Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.
A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with GAD may:
- Worry excessively 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
- Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Tire easily or feel tired all the time
- Have headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
- Have a hard time swallowing
- Tremble or twitch
- Feel irritable or “on edge”
- Sweat a lot, feel lightheaded, or feel out of breath
- Have to go to the bathroom frequently
Children and teens with GAD often worry excessively about:
- Their performance in activities such as school or sports
- Catastrophes, such as earthquakes or war
- The health of others, such as family members
Adults with GAD are often highly nervous about everyday circumstances, such as:
- Job security or performance
- The health and well-being of their children or other family members
- Completing household chores and other responsibilities
Both children and adults with GAD may experience physical symptoms such as pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath that make it hard to function and that interfere with daily life.
Symptoms may fluctuate over time and are often worse during times of stressfor examplewith a physical illness, during school exams, or during a family or relationship conflict.
The Causes Of Unexpected Panic Attacks
Expected panic attacks are typically associated with a specific trigger such as crowds, flying or exams, whereas unexpected panic attacks have no apparent trigger and can seem to happen for no reason.
Panic attacks are typically experienced as a result of misinterpreting physical symptoms of anxiety. Heart palpitations may be mistaken for symptoms of a heart attack, breathlessness or feeling faint may be taken as a sign that a person is collapsing or dying, and the racing thoughts can lead a person to think that they are losing control of their mind.
These misinterpretations which a person may be unaware that they are doing can trigger a panic attack, which seems to appear out of the blue.
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Social Media Use Exposes You To Negativity Regularly
Social media is an incredible tool thats brought people from all over the world together. Unfortunately, its also been engineered to exploit certain psychological tics of your brain to get you to scroll more, in much the same way that they used psychologists to make casino games more addictive.
Not only that, but social media exposes you to a constant fear of missing out. Youre regularly looking at the highlight reels of your friends and family happy smiles, vacations, living their best life. Few people are posting about how unhappy they are. And even when they do, how many people really pay attention to that?
Thats not even touching on the constant bad news being spread and stupid garbage that people regularly share.
As useful and powerful as social media can be, it can also be addictive and stress-inducing. Reducing your consumption or quitting altogether will quite likely reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health.
The Difference Between Normal Worry And Gad
Worries, doubts, and fears are a normal part of life. Its natural to be anxious about an upcoming test or to worry about your finances after being hit by unexpected bills. The difference between normal worrying and generalized anxiety disorder is that the worrying involved in GAD is:
|Your worries, while unpleasant, dont cause significant distress.
|Your worries are extremely upsetting and stressful.
|Your worries are limited to a specific, small number of realistic concerns.
|You worry about all sorts of things, and tend to expect the worst.
|Your bouts of worrying last for only a short time period.
|Youve been worrying almost every day for at least six months.
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The Lived Experience Of Depression
A person who is in good physical health, is employed, has a safe home to live in, enough money to care for themselves and their family, supportive friends, and hobbies may struggle to comprehend why they feel persistently sad, angry, or irritable.
In the absence of a clear trigger such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job, they may feel that it doesnt make sense for them to feel depressed.
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
A doctor or mental health professional can diagnose a panic attack, panic disorder, or anxiety disorder.
They base their diagnoses on definitions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition .
These professionals cannot diagnose an anxiety attack because it is not a clinically defined condition in the DSM-5. They can, however, recognize the symptoms of anxiety and diagnose an anxiety disorder.
A doctor will discuss symptoms and life events to diagnose any of these conditions. They may also perform a psychological evaluation to determine which category the symptoms fall into.
It may be necessary to rule out physiological conditions that share similar symptoms.
To do this, a doctor may perform:
- a physical examination
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Deep Breathing And Meditation
Focusing on your breath is a proven way to calm down. Studies show that the way you breathe can affect your mood and energy level. Also, this practice gives you something to distract you from your anxious thoughts. When you’re anxious, you may find your breath becomes rapid and shallow. Therefore, try to take slow, natural breaths and return to a slower breathing pace to help yourself calm down. When you breathe, pay attention to how your belly rises and falls. Shallow breaths happen high up in your chest, and deep breaths come from the abdomen.
To take the focus on breathing to the next level, try meditation. Meditating each morning or before you go to bed at night can be a good habit to develop for preventing or reducing general anxiety. The goal is to focus on your natural inhales and exhales. When any negative, anxious, or random thoughts pop into your mind, notice them and let them go. Do not analyze, judge, or dwell on them. Instead, tell yourself, “I am breathing right now,” and return the focus to your breath.
Other relaxation exercises to consider include progressive muscle relaxation and visualization. These tools are excellent ways to train your body and mind to calm themselves more regularly and with more ease.
How Can I Get Help If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder
You should make an appointment to talk with your GP if you are worried about your symptoms. Or they are causing problems in your day to day life.
Your doctor will look at different things when deciding on your treatment such as the following.
- Your diagnosis and symptoms.
- Any other conditions you have.
- Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
Talking therapiesThe NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has made psychological therapy more available on the NHS. IAPT services mainly provide support for low to moderate anxiety and depression.
The service can be run by the local NHS Trust or a non-NHS agency, like a charity who work with the local Trust.
IAPT should be available in your area. You can often self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.
To find your local the IAPT service you can search online here:
You can also ask your GP or PALS service for details of local IAPT services.
You can get more information about:
- GP: What to expect from your GP by clicking here.
- Medication. Choice and managing problems by clicking here.
- Talking therapies by clicking here.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How do I know whats causing my anxiety?
- How can I stop worrying about everything?
- What treatment is best for me?
- Will I have to take medicine for the rest of my life?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should make?
- Should I change anything in my diet?
- What kind of exercise will help me?
- Do I have depression, too?
Dual Diagnosis: Addiction And Anxiety
Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders are at risk of developing an addiction to alcohol or other substances, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you are seeking treatment for an anxiety disorder and also feel like you have a substance abuse problem, try to find a facility that can help you treat both these issues.
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Can You Have Anxiety With No Cause
Even if you arent aware of it, there is a cause for your anxiety symptoms.
It can take time to recognize patterns or learn how to identify what activates your anxiety. It may seem like the symptoms have come out of nowhere but thats because your body works on autopilot when it detects a threat.
When the nervous system detects danger it activates your fight, flight, or freeze response. This causes anxiety symptoms that prepare your body for action, like:
- a fast heartbeat
- a feeling of doom
The anxiety response is helpful in many instances, but it can become a problem when your nervous system misinterprets something harmless as a threat. In these cases, youre reacting to something thats not a true threat .
Over time, your body may start generalizing possible threats so that something related to a thing youre afraid of also causes anxiety.
Engage In Diaphragmatic Breathing
You can use this information to think about how to respond verbally or behaviorally. She recommends using diaphragmatic breathing and pranayama, which is alternative breathing or the practice of breath control.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
You can check what treatment and care is recommended for anxiety disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website.
NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. NICE only provide guidelines for:
- Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder ,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder , and
- Social anxiety disorder.
The NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. But they should have a good reason for not following them.
We have described some of the treatments for anxiety disorders below. The treatments you will be offered depend upon the type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing.
You can find more information about treatments for:
Monitoring your symptomsSome anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder may get better by itself with no treatment at all. Or after education and advice from your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms to see if they improve. And they will talk to you about medications that you can get without a prescription. These are sometimes called over-the-counter medications.
Individual non-facilitated self helpThis involves working from a book or a computer program. You will be supported by a trained professional
Individual guided self-helpYou should:
Your learning should:
Some Common Causes Of Depression
Some factors that contribute to depression include:
- Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
- Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
- Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.
Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.
To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.
A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.
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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.
Why Am I Anxious For No Reason
Anxiety can be caused by a variety of things: stress, genetics, brain chemistry, traumatic events, or environmental factors. Symptoms can be reduced with anti-anxiety medication. But even with medication, people may still experience some anxiety or even panic attacks. The best treatment combines medication with therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. If the anxiety is rooted in trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing may be the best course.
Anxiety usually has a triggeran event or thought that provokes an anxious response. However, most people arent aware of their triggers, and believe they have become anxious for no reason. As human beings evolved, our species developed an instinctual response to danger, known as fight, flight, or freeze. The sympathetic nervous system makes our bodies and minds react quickly when we are in danger, and we may choose to stand and fight, run away, or stay totally still as if playing dead, known as the freeze response.
Our anxiety, or fear, evolved as an alarm bell to move us into life-saving action. In our modern world, we encounter conflicts that arent actually life-threatening. But our nervous system doesnt know this, and so we can react to a variety of stimuli with the fight, flight, or freeze response, even when it is inappropriate. Add this to the fact that anxiety can also cause confusion or disassociation, and you can see why the exact causes of your anxiety are often so hard to pin down.
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Your Thoughts And Feelings Affect Everything You Do
Not feeling right can cause you to think and act differently and this can affect all aspects of your life, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
When somethings not right you could experience it in different ways. You might get sick or just feel generally run-down. You may feel like youre not your usual self – you dont want to be around anyone when usually you love company. You may cry a lot for no apparent reason or easily lose your temper, or even wonder what your life is all about.
Getting an overall picture of yourself helps to make sense of whats happening in your life, and what can help you feel better. One way to do that is to think about whats happening in different aspects of your life your body , your spirit , your social circle and your mind .
- Physical : Thinking about your tinana means focusing on how you look after and care for your body.
- Mental : Thinking about hinengaro means focusing on emotions and how you communicate, think and feel.
- Social : Thinking about whnau means focusing on the relationships you have with people who support you. Their support might be physical, cultural or emotional.
- Spiritual : Thinking about wairua means focusing on things that give your life meaning. That might mean your religion. It could also mean thinking about your links with the environment , your heritage, and your connections to ancestors .
Know and understand those unseen things that can cause worry, anxiety and fear – Mori proverb.
Can Someone Suddenly Develop Anxiety
Unfortunately, anxiety can affect anyone at any time, and the often sudden onset can be disconcerting. Anxiety disorders are one of the most commonly reported mental health concerns, Kassab explains. In fact, 1 in 4 people experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives.
Its worth noting that anxiety can come and go suddenly, especially if its linked to a difficult event or situation. A sudden onset of anxiety can occur when something extremely stressful is happening unexpectedly, or when there is physical pain in the body, physical stress, or other kinds of severe mental stress, Saxena says.
Meanwhile, psychiatrist Jared Heathman, MD, explains that while anxiety can be triggered by certain stressful stimuli, it can also be random and equally debilitating. Either way, there are things you can do to manage an anxiety or panic attack when it starts.
Licensed clinical psychologist Aaron Weiner, Ph.D., says, Anxiety spikes are an activation of the bodys fight-or-flight system, a hardwired physiological reaction to when we think were in danger in some way. Because of that, we can anticipate some of the following symptoms of a panic attack:
- Heart palpitations or a pounding heartbeat
- Becoming hot or dizzy
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