disorders always feel misinterpreted and lonely. They tend to blame themselves for their problems and feel ashamed most of the times. Anxiety can prevent people from achieving a lot of their set goals and enjoying life.
Professionals don’t understand the exact cause of anxiety disorders. They claim that there are several factors that contribute to the development of these disorders. These factors include: biochemistry of the brain, stressful situations in life, acquired behavior and genetics. People living around family members with anxiety disorder are at greater risk of developing this condition. This could be associated with the genetic make up of individuals that affect the chemistry of the brain and the regulation of neurotransmitters. However, not all people living with a family member with anxiety disorder will develop these problems.
Life experiences can also be a source of anxiety disorders as well as scaring traumatic events. Parents with anxiety disorders can also pass it on to their children as they will learn that the world is a very unsafe place. Individuals who grow up in extremely dangerous neighborhoods may also lead to development of fear in an individual. Even though all people experience anxiety at some point of their lives, not everyone develops anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are conditions that can be treated. Mostly mental health therapist or professionals are responsible for treating these disorders. A professional examines the extremity of the disorders and comes up with a management plan for the patient. There is a specific form of talk therapy known as cognitive-behavior therapy that is usually utilized by mental health professionals. This therapy enables individuals to acquire fresh thinking and action techniques for dealing with anxiety causing situations. It also helps an individual learn how to deal with and manage stress. At times, medication is utilized as an element of anxiety treatment.
Acquiring treatment for anxiety disorders is important as it helps individuals regain themselves. It also helps individuals relax and accomplish what they were unable to accomplish in the past leading to a better quality life. To achieve this, the individual has to seek treatment from professional mental health specialists. It is also imperative to converse with people around you on issues that bother you as talking helps release some tension.
In conclusion, anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction in humans that involves the body and the brain. It serves as an alert system that is activated when a person senses danger or risk. It is very essential for survival. However, if the amount of anxiety becomes too much, it can lead to anxiety disorders. Regular extreme anxiety affects the individual’s ability to stay attentive and focused.
Anxiety disorders can prevent an individual from concentrating on what they are supposed to do hence leading poor performance. There are different forms of anxiety disorders that include: generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobia, social phobia, post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks. These disorders leave the individual feeling burdened and overwhelmed.
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Nutt, David J. and James C. Ballenger. Anxiety Disorders. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.