Can Anxiety Feel Like A Stroke
Anxiety and stroke are different while anxiety is commonly considered as mental health problem , stroke is a physical health condition. The causes and risk factors of both problems are also different. Nevertheless, this mental disorder can feel like a stroke . It is not only characterized by changes in moods. Instead many times, it can trigger some physical symptoms. And some of these symptoms also can occur if you have a brain attack like cerebrovascular accident.
Anxiety what actually is it and how does it occur?
Experiencing anxiety occasionally is perfectly normal and even expected to alert you to certain conditions or danger.
But when it comes persistently or even interferes with your routines such as sleep and work, this is now considered as disorder that should be not left untreated. For this case, it will probably affect your productivity and even your relationships with others.
The cause of the problem can vary from patient to patient. There is wide range of trigger factors. In many cases, it occurs due to life experiences that typically associated with a traumatic event such as losing someone that you love a lot or else.
Doctors only know that there are some factors that can put someone at higher risk than others to have an anxiety disorder.
These risk factors include:
It Can Feel Physically Suffocating
The mind and body are closely connected, and people store anxiety in the body. Some of the most common symptoms can manifest as:
- Chest tightness
In some cases, anxiety can lead to panic attacks. These panic attacks can be so intense and debilitating that people and their loved ones might mistake the symptoms for a heart attack. Every year, emergency rooms admit patients who wrongfully assume they had a heart attack.
That is because anxiety can feel physically suffocating. When symptoms flare, you may feel as if you cannot breathe, think, or even see clearly. And when that happens, it may trigger even more anxiety, which perpetuates the vicious cycle.
What Is An Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense panic or fear. They usually occur suddenly and without warning. Sometimes theres an obvious triggergetting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you have to givebut in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.
Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, you may experience terror so severe that you feel as if youre about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms are themselves so frightening that many people think theyre having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may worry about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isnt available or you cant easily escape.
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Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety Because Its Not All Mental
Youre probably familiar with some of the physical symptoms of anxietyyouve felt your heart race before a first date or gotten a case of the nervous sweats. But you might be less familiar with how anxiety manifests physically in an anxiety disorder, and not just day-to-day anxiousness. Which, understandable. When it comes to anxiety disorders, we tend to focus less on the physical and more on mental overwhelming worry and fear.
All told, its important to recognize these physical symptoms for what they are because if you dont know what youre dealing with, it is difficult to seek out the treatment you need to feel better.
What Causes Shortness Of Breath From Anxiety
Shortness of breath and other physical symptoms happen in the fight-or-flight response to protect you. With anxiety, you may not be running for your life. But your body still responds as if you are.
You experience chest tightening, shortness of breath, and faster breathing because your body is trying to get more oxygen to your muscles, preparing you to run. Your heart rate increases and you may feel hot as more blood pumps to your muscles, preparing you to fight.
All of these symptoms are normal body responses designed to save your life.
Of course, you probably arent often running or fighting for your life from wild bear attacks or men with chain saws. But your body still reacts to your trip to the crowded grocery store, your work presentation, and other anxiety-provoking events as if you were.
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Is Anxiety Bad For You
A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure . You may also be more likely to develop infections. If youre feeling anxious all the time, or its affecting your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder.
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.
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How Can I Best Cope With An Anxiety Disorder
There are several steps you can take to cope with anxiety disorder symptoms. These strategies can also make your treatment more effective:
- Explore stress management: Learn ways to manage stress, such as through meditation.
- Join support groups: These groups are available in-person and online. They encourage people with anxiety disorders to share their experiences and coping strategies.
- Get educated: Learn about the specific type of anxiety disorder you have so you feel more in control. Help friends and loved ones understand the disorder as well so they can support you.
- Limit or avoid caffeine: Many people with anxiety disorder find that caffeine can worsen their symptoms.
- Talk to your healthcare provider: Your provider is your partner in your care. If you feel like treatment isnt working or have questions about your medication, contact your provider. Together, you can figure out how to best move forward.
When To Seek Professional Help
Anxiety can be debilitating, so its important to seek professional help if your symptoms are severe.
If you feel anxious on most days and experience one or more of the symptoms listed above for at least 6 months, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Regardless of how long youve been experiencing symptoms, if you ever feel like your emotions are interfering with your life, you should seek professional help.
Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists can treat anxiety disorders through a variety of methods.
Treatment often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, anti-anxiety medications, or some of the natural therapies listed above.
Working with a professional can help you manage your anxiety and reduce your symptoms as quickly and safely as possible.
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What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
How Is Gad Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
GAD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
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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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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder may have:
- Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear
- A feeling of being out of control, or a fear of death or impending doom during a panic attack
- Physical symptoms during a panic attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, chills, trembling, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea
- An intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen
- A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
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How Can I Help Myself
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are likely to be become frightened or anxious. This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things like yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundations wellbeing podcasts.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
How Hyperventilation Affects Breathing
When you aren’t getting a full breath, it may feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen, so you try to take deeper breaths. But you’d be surprised to learn that that feeling isn’t caused by not getting enough of a breath – it’s actually caused by getting too much oxygen.
The act of getting too much oxygen can make your body feels like it needs more air, causing you to try to breathe in deeper. This never works, however, because the problem is caused by an overabundance of oxygen and not enough CO2. It may cause your hyperventilation to get worse, causing other symptoms like:
- Leg/Extremity Weakness
- Rapid Heartbeat
This is actually one of the main reasons that anxiety attacks occur. During an anxiety attack, the individual often feels like they aren’t getting enough air so they try to breathe deeper. This causes the body to be depleted of CO2, which can make you feel as though you’re going through a serious health problem – like a heart attack – causing a surge of anxiety that may lead to panic and numerous physical symptoms.
Hyperventilation itself is also often misunderstood. It can occur for several reasons, including:
It’s also possible that coughing or sitting awkwardly can lead to over-breathing, and these may also trigger the symptoms of hyperventilation.
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Why Do Anxiety Attacks Cause Heart Attack
Panic attacks tend to cause a chain reaction in the body that triggers many of these physical symptoms. Some of these reactions include:
- Hyperventilation Poor breathing can cause chest pains, shortness of breath, etc. It can also lead to lightheadedness and muscle weakness.
- Adrenaline The anxiety from a panic attack leads to an adrenaline rush, causing rapid heartbeat. Like hyperventilation, it can cause tingling in the extremities and other heart attack-like symptoms.
- Hyper-sensitivity Another issues is known as hypersensitivity. It’s when the person experiences a lesser symptom more than someone without hypersensitivity would experience. For example, a small amount of chest pain might physically feel more severe, when any other person would shrug it off.
In addition, physical stress can cause a host of problems, like memory loss, indigestion, and more, and these can contribute to the heart attack experience in their own way.
Cold Sensations And Chills Are Actually A Common Physical Symptom Of Anxiety
Yet another interesting physical effect of anxiety is its ability to alter how our body temperature feels. Feeling chilled or having cold sensations is an especially confusing physical symptom that can result from anxiety, and it thus deserves some special attention in order to understand how something as simple as feeling cold can actually be a consequence of your mood and emotions.
Interestingly enough there are even multiple different reasons that your anxiety could be making you feel cold. Here are some of the ways we know that cold sensations and anxiety are associated:
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