What Causes Anxiety Disorders
We dont fully understand what causes anxiety disorders. But it is thought that the following factors can cause anxiety.
Genetics. Some people seem to be born more anxious than others. You may get anxiety through your genes.
Life experience. This could be bad experiences such as being abused or losing a loved one. It could also include big changes in life such as moving home, losing your job or pregnancy.
Drugs. Caffeine in coffee and alcohol can make you feel anxious. Illegal drugs, also known as street drugs can also have an effect.
Circumstances. Sometimes you know what is causing your anxiety. When the problem goes, so does your anxiety.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Anxiety
Anxiety is a response to uncertainty and danger, and the trigger can be almost anything, or nothing in particular, just a generalized, vague sense of dread or misfortune. High on the list of anxiety-generating situations is having to give a talk or presentation or being called on in class, where people risk loss of social standing by being judged negatively.
People can feel anxious because their neural circuitry has become so sensitized it perceives threat where it doesnt exist. Too, there are substancescaffeine is oneand medications that stimulate the same physical sensations as anxiety. People differ in their susceptibility to anxiety, as a result of their biological makeup, their parental inheritance, their own life history, personality factors, and the coping skills they acquire or cultivate.
Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
In addition to the primary symptom of excessive and irrational fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread.
- Watching for signs of danger.
- Anticipating the worst.
- Feeling like your minds gone blank.
But anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the bodys fight-or-flight response, it also involves a wide range of physical symptoms, including:
- Pounding heart.
- Shaking or trembling.
Because of these physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is finally recognized.
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What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder
This section provides an overview of the most common types of anxiety disorders.
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Generalised anxiety disorder
GAD is common. The main symptom of GAD is over worrying about different activities and events. This may feel out of your control. You feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD. You might feel on edge and alert to your surroundings.
This can affect your day-to-day life. You might find that it affects your ability to work, travel places or leave the house. You might also get tired easily or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You might have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and sweating.
It is common to have other conditions such as depression or other anxiety disorders if you have GAD.
GAD can be difficult to diagnose because it does not have some of the unique symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Your doctor is likely to say you have GAD if you have felt anxious for most days over six months and it has had a bad impact on areas of your life.
You will have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger if you have panic disorder. They can happen suddenly and feel intense and frightening. You may also worry about having another panic attack.
Panic disorder symptoms can include the following.
You may also dissociate during a panic attack. Such as feeling detached from yourself.
Social anxiety disorder
Some common situations where you may experience anxiety are the following.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
Worrying and the symptoms of anxiety can creep up on you gradually. This can make it hard to know how much worrying is too much.
Some common anxiety symptoms include:
- hot and cold flushes
- snowballing worries that get bigger and bigger
- a racing mind full of thoughts
- a constant need to check things are right or clean
- persistent worrying ideas that seem ‘silly or crazy’ .
If you think you have any of these symptoms, you might want to look at the different types of anxiety disorders below.
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Why Do I Cry So Much
Its one thing to feel the need to cry after a particularly hard day. But some people feel that they need to randomly cry, and others are shocked at how uncontrollable their tears are. It is as though a waterfall is coming from their eyes, sometimes at surprising times.
That instinct is often just emotion trying to find its way out. Anxiety is excitatory to the body it activates the fight or flight system. Your desire to cry may be related to the way your body is reacting to that system, with the intense emotions and stress during that time overwhelming the body.
Fear is scary, and your flight mode may trigger your body to produce large amounts of tears as a way to let out that stress.
To some, crying may also become a habitual response. Once you become used to crying as a way of relieving anxiety and stress, you may subsequently develop a habit of crying when you experience that stress because it provides emotional relief.
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis. You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard. There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
You can find your local PALS details through this website link:
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How Can I Prevent Anxiety Disorders
Seeking help for your child at the first sign of excessive worrying will help to keep worries from growing so big that they are likely to develop into an anxiety disorder. Some other tips include:
- Staying calm in front of your child, as h/she often looks to you for how to react in new and uncertain situations.
- Avoiding a lot of reassurance and instead teaching your child how to problem solve and reassure him/herself.
- Discouraging avoidance of feared situations/objects, as this may temporarily reduce distress, but will allow the anxiety to grow and make things more difficult for your child in the future.
Social Anxiety Disorder And The Brain
Brain scans have revealed that people with social anxiety disorder suffer from hyperactivity in a part of the brain known as the amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for the physiological changes associated with the flight-or-fight response, which mobilizes the body to respond to perceived threats, real or imagined.
Action in the amygdala triggers an avalanche of symptoms identified with intense anxiety, including rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, respiratory excitement, muscle tightening, a surge in blood sugar levels, and a freezing of the brain that leaves anxiety sufferers unable to think or reason normally.
When people experience a surge of anxiety, mental focus shifts to a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. It is the job of the prefrontal cortex to calm those reactions by assessing them rationally and calmly, and if no real threat is present it is supposed to send signals to the amygdala that defuse its anxious response.
But in social anxiety sufferers, the prefrontal cortex actually amplifies the activity of the amygdala instead of calming it. People with social anxiety have such an entrenched fear of other peoples reactions that their brains interpret social interactions as legitimate threats, and no amount of rational reflection can completely soothe those fears.
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How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.
There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
If you identify with any of the following seven signs and symptoms, and they just wont go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:
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Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
Let Go Of Needing To Know The Cause Of Anxiety
A reason anxiety increases when we struggle to answer the elusive question “why” is because in searching for that answer, we become caught up in anxiety. We expend a whole lot of time and negative energy fighting.
Even more important, when we are consumed in trying to find an anxiety cause we are anxious, we become hyper-focused on anxiety. The concepts that are receiving the brunt of our attention are anxiety, worry, fear, panic, and the like.
When we hold on to the need to know why we are holding onto anxiety itself because that is what we are thinking about. Chances are, those thoughts are not peaceful. To reduce the grip of this vague anxiety, it’s important to let go of the need to know the anxiety cause. We don’t have to enjoy anxiety, but we can be at peace with the fact that there’s no apparent cause for it.
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Do Genes Cause Anxiety
No one has ever identified an anxiety gene, and it is unlikely that one will ever emerge anxiety proves to be a complex condition that arises through many pathways. Some studies estimate that the heritability of generalized anxiety is no more than 30 percent. As with the transmission of depression-prone styles of thinking, families lastingly shape their children by many means. For example, the adults may display and, by the power of repeated example, silently pass on to their children skills for coping with the kinds of emotionally disruptive experiences that can trigger anxietyor they may become disorganized and unable to function by such experiences. Nevertheless, studies indicate that genes lay a foundation for anxiety primarily by contributing to the personality trait of neuroticism, characterized by volatility of the negative emotion system. It is observable in the readiness to perceive the negative aspects of challenging situations and to react to them with negative emotions.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety attacks can stem from an anxiety disorder. There are several types of anxiety disorders. Below are three common anxiety disorders that lead to anxiety attacks:
Generalized anxiety disorder
This anxiety disorder is diagnosed in people that experience excessive anxiety or worry for more than 6 months. You may have many worries, like health, finances, relationships, or work.
This type of anxiety disorder is when you fear places or situations that may cause you panic. You will find yourself avoiding these situations that make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
A panic disorder is diagnosed in people who have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. You may be in constant worry about when or how your next panic attack will occur.
What Does The Sense Of Impending Doom Feel Like
A sense of impending doom is a feeling of dread, terror, and worry that something terrible is going to happen for example, that the world may end or that you may die.
People dealing with fear and anxiety often experience strong feelings of dread and doom. These feelings can be especially intense when they occur for seemingly no reason. As these feelings seem to stem from no logical reason or threat, some people respond to them with fear, which makes the worry worse. The fear of impending doom is often described in some of the following terms:
- A feeling that something dangerous is about to occur
- A sense that something awful is about to happen
- An intense feeling of certainty that youre about to die
- An intense feeling that something horrible is about to happen and that you wont be able to do anything about it
- A strong sense of death and destruction that suddenly washes over you
- Intense fear of impending doom, despair, destruction, and gloom
- An overwhelming fear of impending doom that begins or occurs during a panic attack
- A horrible feeling of doom and gloom that suddenly comes over you
- Such an overwhelming sense of impending doom that you feel you must immediately escape to avoid something terrible happening to you
This feeling of impending doom can occur suddenly, without apparent provocation, and can happen anywhere.
The frequency of this feeling of impending doom can vary. It might come and go only very occasionally, occur frequently, or be a regular occurrence.