WHAT IS ANXIETY: ANXIETY DISORDERS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT
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What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is a characteristic of every human being. But at the outset, we must separate the anxious feeling and the anxiety disorder. We will not analyze the emotion as you may have noticed from the title, we will squint at the more severe cases when a person cannot get rid of a particularly anxious sense even if there is no reason for it.
In a more scientific term, a stressful situation awakens our brain to send an encouraging signal to the Adrenal gland, which suddenly embarks the release of cortisol and adrenaline. The primary difference between those two is that the first one has a prolonged impact and, on the contrary, the second - adrenaline - a short. Even though the lasting period differs, both of them have a huge damageable potential.
The particular anxious feelings can be linked to a disorder when a human being can no longer live a normal, ordinary life without it interfering. To be more specific, we will list the primary indicators (the summary of all possible symptoms, but not necessarily common to all people) that could be both physical and mental:
These expressions or occurrences materialize in every human's daily life. But as we have already emphasized, if you can take a break and escape from it, you should not worry about any disorder. However, there is no stamp of approval on your neglection, vice versa, not eliminating these factors could lead to an impairment.
All the symptoms mentioned above may indicate a particular anxiety-related disorder. Nevertheless, only a professional should determine your individual condition, and this is due to the fact every person faces unique experiences. Two people suffering the same condition may sense radically different symptoms. And secondly, two people suffering from different anxiety disorders can feel absolutely identical sensations. Hence, we should leave the decision on the shoulders of professionals.
Anxiety disorders are classified in three primary categories:
1. Anxiety disorders. The fundamental signs which are linked to the cases of this category are anxiety or excessive fear.
2. Obsessive-compulsive disorders. The number-one sign here is obsessive thoughts or over-thinking, which leads to compulsive behaviour.
3. Disorders related to trauma or traumatic stressors.
What causes anxiety disorders?
Several answers exist to this question. In some cases, the factors that we will mention, might interact with each other and evoke a disorder, in other - it is enough for one factor to cause impairment. The known factors so far:
1. Genetics. In most cases, the primary cause is the code in your genes. Scientific studies claim that the majority of patients have inherited a higher risk of an anxiety disorder occurrence. Currently, it is known that single-nucleotide polymorphism affects anxiety symptoms. However, a genetic factor does not guarantee the emergence of a disorder, furthermore, knowing the possibility that lies within your genes is a great advantage which you could use to maintain your lifestyle.
2. Behaviour. Your choice of how to behave can determine your future health condition. And primarily by saying “behaviour”, we have in mind such harmful addictions as alcohol, drugs or caffeine and more. These substances expand the risk of anxiety disorder development by interacting with your nerve system, vital neurotransmitters. Moreover, issues related to vitally important functioning, like sleeping cycle disturbance, also contribute. According to psychology studies, your personality may be a possible cause as well. The extremely sensitive person or a person prone to neuroticism falls into a group of more vulnerable people regarding anxiety-related disorders.
3. Medical condition and comorbidities. Another severe illness or particular comorbidity might increase the risk of anxiety disorder. The evoking cause could be a condition for itself (for example, menopause, insomnia or diabetes) or the medications you are using because of it (medication for Parkinson’s, asthma and so on).
4. Demographic. Several studies claim gender is a considerable factor when talking about the risks of receiving an anxiety disorder. The result shows that women are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of anxiety-related issues. Comparing the female and male cases, the first one experiences more severe symptoms. Scientists try to explain it concerning female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) impact, but the explanation seems unclear yet.
5. Environment. This factor resembles the “behaviour” factor as that is somehow familiar or intersecting. The way your parents nurture you, what are your friends or the situation at school leaves a stamp on your personality and psychological condition. If the environment you were growing has provoked the anxious behaviour/response in you, unfortunately, you will be more vulnerable later in life.
You won’t be able to make a change to your genetics, the environment you have grown, demographic factor or even sometimes a medical condition, but you still have a possibility to control your current environment, behaviour and lifestyle. Nowadays, people have an opportunity to consult the professionals, explore the mind and body of themselves, thus being easier to prevent any disorder.
We have tackled the signs and causes of anxiety disorders. Soon we will provide you with some explanations about particular anxiety disorders and how to deal with it. So stay tuned.