Frequent Characteristics of Anxiety
Medically, anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension, fear or uneasiness about some impending or expected event. It’s a specific emotional reaction, which may be accompanied by a variety of physical symptoms, such as difficulty in swallowing, diarrhea, muscle strain or irregular heartbeats.
Anxiety is one of the most common of all emotions. In certain situations such as one involving physical danger, anxiety is an appropriate reaction. In others, either the amount of anxiety or the apprehensive reaction itself isn’t warranted by the situation.
Appropriate and Inappropriate Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural reaction to something that threatens health or well being. Throughout life, the majority of us are exposed to a lot of stressful situations that provoke anxiety. However, if the degree of anxiety is inappropriate to its origin, is exaggerated beyond reason or is caused by improbable events, the answer is generally considered abnormal and may require treatment.
Appropriate stress is chiefly characterized by stress.
If, however, the dread of job loss is not realistic, then the anxiety breeds more anxiety. This type of anxiousness without any recognizable cause very often impairs the individual’s ability to function.
The origins of these internal psychological problems are still not entirely understood. On occasion, they may be traced to childhood experiences. This is often true of phobias, like a fear of dogs that can be traced to a childhood dog snack. Another typical example of a phobia is agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), in which anxiety is aroused when a person attempts to leave the comfortable setting of the home. Outside the home–in crowded stores, subways or theaters–stress is heightened; the person usually hovers near a door in order to get away if needed.
Since the debilitating anxiety is diminished when fear-producing situations are avoided, withdrawal to familiar surroundings is reinforced and, in severe cases, the person may become completely housebound. Certain organic illnesses, such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) also may produce feelings of stress. In about half of all cases of clinical stress, however, there’s absolutely no discernible cause.
In some, however, anxious feelings and ideas are almost constantly present in what is known as an anxiety state. This chronic condition occasionally peaks in a “panic attack,” which can occur without any obvious reason at any time. The physical symptoms of fear increase to such a frightening extent that the victim may, in reality, think that he or she’s suffering a heart attack. Hyperventilation, or over-breathing, is common throughout panic attacks and may lead to light-headedness and even to fainting.
Common signs of clinical anxiety include:
Recurrent, unpredictable panic attacks are characterized by the following:
When an individual is anxious, certain body processes accelerate. These are the normal “fight or flight” reactions that help us cope with emergencies. The physical symptoms include breathing irregularities, particularly hyperventilation; muscle strain; perspiration, and an increased pulse rate.
Treatment of Anxiety
There are a number of approaches to take into account in treating anxiety. On occasion, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, or taking a warm bath or exercising may help in overcoming mild anxiety. If hyperventilation is a issue, breathing into a paper bag will help conquer the over-breathing and feelings of light-headedness.
Medication might also be recommended to help the individual cope more effectively with stress, particularly the unwarranted anxiety that has no apparent cause. These drugs, like any medication, should be taken only depending on your doctor’s instructions. They shouldn’t be taken in conjunction with alcohol, and your doctor should know about any other medicine you may be taking.
By way of instance, an agoraphobic undergoing desensitization would be assisted, in a series of graduated steps, to encounter the crowds and public spaces that cause anxiety. Numerous other treatments, including psychotherapy, are used in treating stress. Your doctor is the best judge of which ones are most suitable for your type of anxiety.
Most anxiety is normal and most emotional conflicts can be discussed with family or friends with great results. However, if these usual way of handling problems do not prove satisfactory, and if anxiety produces undue distress, professional help is a good idea. Numerous effective treatments, which may include the use of tranquilizing drugs, can help those who suffer stress to live more comfortable and productive lives. Remember, nobody is immune from nervousness.
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