It’s tough to be productive in your daily life when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts.
But what can you do? If you’re like many chronic worriers, your anxious thoughts feel uncontrollable.
Anxiety is a feeling of concern or worry and includes increased alertness or awareness in a person. It can be mild, moderate or severe. Very severe anxiety can lead to a state of panic.
Mild to moderate anxiety is a normal part of living and can even be helpful when we must focus on something urgent or important. When it becomes a long-term condition, or becomes severe, the person becomes overly focused on specific details and can’t think of anything else. Most of the individual’s behavior is directed toward relieving their anxiousness.
There are different reasons people may experience anxiety. Some of these are persistent stress in one’s life, extreme changes, illnesses- particularly cancer, heart disease and chronic illnesses. Chemical changes in the brain, abnormal brain function, medication side effects and drug abuse or withdrawal can also be factors.
There are five types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
The hallmarks of this disorder are excessive and unreasonable anxiousness and worry lasting at least 6 months. Signs include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, shaking, crying, pacing, sweating, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, fearfulness, and sleep problems.
- Obsessive-compulsive Disorder:
This disorder causes recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and inappropriate. The person is driven to perform repetitive behaviors in response of these thoughts.
- Panic Disorder:
People with this condition have recurring attacks of panic. They may have dizziness, faint feelings, sweating, trembling, chills, flushes, nausea, numbness, heart palpitations, or chest pain.
These attacks occur suddenly and can last several minutes.
Irrational, intense fears of certain things or situations that interfere with normal functioning.
- Posttraumatic Stress disorder:
This occurs after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event.
Symptoms include recurring memories, nightmares, and flashbacks
Treatments for anxiety are very similar to those used for depression and include psychotherapy, medications (anxiolytics/anti-anxiety), herbal supplements, acupuncture, hypnosis and meditation. However, there are other ways that can help you to prevent anxiety too. Maintain and keep friendships and social activity-stay engaged. Develop enjoyable and interesting hobbies. Stay physically and mentally active as well, read, take classes on something – learn new things! Your diet can also play a factor in this, focus on a nutritious diet; avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol.