What Is Sleep Anxiety
Sleep anxiety is fear or worry about going to sleep. You may be apprehensive about not falling asleep or not being able to stay asleep. Some people also have a distinct phobia, or fear, about sleep called somniphobia. They may think something bad will happen to them while they sleep, or that they shouldnt sleep because they need to stay alert and watchful.
Sleep and psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, often go hand in hand. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Similarly, if you have a sleep disorder, you might feel anxious or fearful before bed because youre afraid you wont get the rest you need. One condition usually makes the other worse, so it can feel like a never-ending cycle.
Many People With Anxiety Disorders Understand That Their Thoughts Are Irrational But They Still Cant Stop Them
This is by far one of the most difficult aspects associated with battling anxiety.
Its a cycle. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem and you feel bad about it. Then you feel like youve failed, and you move to depression.
You try to correct these thoughts and feelings but anxiety is a tough beast to tame. It is a silent monster, sabotaging your mind and no matter how hard you fight, it does not let go.
Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders:
Anyone may experience these symptoms during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with more severe symptoms and/or with several symptoms appearing together.
- Inability to relax
- Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
- Nausea, chest pain or pressure
- Feeling a “lump in the throat”
- Dry mouth
- Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
- Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
- Fainting or dizziness, feelings of detachment
- Thoughts of death
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Turning Off Digital Noise
One 2021 study found that watching 2 hours of pandemic-related news per day can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
If possible, limit the amount of time you spend on news and social media platforms. Set a timer for 30 minutes, then shut them off. You can also let loved ones know that youd rather not talk about distressing topics in the news.
Mental Health Treatment Program Locator
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at . For additional resources, visit www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.
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What Anxiety Chest Pain Feels Like
Anxiety symptoms are rarely the same from person to person. Some days, symptoms arent even the same for the same person. Anxiety presents itself in a variety of ways, and that makes detecting or understanding symptoms difficult.
Chest pain associated with anxiety feels different for each person. Some people may experience chest pain on a gradual basis. For others, the pain may be sudden and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain can be described as:
- sharp, shooting pain
- an unusual muscle twitch or spasm in your chest
- burning, numbness, or a dull ache
- stabbing pressure
- chest tension or tightness
If you dont have a history of chest pain with anxiety, you may be alarmed. Many people assume theyre having a heart attack and go to the hospitals emergency department for treatment.
An estimated 25 to 50 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with low risk chest pain experience moderate to severe anxiety, according to 2018 research.
If you visit a hospital emergency room and the doctors dont find a specific cause for your chest pain, consider consulting with your doctor about other possible causes, including anxiety.
Tip : Practice Relaxation Techniques For Gad
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. Its the bodys physical fight or flight reaction to a perceived threat. Your heart pounds, you breathe faster, your muscles tense up, and you feel light-headed. When youre relaxed, the complete opposite happens. Your heart rate slows down, you breathe slower and more deeply, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure stabilizes. Since its impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time, strengthening your bodys relaxation response is a powerful anxiety-relieving tactic.
Effective relaxation techniques for relieving anxiety include:
Deep breathing. When youre anxious, you breathe faster. This hyperventilation causes symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and tingly hands and feet. These physical symptoms are frightening, leading to further anxiety and panic. But by breathing deeply from the diaphragm, you can reverse these symptoms and calm yourself down.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help you release muscle tension and take a time out from your worries. The technique involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body. As your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
It may not always be easy to tell if your everyday anxiety has become an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can manifest in many forms, and diagnosis can take time. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms regularly, you may want to chat with your doctor:
- Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge muscle tension
- Difficulty concentrating or controlling fear, worry or paranoia
- Sleep disruption
- Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
- Fear or avoidance of places where panic has occurred
- Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
- Heart palpitations
Take Stock Of The Situation
Accept your feelings of anxiety, recognize them, and then work through putting them in perspective.
Are you worried about something you cant control? Are you fearful of an outcome thats unlikely? Are you dreading a situation you cant control the outcome of? Talk your way through your feelings to find the source, and then work to put them into perspective.
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Does Anxiety Ever Really Go Away
Anxiety does go away its not necessarily permanent.
Its bound to make a reappearance, though, when you need to make an important decision, have a health scare, or when someone you love is in jeopardy, for example. In fact, there are situations where a bout of anxiety is crucial to survival.
Occasional anxiety is a perfectly natural part of the human experience.
Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are different from a typical run-in with anxiety because theyre about more than passing worry or fear.
With anxiety disorders, anxiety can occur frequently and seemingly out of the blue, and last longer than needed for the situation. Untreated anxiety disorders can worsen over time.
What Is Anxiety And What Are Its Causes
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. Mild anxiety is tepid, unsettling, and is usually short lived. Severe anxiety can be extremely disabling and is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a persons ability to sleep or function normally.
Simply put, people with anxiety have reactions and feelings disproportion with what would be normally expected in that situation.
The exact cause of anxiety is unknown and can be caused by a host of factors including:
- Substance abuse
- A combination of any of the above symptoms
More often than not anxiety is triggered by external circumstances, but it is possible that people with anxiety can enhance feelings of anxiousness with negative self-talk. And, while the exact cause of this disorder cannot be pinpointed, scientist do know that it is not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing, which is the case with other mental disorders.
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How Long Do Panic Attacks Last Faqs About Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can come on suddenly, and when youre in the middle of one, it can feel like its going on forever. While some panic attacks last just a few minutes, others can take hours to fully go away. Read on for more information about how long panic attacks last.
Why Does Anxiety Cause Shortness Of Breath
When you start thinking about something that makes you feel anxious, the fire alarm in your brain sends out an emergency signal. Its the same ancient system that used to warn your ancestors that hungry lions were nearby.
The trouble is, in modern times, your reptilian brain cant comprehend the difference between a stressful conversation with your boss and a predator that wants to eat you.
This primal mechanism treats both threats the same way.
When this fight, flight, or freeze response is activated, all your defense systems engage on high alert. Adrenaline starts coursing through your veins, all nonessential systems shut down, and your breathing becomes quicker and shallower.
This is because your breathing rate is regulated by adrenaline as well as direct nerve activation on your diaphragm and the chemical receptors in your brain that detect higher levels of carbon dioxide and less oxygen.
This physiological response is why you feel shortness of breath, or air hungry. Its your body preparing you to face a threat.
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Why Does Hangxiety Happen
Not everyone experiences hangover anxietysome people just feel achy or have an upset stomachbut its a relatively common symptom of a hangover. The symptoms you experience after a night of heavy drinking tend to be milder versions of what clinical alcohol withdrawal looks like, explains Michael Bogenschutz, M.D., a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. So, the morning after a night of hard partying, you may feel sick to your stomach, nauseated, irritable, and anxious. Someone who drinks heavily oftenand then stopped suddenlywould experience more severe versions of those symptomsvomiting, diarrhea, maybe even a panic attack. In other words, hangover anxiety can be one of these subclinical symptoms of withdrawal. George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of theNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism agrees: I think of a hangover as, more or less, a mini-withdrawal from alcohol, and anxiety is one of the components, he tells SELF.
When you drink alcohol, dopamine neurons in areas of the brain associated with reward start firing more and more, explains Aparna Iyer, M.D., a psychiatrist and assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The problem is that dopamine rush is short-lived with alcohol, Dr. Iyer says. Thats part of why your mood and anxiety levels might be impacted for the worse later on.
Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If youve given self-help a fair shot, but still cant seem to shake your worries and fears, it may be time to see a mental health professional. But remember that professional treatment doesnt replace self-help. In order to control your GAD symptoms, youll still want to make lifestyle changes and look at the ways you think about worrying
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one type of therapy that is particularly helpful in the treatment of GAD. CBT examines distortions in our ways of looking at the world and ourselves. Your therapist will help you identify automatic negative thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. For example, if you catastrophizealways imagining the worst possible outcome in any given situationyou might challenge this tendency through questions such as, What is the likelihood that this worst-case scenario will actually come true? and What are some positive outcomes that are more likely to happen?.
The five components of CBT for anxiety are:
Education. CBT involves learning about generalized anxiety disorder. It also teaches you how to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful worry. An increased understanding of your anxiety encourages a more accepting and proactive response to it.
Monitoring. You learn to monitor your anxiety, including what triggers it, the specific things you worry about, and the severity and length of a particular episode. This helps you get perspective, as well as track your progress.
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The Effects Of Anxiety On The Body
Anxiety is a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview.
In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is preparing you to face an intense situation.
If it gets too intense, however, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.
Anxiety disorders can happen at any stage of life, but they usually begin by middle age. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, says the National Institute of Mental Health .
Stressful life experiences may increase your risk for an anxiety disorder, too. Symptoms may begin immediately or years later. Having a serious medical condition or a substance use disorder can also lead to an anxiety disorder.
There are several types of anxiety disorders. They include:
Types Of Anxiety Disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, much more than the typical anxiety that most people experience in their daily lives. People may have trembling, twitching, muscle tension, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, depression, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, breathlessness or hot flashes.
Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have panic attacks with feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During the attacks, individuals may feel like they can’t breathe, have lost control, are having a heart attack or even that they are dying. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling or numbness, and a racing heartbeat. Some people will have one isolated attack, while others will develop a long term panic disorder either way, there is often high anxiety between attacks because there is no way of knowing when the next one will occur. Panic disorders often begin early in adulthood. Many people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia . See more on Panic Attacks.
Phobias are irrational fears. Individuals with phobias realize their fears are irrational, but thinking about or facing the feared object or situation can bring on a panic attck or severe anxiety.
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You Still Feel Sluggish After Enough Sleep
If you’re feeling as if you wake up exhausted, even after the recommended seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, it may have something to do with anxiety. “Those who suffer from anxiety disorders often find that they wake up feeling exhausted,” Dr. Manly says. “This is due to the toll that stress takes on the bodyâs resources, affecting the bodyâs ability to recover and recharge.”