Is your life filled with constant worries and anxiety? Worries, doubts, and anxieties are part of life. It’s normal to worry about an unpaid bill, a job interview, or a first date.
However, normal worry can become excessive and constant. You worry every day and think about worst-case scenarios.
Unfortunately, in these modern times it is very common to suffer from anxiety, which can interfere with your daily life, your studies, your work and your relationships.
In this article we will explore everything about anxiety: what it is, what types of anxiety exist and how to treat it.
What is anxiety?
According to theAmerican Psychological Association, anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes such as increased blood pressure.
Anxiety is a feeling of discomfort, worry, or fear, which can be both mild and severe. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life. For example, during an exam or a job interview.
Types of anxiety
There are many types of anxiety, since it not only depends on the person but on the situation. Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of everyday life. However, there are people who suffer from anxiety disorders and often have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear.
Unlike common anxiety it can come and go during stressful times. Anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that peak within minutes (panic attacks).
According to the NHS (The UK’s National Health Service), generalized anxiety is a long-term condition that makes one feel anxious for a number of reasons.
We all get anxious at times, but if your worries and fears are so constant that they interfere with your life, you may have generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is physically and mentally exhausting. It drains your energy, interferes with sleep, and wears down your body.
According to the prestigious Mayo Clinic , some of the causes of generalized anxiety disorder may include: Genetics (a family history of anxiety), prolonged exposure to stressful situations, excessive use of caffeine or tobacco, or child abuse.
The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder can be very broad, including:
- trouble sleeping
- Persistent worry or anxiety.
- Overthinking all the possible outcomes of a situation.
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening when they are not.
- Muscle tension
- Indecision and fear of making decisions.
- Inability to relax.
- Difficult to focus.
- Being startled easily.
- Upset stomach and colic.
There are different types of treatment for generalized anxiety, the two main treatments being therapy and medication.
It is normal to do a combination of the two. The ideal is to try and discover which treatments work best.
Agoraphobia is the fear of places (such as public transportation) or situations that could cause panic, leading the person to avoid these places.
According to the Mayo Clinic , the causes of agoraphobia are genetics, temperament, environmental stress, and some experiences that can cause agoraphobia to manifest.
The symptoms of agoraphobia can be similar to those of a panic attack and can include:
- Hyperventilation (breathing fast).
- Sensation of heat and sweat.
- Chest pain.
Similar to other anxiety disorders, agoraphobia treatment requires the help of a professional, with whom you will discuss the best treatment.
Psychological and psychiatric care (if necessary) are often used.
A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense, desperate fear that reaches a peak within minutes. On the other hand, it is very common in people who are going through difficult times or who threaten their life, such as robbery or family violence.
Factors that may increase the risk of developing panic disorder include: A family history of panic attacks, higher stress such as the death of a loved one, or a traumatic event such as an assault or serious accident.
- Palpitations and chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing or choking.
- Feeling faint
- Cloudy Vision.
- Nausea and tremors.
Several types of anti-anxiety medications are effective in controlling the symptoms of panic attacks. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also recommended.
Social phobia is intense anxiety or fear of being judged or rejected in a social situation.
A study published in Science Direct, argues that while the exact cause of social phobia is unknown. Research suggests that it is caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetics. Especially bullying and bullying at school or work.
Symptoms may include:
- Excessive fear of social situations.
- Worry about shame or humiliation.
- Worry about offending someone.
- Extreme shyness.
Psychotherapy and antidepressants can help increase confidence and improve the ability to interact with others. This is an effective way to counter the symptoms of social phobia.
Since selective mutism is one of the less common disorders, its exact cause is not known. So selective mutism may be related to some type of disorder, negative affect, social isolation and social anxiety of parents.
Selective mutism may be related to some form of parental disorder, negative affect, social isolation, and social anxiety.
- Suppressed speech.
- Anxiety, fear, or embarrassment.
- Restlessness, avoidance of eye contact, lack of movement or lack of expression in social situations.
The best treatment for this condition is cognitive behavioral therapy, according to experts to treat selective mutism.
obsessive compulsive disorder
According to the Mayo Clinic , obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) refers to a pattern of irrational thoughts and fears that manifest as obsessions that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
OCD can be triggered by a combination of genetic, neurological, behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors.
Some of the most common symptoms of OCD are:
- Fear of germs or dirt.
- Fear of losing control.
- Violent or sexually explicit thoughts.
- Excessive focus on one religion or morality.
- Fear of losing objects such as keys.
Treatment includes talk therapy, medication, or both. Behavioral therapy is often highly recommended.
It is a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a frightening event. It can last for months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional reactions.
As its name indicates, the cause of post-traumatic stress is the experience of a traumatic situation, such as a serious accident, physical or sexual assault, child abuse, serious health problems, childbirth, or abortion, among others.
Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, increased reactivity to stimuli, anxiety, or depressed mood.
Treatment includes different types of psychotherapy, as well as medications to control symptoms.
How to avoid anxiety?
According to the prestigious Medical Web MD magazine, anxiety can be prevented and even treated with a series of indications and by adopting some changes to our lifestyle. Here we name a few:
Carry out recreational activities
Any recreational activity that takes your attention away from what worries you will be enough. Take a walk, go for a walk with your pet, clean your house, listen to your favorite song, etc. Any action that interrupts your train of thought will help you regain a sense of control.
Socialize with affections
Sometimes there is nothing better to calm our nerves than talking to a friend or loved one about our problems. Call or text a friend or family member, ask their opinions and seek their advice.
In addition, saying what ails you out loud can help you see the problem clearly and can be useful to overcome it and see it more clearly.
Avoid the consumption of harmful substances
Stay away from exciting substances such as coffee, chocolates or sugar. It can be tempting to reach for something sweet when you’re nervous, but it can do more harm than good.
Consuming too much sugar can worsen feelings of anxiety because of how this affects sugar levels in the body. Better drink a glass of water or eat a handful of nuts.
Moderate alcohol consumption
Alcohol alters the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can make anxiety worse. In fact, you may feel more anxious after drinking alcohol.
Ask for help if necessary
It’s important to seek help if your quality of life is worsening because of anxiety or if you feel out of control.
If you are beginning to avoid certain situations out of fear, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You’d be surprised how much a few therapy sessions can help.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.