Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state. It is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern.The root meaning of the word anxiety is ‘to vex or trouble’; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread.It is also associated with feelings of restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, and muscle tension. However, anxiety should not be confused with fear, which is more of a dreaded feeling about something which appears intimidating and can overcome an individual.Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressor. It may help an individual to deal with a demanding situation by prompting them to cope with it. However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.
Which is what I have, hence my writing about it.
Anxiety takes several forms: phobia, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and post-traumatic stress.
The physical effects of anxiety may include:
- heart palpitations
- muscle weakness and tension
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- stomach aches
- tension headaches.
As the body prepares to deal with a threat, blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, blood flow to the major muscle groups are increased, while immune and digestive functions are inhibited (the fight or flight response). External signs of anxiety may include:
- pupillary dilation.
For someone who suffers anxiety this can lead to a panic attack Although panic attacks are not experienced by every person who suffers from anxiety, they are a common symptom. Panic attacks usually come without warning and although the fear is generally irrational, the subjective perception of danger is very real. A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or lose consciousness. Between panic attacks, people with panic disorder tend to suffer from anticipated anxiety- a fear of having a panic attack may lead to the development of phobias.
The emotional effects of anxiety may include “feelings of apprehension or dread, trouble concentrating, feeling tense or jumpy, anticipating the worst, irritability, restlessness, watching (and waiting) for signs (and occurrences) of danger, and, feeling like your mind’s gone blankas well as “nightmares/bad dreams, obsessions about sensations, deja vu, a trapped in your mind feeling, and feeling like everything is scary.
The cognitive effects of anxiety may include thoughts about suspected dangers, such as fear of dying. “You may… fear that the chest pains are a deadly heart attack or that the shooting pains in your head are the result of a tumor or aneurysm. You feel an intense fear when you think of dying, or you may think of it more often than normal, or can’t get it out of your mind.he behavioral effects of anxiety may include withdrawal from situations which have provoked anxiety in the past. Anxiety can also be experienced in ways which include changes in sleeping patterns, nervous habits, and increased motor tension like foot tapping.The symptoms of anxiety include excessive and ongoing worry and tension, an unrealistic view of problems, restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”, irritability, muscle tension, headaches,sweating, difficulty concentrating, nausea, the need to go to the bathroom frequently, tiredness, trouble falling or staying asleep, trembling, and being easily startled.
So what causes anxiety, the most common mental illness?
An evolutionary psychology explanation is that increased anxiety serves the purpose of increased vigilance regarding potential threats in the environment as well as increased tendency to take proactive actions regarding such possible threats. This may cause false positive reactions but an individual suffering from anxiety may also avoid real threats. This may explain why anxious people are less likely to die due to accidents. That’s a plus.
Research upon adolescents who as infants had been highly apprehensive, vigilant, and fearful finds that their nucleus accumbens is more sensitive than that in other people when deciding to make an action that determined whether they received a reward.This suggests a link between circuits responsible for fear and also reward in anxious people. As researchers note, “a sense of ‘responsibility,’ or self agency, in a context of uncertainty (probabilistic outcomes) drives the neural system underlying appetitive motivation (i.e., nucleus accumbens) more strongly in temperamentally inhibited than noninhibited adolescentsAnxiety is also linked and perpetuated by the person’s own pessimistic outcome expectancy and how they cope with feedback negatively.
Neural circuitry involving the amygdala and hippocampus is thought to underlie anxiety.hen people are confronted with unpleasant and potentially harmful stimuli such as foul odors or tastes, PET-scans show increased bloodflow in the amygdala.In these studies, the participants also reported moderate anxiety. This might indicate that anxiety is a protective mechanism designed to prevent the organism from engaging in potentially harmful behaviors.
Although single genes have little effect on complex traits and interact heavily both between themselves and with the external factors, research is underway to unravel possible molecular mechanisms underlying anxiety and comorbid conditions. One candidate gene with polymorphisms that influence anxiety is PLXNA2 (an encoder semaphorin co-receptors).
Caffeine may cause or exacerbate anxiety disorders.A number of clinical studies have shown a positive association between caffeine and anxiogenic effects and/or panic disorder.Anxiety sufferers can have high caffeine sensitivity.
There are lots of different types of anxiety all with their own symptoms.
But how is it treated? Well the most favoured is CBT, hypnotherapy, herbal treatments, caffiene elimination and of course pills. There are less favoured treatments Other treatments that are used in treating anxiety include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and psychosurgery. Psychosurgery is used in very extreme cases, when other treatment techniques do not work. But the one professionals tend to like is caffiene elimation accompanied by pills and CBT. How long these last depends on the type, the cause.