What Causes Male Anxiety
While anxiety can be caused by ongoing stress about work, family, relationships, or traumatic life experiences, it can also be the result of medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, or a decline in hormone levels. For example, low testosterone can increase anxiety levels, and contributes to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, which drives anxious feelings.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.
Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
Treatment Options For Anxiety
Whether youre experiencing occasional anxiety or frequent panic attacks, mental health treatment can help with anxiety disorders. Although anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Over time, chronic anxiety can have a severe impact on your physical health. But even if anxiety symptoms dont interfere with daily activities, it never hurts to check in with your therapist or healthcare provider.
The best course of treatment will depend on your specific anxiety symptoms, but approaches to treatment include:
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Bring Your Awareness Elsewhere
When physical symptoms become overwhelming, it can help to adjust your focus to more pleasant activities. When anxious physical sensations are on the rise, try to redirect your attention to something else. Think about what activities you enjoy and could quickly change your focus.
For instance, you may decide to:
- Engage in a few stretches
- Listen to some calming music
- Practice mindfulness meditation
- Watch a movie
Regardless of what activities you choose, the point is to channel your excess energy into something that you find fun and soothing.
The Link Between Anxiety Symptoms And Depression
Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression makes anxiety worse , its important to seek treatment for both conditions.
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Who Is At Risk For Anxiety Disorders
A mix of genetic and environmental factors can raise a persons risk for developing anxiety disorders. You may be at higher risk if you have or had:
- Certain personality traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition feeling uncomfortable with, and avoiding, unfamiliar people, situations or environments.
- Stressful or traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood.
- Family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions.
- Certain physical conditions, including thyroid problems and heart arrhythmias .
Anxiety disorders occur more often in women. Researchers are still studying why that happens. It may come from womens hormones, especially those that fluctuate throughout the month. The hormone testosterone may play a role, too men have more, and it may ease anxiety. Its also possible that women are less likely to seek treatment, so the anxiety worsens.
How To Stop A Panic Attack
If a panic attack occurs, what do you do?
Duval suggests grounding yourself or becoming aware of your surroundings and sensory experiences. This can be achieved by deep breathing, for example.
A big part of stopping a panic attack is to ride out the initial intensity and let it come down, she says. Sometimes being present in the moment can be helpful. Orient yourself to your surroundings.
While panic attacks arent uncommon, you shouldnt have to live in fear. Frequent attacks become a problem when they are causing distress and causing you to withdraw from activities or responsibilities.
Sometimes people will become afraid they might have another panic attack and will begin avoiding doing activities that might bring one on, Duval says. This can cause significant impairment.
If panic attacks or anxiety are making it difficult to live life the way you want, or if theyre causing distress, it might be time to seek out professional help.
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Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day weekends included.
Your routine before going to bed also matters. Consider giving yourself wind-down times. For example, 20 minutes with no devices. Instead, you could read a book or take a bath.
Avoiding potential triggers, like watching TV or scrolling the news on your phone, is key.
Creating a sleep routine will help you fall asleep faster and reduce the chances that youll lie awake, worrying about unfinished tasks or the next morning.
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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have an anxiety disorder, ask your provider:
- Whats the best treatment for me?
- Do I need medication? What type?
- How long should I take medication?
- What type of psychotherapy will work best?
- What else can I do to manage my symptoms?
- What other conditions am I at risk for?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An anxiety disorder can make it difficult to get through your day. Anxiety disorder symptoms include feelings of nervousness, panic and fear. You may also have physical symptoms such as sweating and a rapid heartbeat. But you dont need to live like this. Several effective anxiety disorder treatments are available. Talk to your healthcare provider to figure out your diagnosis and the best treatment plan. Often, treatment combines medications and therapy. Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, together with CBT, can help you feel your best.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
When Should I Seek Treatment
When the symptoms of anxiety and the associated behaviors are having a detrimental impact on your life and day-to-day functioning, it’s important to get help.
Suma Chand, PhD, the director of the cognitive behavioral therapy program in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, says a person who has panic disorder is very avoidant of many situations that could trigger panic symptoms and the panic disorder is impacting their ability to go to work regularly, go shopping, attend church, and the like. The ability to function while in these situations is negatively impacted as well. If youre avoiding situations that trigger your anxiety or you experience tremendous discomfort and can’t function effectively when you’re in those situations, its necessary to seek treatment.
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Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Although anxiety may fuel a panic attack, its a separate condition that can be gradual and chronic.
Panic attacks, by contrast, are marked by an intense and overwhelming sense of fear or dread in response to an imminent threat. Panic attacks, often brief, are brought on by the bodys fight or flight response a natural and adaptive process that helps fight off danger or run from it.
This process can be triggered any time we perceive ourselves to be in harms way and it can happen within the context of any anxiety or stress disorder.
If someone has a fear of dogs, encountering an unfamiliar dog could trigger a panic attack, Duval says. Someone who has social anxiety or worries about being judged negatively by others might have a panic attack when giving a speech or introducing themselves to new people.
Realize That Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Feeling Better
And finally, realize that your anxiety and fear will not go away until you stop waiting and start learning. There are many resources available to you to help you overcome your anxiety books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Some of you have been waiting for the perfect time to conquer your anxiety. You may be saying to yourselfI cant tackle my anxiety right now. Ill wait until my symptoms arent so strong to make changes in my life. Or Ill start making changes when my life is less hectic. The list goes on and on.
Heres what Ive discovered: Youll be waiting a lifetime for these things to happen. Because when you wait for something else to happen to improve your life, youre giving away your power. You feed your anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
The only perfect time to conquer your anxiety is right nowthis moment. You do not need to feel symptom-free or confident or energetic, or anything else to begin. All you need to do is take the first step.
Practice these six habits daily, and youll see your skills improve as you take back your power from anxiety.
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Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
When Should I See My Doctor
If anxiety is impacting your everyday life, talking to a doctor or a mental healthcare professional is the first step to getting the right support and understanding the options for treatment.
It might help to write down your symptoms for some time leading up to your appointment, so it’s easier to explain to a doctor or mental health professional what you’re going through. It will help them to make a thorough anxiety disorder diagnosis.
If you are thinking about suicide, then its important to seek help immediately by calling an ambulance on triple zero .
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Common Anxiety Physical Symptoms
Common anxiety symptoms are the ones that nearly everyone experiences in some form or another. Once again, it’s possible to experience anxiety without these common symptoms, but in general, if you have anxiety, you’re likely to experience the following:
- Heart Palpitations / Pounding heart
- Dizziness / Lightheadedness
- Hot and Cold Flashes
Some of these are a bit more common than others. Vomiting with anxiety tends to occur more often if the anxiety is severe, while many people experience rapid heartbeat during moments of anxiety. In general, these are the most common anxiety symptoms that affect those that suffer from persistent anxiety.
When Do These Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety Signal A Panic Attack
Panic attacks often include physical anxiety symptoms, like sweating, trembling, and a fast heart rate. But, as we mentioned, theres one major difference: Panic attacks cause an extreme sensation of fear that strikes out of nowhere. That terror is an integral part of having a panic attack. Beyond that, panic attacks include at least four of the following symptoms, some of which you just read about as physical effects of anxiety:
- Palpitations, a pounding heart, or an accelerated heart rate
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Derealization or depersonalization
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
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Spell And Tap Your Fingers
Anxiety sufferer Millie K., 23, uses a unique approach to help to find relief with anxiety. She touches the pad of her thumb to the pad of each other finger while she spells words out loud. Each finger is for a different letter.
She spells words of things that are comforting to her or things she likes, such as chocolate cake. When engaging in this practice, Millie says she is able to focus on the spelling and the finger tapping, which distracts her from spiraling thoughts.
Your Stomach Is All Sorts Of Messed Up
Anxiety really hits the G.I. system hard, says Dr. Potter. People with anxiety may notice general stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other kinds of G.I. distress, she explains.
A lot of this may boil down to what experts call the gut-brain axis, which is a communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system that governs your digestion. This connection is why stress can so easily mess with your poop. Theres also the fact that anxiety-induced lifestyle choices like eating foods that dont agree with you or not exercising can affect your digestion as well.
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Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.
How Do I Know If My Child Has An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety-related problems in children share four common features. The anxiety:
- Is typically a fear or fixation that interferes with the ability to enjoy life, get through the day or complete tasks.
- Is puzzling to both the child and parents.
- Does not improve after logical explanations to address the worries.
- Is treatable.
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