Trouble Falling Or Staying Asleep
Sleep disturbances have a strong association with anxiety disorders.
People with an anxiety disorder may find themselves waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling asleep.
Some studies suggest that people with insomnia are 10 to 17 times more likely to develop further mental health conditions such as anxiety.
While insomnia and anxiety are strongly linked, its unclear whether insomnia leads to anxiety, anxiety leads to insomnia, or both.
What is known is that if a person treats their underlying anxiety disorder, insomnia often improves as well.
Panic disorder is another type of anxiety disorder in which a person may experience recurring panic attacks.
Panic attacks produce an intense, overwhelming sensation of fear that can be debilitating.
During a panic attack, a person may also experience:
- rapid heartbeat
- chest tightness
Panic attacks can happen as isolated occurrences, but they may be a sign of panic disorder if they occur frequently and unexpectedly.
You may be showing signs of social anxiety disorder if you find yourself:
- feeling anxious or fearful about upcoming social situations
- worried you may be judged or scrutinized by others
- fearful of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others
- avoiding certain social events because of these fears
Social anxiety disorder is very common, affecting 5 to 10 percent of people worldwide.
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From Anxiety To Schizophrenia: Mental Health Conditions Explained
Get to know the various mental health conditions and how they affect people.
Depression. Bipolar. Anxiety. Youve probably heard these terms before, but how much do you know about these mental health conditions, and about how they affect people?
Understanding these conditions can help reduce fear and misunderstanding of mental illness, and empower everyone with the knowledge on how to care for their mental health, and that of their loved ones. Read on to find out more about some of the more common conditions.
We have compiled this resource using online materials shared by professional and expert groups . The resources on these pages are meant to be educational, and should not be taken as medical advice. If you suspect you have a mental health concern, seek help from professionals before taking any action.
Biological Features Of Adolescents And Anxiety States
Although the exact timing of puberty is not easy to specify, scientists agree that the psychological and biological features of the era called adolescence are influenced by cultural setting. Some cultures, like our own, delay the assumption of adult roles others require a clear transition, with or without a rite-of-passage ceremony . Nonetheless, there is an identifiable period between 12 and 18 years, ubiquitous across societies, characterized by changes in hormones, brain structure, and behavior. These properties may have been conserved over evolution to promote autonomy and to foster dispersal of some individuals from the natal territory to another in order to avoid inbreeding .
Adolescence is marked by a reactivation of the hypothalamicpituitarygonadal axis, development of secondary sexual characteristics, and the onset of reproductive capacity, even though the increased circulation of sex hormones does not account for much of the variance in the behavior of adolescents . The timing of pubertal signs is influenced by gender and environment onset of puberty may be influenced more strongly by environmental stressors in girls than in boys .
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Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
What To Do If Youre Diagnosed With Anxiety
Focus on managing your anxiety rather than on ending or curing it. Learning how best to control your anxiety can help you live a more fulfilled life. You can work on stopping your anxiety symptoms from getting in the way of reaching your goals or aspirations.
To help manage your anxiety, you have several options.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
As a human being, there are always risks that put your life in danger. Most people are lucky enough to avoid these dangers and live a nice and safe life. But in some cases, you may experience a life trauma â either physically or emotionally â and this can cause an anxiety problem known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
As the name implies, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that comes after the traumatic event has occurred. Those living with PTSD often must get outside help, because PTSD can affect people for years after the event occurs â possibly even for the rest of their life.
PTSD affects people both psychologically and physically. In most cases, the person with PTSD is the one that experienced the traumatic event, but it’s possible to get PTSD by simply witnessing an event or injury, or even simply discovering that someone close to you dealt with a traumatic event.
You may also experience severe “what if” scenarios everywhere you go, including disaster thinking or feeling helpless/hopeless in public situations. Many of those with PTSD also experience avoidance behaviors of events, things, and even people that may remind them of the event â even if there is no link between these issues and the trauma.
Those with post-traumatic stress disorder may be at a greater baseline of stress on most days. They may be short-tempered or easy to anger. They may be startled/frightened easily or be unable to sleep. PTSD can be a difficult problem to live with.
Recovery Is Possible With Treatment
Recovery from an anxiety disorder is possible with the right treatment and support. Effective treatments for anxiety disorders may include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy aims to change patterns of thinking, beliefs and behaviours that may trigger anxiety.
- Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing a person to situations that trigger anxiety using a fear hierarchy: this is called systematic desensitisation.
- Anxiety management and relaxation techniques for example deep muscle relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises and counselling.
- Medication this may include antidepressants and benzodiazepines.
Some causes of anxiety disorders are:
- Genetics. Anxiety disorders can run in families.
- Brain chemistry. Some research suggests anxiety disorders may be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that control fear and emotions.
- Environmental stress. This refers to stressful events you have seen or lived through. Life events often linked to anxiety disorders include childhood abuse and neglect, a death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence.
- Drug withdrawal or misuse. Certain drugs may be used to hide or decrease certain anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder often goes hand in hand with alcohol and substance use.
- Medical conditions. Some heart, lung, and thyroid conditions can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorders or make anxiety symptoms worse. Itâs important to get a full physical exam to rule out other medical conditions when talking to your doctor about anxiety.
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Not All Anxiety Is A Disorder
Everyone experiences anxiety and fear at times these are normal and helpful human emotions that help us deal with danger. However, some people experience excessive and irrational anxiety and worries that become ongoing and distressing, and that interfere with their daily lives. This may indicate an anxiety disorder. Often there appears to be no obvious or logical reason for the way the person feels. This may make an anxiety disorder even more worrying to the sufferer.
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
This online resource, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , helps you locate mental health treatment facilities and programs. Find a facility in your state by searching SAMHSAs online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. For additional resources, visit NIMHâs Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.
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What Type Of Anxiety Do I Have Quiz
Living with anxiety can be difficult. To properly manage your anxiety it is important to get a proper diagnosis of your anxiety. Take our super helpful “What Type Of Anxiety Do I Have Quiz” to know what kind of anxiety you have.
- Do you extremely sweaty during your anxiety attack?
- Sample Question
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder
Anxious thoughts and feelings can lead to physical responses too, as the body reacts to the false alarm of anxiety. It goes into flight or fight mode, as though you were in real danger and had to act fast:
- breathing faster
- feeling frequently weary, even after sleep
- restlessness and difficulty relaxing and sleeping.
These physical symptoms can sometimes occur without awareness that they are associated with anxiety.
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How Anxiety Disorders Affect People
For people dealing with anxiety disorders, symptoms can feel strange and confusing at first. For some, the physical sensations can be strong and upsetting. For others, feelings of doom or fear that can happen for no apparent reason can make them feel scared, unprotected, and on guard. Constant worries can make a person feel overwhelmed by every little thing. All this can affect someones concentration, confidence, sleep, appetite, and outlook.
People with anxiety disorders might avoid talking about their worries, thinking that others might not understand. They may fear being unfairly judged, or considered weak or scared. Although anxiety disorders are common, people who have them may feel misunderstood or alone.
Some people with anxiety disorders might blame themselves. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, or mistakenly think that anxiety is a weakness or a personal failing. Anxiety can keep people from going places or doing things they enjoy.
The good news is, doctors today understand anxiety disorders better than ever before and, with treatment, a person can feel better.
Can Anxiety Make You Believe Things That Arent True
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common mental health problems. It affects around 1.2% of people at some point in their lives. The symptoms are distressing and impair daily life. People who suffer from this condition may experience obsessions and compulsions which they feel unable to control. They may believe that their fears are real and try to avoid situations where they think they might act out their obsession. This belief causes distress and prevents them from carrying out everyday activities.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gad
GAD develops slowly. It often starts during the teen years or young adulthood. People with GAD may:
- Worry very much about everyday things
- Have trouble controlling their worries or feelings of nervousness
- Know that they worry much more than they should
- Feel restless and have trouble relaxing
- Have a hard time concentrating
- Be easily startled
- The health and well-being of their children
- Completing household chores and other responsibilities
Both children and adults with GAD may experience physical symptoms that make it hard to function and that interfere with daily life.
Symptoms may get better or worse at different times, and they are often worse during times of stress, such as with a physical illness, during exams at school, or during a family or relationship conflict.
Anxiety Attack Symptoms Include:
- Nausea or stomach cramps.
- Feeling detached or unreal.
Its important to seek help if youre starting to avoid certain situations because youre afraid of having a panic attack. The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.
When Anxiety Disrupts Your Life It’s A Problem
One of the most common questions people with anxiety ask themselves is “what is the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder?” It’s true that not all problem anxiety qualifies as an anxiety disorder.
However, the answer isn’t always that simple. The reality is that if you feel as though your anxiety is causing a problem in your life, it may be beneficial to seek help. Some anxiety in life is normal, but anxiety that disrupts your quality of life is still a problem.
No matter what type of anxiety you’re dealing with, anxiety can be cured by the following strategies:
- Find out your specific type of anxiety.
- Accept that your anxiety is a problem.
- Understand your anxiety causes and triggers.
- Break them down into smaller pieces that you can manage.
- Change your lifestyle to be more anxiety free.
Below, we’ll examine the seven causes of anxiety.
What Is An Anxiety Disorder Anxiety Disorder Definition
An anxiety disorder is a common mental illness defined by feelings of uneasiness, worry and fear. While anxiety occurs for everyone sometimes, a person with an anxiety disorder feels an inappropriate amount of anxiety more often than is reasonable. For example, an average individual may feel some anxiety before going to a dentist appointment but a person with anxiety disorder may feel anxiety every time they leave their home.
Many people with an anxiety disorder do not realize they have a defined, treatable disorder and so anxiety disorders are thought to be underdiagnosed conditions.
People with an anxiety disorder often have co-occurring mental health problems, such as depression, and this can increase serious risks like suicide. Often severe anxiety disorder symptoms and panic attacks are a warning sign and increase the risk of suicide.
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When Does Anxiety Need Treatment
While anxiety can cause distress, it is not always a medical condition.
When an individual faces potentially harmful or worrying triggers, feelings of anxiety are not only normal but necessary for survival.
Since the earliest days of humanity, the approach of predators and incoming danger sets off alarms in the body and allows evasive action. These alarms become noticeable in the form of a raised heartbeat, sweating, and increased sensitivity to surroundings.
The danger causes a rush of adrenalin, a hormone and chemical messenger in the brain, which in turn triggers these anxious reactions in a process called the fight-or-flight response. This prepares humans to physically confront or flee any potential threats to safety.
For many people, running from larger animals and imminent danger is a less pressing concern than it would have been for early humans. Anxieties now revolve around work, money, family life, health, and other crucial issues that demand a persons attention without necessarily requiring the fight-or-flight reaction.
The nervous feeling before an important life event or during a difficult situation is a natural echo of the original fight-or-flight reaction. It can still be essential to survival anxiety about being hit by a car when crossing the street, for example, means that a person will instinctively look both ways to avoid danger.
Anxiety disorders now include the following diagnoses.
Possible causes include:
Treatment And Support For Anxiety
Not everybody who experiences anxiety needs mental health support. For many people, anxiety is a temporary experience, or mild enough to not cause problems.
But many people do find treatment and support helpful. If you are interested in getting support to manage anxiety, its a good idea to talk to a GP first. A GP can provide information and refer you on to other health professionals or support services.
Here are some psychological therapies that have been found to be helpful for managing anxiety disorders :
- cognitive behavioural therapy
- eye movement desensitisation reprocessing
- interpersonal psychotherapy.
Some people also find medication helpful to manage their anxiety, particularly if it is severe or ongoing .
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but there are things you can do to help manage it if it is causing problems.
To connect with others who get it, visit our online Forums. Theyre safe, anonymous and available 24/7.
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How Can I Help My Child
If your child has an anxiety disorder, here are some ways you can help:
- Find a trained therapist and take your child to all the therapy appointments.
- Talk often with the therapist, and ask how you can best help your child.
- Help your child face fears. Ask the therapist how you can help your child practice at home. Praise your child for efforts to cope with fears and worry.
- Help kids talk about feelings. Listen, and let them know you understand, love, and accept them. A caring relationship with you helps your child build inner strengths.
- Encourage your child to take small steps forward. Don’t let your child give up or avoid what they’re afraid of. Help them take small positive steps forward.
- Be patient. It takes a while for therapy to work and for kids to feel better.
Panic Attacks Are A Common Symptom
A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense terror that may occur in certain situations or for no apparent reason. A panic attack does not mean a person is necessarily suffering an anxiety disorder. However, a panic attack is a common feature of each type of anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of a panic attack may include:
- shortness of breath
The cause of panic attacks is unknown, but they may be related to a chemical response in the brain, caused by actual threatening or stressful events or by thinking about stressful events. The brain response leads to physiological changes in the body, such as shallow breathing and rapid heartbeat.
Panic attacks can be frightening. Some people say they feel like they are going to die or go crazy. People affected by panic attacks may avoid situations in which they think attacks might occur. In some cases, this may lead to the development of other anxiety disorders including agoraphobia.
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