What anxiety can do to your body?
Anxiety may affect people differently. It has a varied effect on the mind and the body because of the release of certain hormones and other chemicals in the body.
It increases a person’s chances of suffering from other medical conditions, such as heart diseases, raised blood pressure, high cholesterol obesity, depression and diabetes. Anxiety may also cause sleep disturbances and poor work performance.
Anxiety may cause the following symptoms:
- Fear or uneasiness
- Inability to focus
- Muscle stiffness
- Dry mouth
- Rumination (thinking over bad experiences repeatedly)
- Pounding or thumping heartbeat (palpitations)
- Stomach discomfort
- Restlessness, inability to stay calm and still
- Pins and needles sensations
- Aches and pains such as headaches, backaches
- Difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing
- Feeling choked
- Hot flushes
- Sleeping problems
- Grinding teeth, especially in sleep
- Frequent need to go to the toilet
- Changes in sex drive
What exactly is anxiety?
We all get worried or scared in response to certain situations in our lives. Anxiety, however, refers to the state of being extremely worried or afraid most of the time or feeling constant panic. This may happen in response to trivial situations or even in the anticipation of situations that have not happened. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses. They include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Anxiety often negatively affects a person’s performance at work and school. People with anxiety may also have problems in maintaining healthy relationships. Around 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders each year. Fortunately, there are many effective therapies to help control anxiety disorders.
What are the different types of anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are of the following types:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): It is a long-term disorder that makes a person anxious over several situations and issues. People with GAD are anxious most of the time and seldom remember when they last felt relaxed.
- Panic disorder: It manifests as sudden, intense fear associated with profuse sweating, restlessness, chest pain and a racing or pounding heartbeat (palpitations) often mimicking a heart attack.
- Social phobia or social anxiety: It involves a feeling of overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. A typical variant is selective mutism which may be often seen in kids who are confident in front of their family but may not speak at all in school or other places.
- Separation anxiety: It happens when a loved one goes away. It is often seen in small kids who feel scared or anxious when a loved one leaves. It can also affect adults who typically worry that something bad may happen to their loved ones when they are out of sight.
- Medication-induced anxiety disorder: Certain medications or drug abuse may cause anxiety during their use or withdrawal phase.
- Certain phobias such as agoraphobia (intense fear of being in a place where it seems hard to escape or get help if an emergency occurs such as crowded places), acrophobia (fear of heights).
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