Anxiety: It is a normal human emotion that everyone experience sometimes. Many of the people feel anxious/ nervous when faced with certain problems at work/ making an important decision and many more. Anxiety disorders are something different that interferes with a person ability to lead a normal life and cause distress. It is a serious mental illness, occur in some stages. People with anxiety disorder have constant, overwhelming and crippling worry and fear.
- Feelings of panic/fear/ uneasiness.
- uncontrollable and obsessive thoughts.
- shortness of breath
- muscle tension
- sleeping problems.
- cold/sweaty hands/ feet
- dry mouth/ nausea/ dizziness
- inability to be still and calm
- lack of concentration
- repeated thoughts/flashbacks of traumatic experiences
- some ritualistic behaviors
- unwanted thoughts
- nervousness/being tense
- trembling/muscle twitching
- weakness & lethargy
WHEN TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR ANXIETY DISEASE?
When anxiety signs and symptoms appear and long lasts, then without any delay you should consult doctor. It may be a problem for you if-
- anxiety feelings are strong/ last for a long time.
- fear/ worries are out of the proportion to the situation.
- when you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious and more anxious.
- worries feel very distressing/ hard to control.
- facing regular symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.
- you find it hard to go about your everyday life/ do things you enjoy.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
Anxiety problems are cause by lots of factors involved in it like-
1) Past/ childhood experience- physical/emotional abuse/neglect/ losing a parent/ being bullied/ being socially excluded childhood experiences.
2) Your current life situations- exhaustion/ build up of stress, long working hours, being out of work, feeling under pressure while studying/ in work, having money problems, homelessness/ housing problems, losing someone close to you, you may feeling lonely/ isolated, being bullied, harassed/ abused.
3) Physical/ Mental Health problems - ongoing/life threatening physical health conditions which trigger anxiety living./ Depression/ Stress.
4) Drugs and Medications- - psychiatric medications, physical health problem medications, recreational drugs/ alcohol. Sometimes, some sugar and caffeine related food/drink can trigger symptoms of anxiety.
To diagnosis anxiety, a complete physical examination is essential. It helps doctor to rule out other illnesses that may cause your symptoms to appear. A complete personal history is required for proper diagnosis of anxiety. During the physical examination, many things contribute to anxiety such as certain illneses, alcohol consumption, coffee consumption, medications, hormones, other medical conditions like shortness of breath, shaking, sweating, chills, chest pain, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, etc; is noted by doctor. Doctor may also rule out some medical conditions that resembles anxiety symptoms.
Your doctor may also use one/ more of the following tests to assess your level of anxiety :-
- Zung self-rating anxiety scale
- Hamilton Anxiety Scale ( HAM-A)
- Beck Anxiety Inventory ( BAI)
- Social Phobia Inventory ( SPIN)
- Penn State Worry Questionnaire
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale
- Yale-Brown Obsessive- Compulsive Scale ( YBOCS)
- Include exercise in your daily routine.
- Pay attention to sleep for brain to function properly.
- Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine/ alcohol.
- Deep breathe.
- Help out in your community.
- Look for triggers, it will help you to know the causes of your anxiety, that can help you put your worries into perspective.
- Try to do your hobby.
- Listen music
- Practice yoga
- Try to meditate
- Avoid procrastination
- Talking therapies and regular counselling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Do activities which make you happy and positive.
WHAT TO AVOID?
- Curd/heavy/ too cold foods/ constipating diets.
- Alcohol/ caffeine
- Aged/ fermented/ cultured foods
- Added sugars
WHAT TO EAT ?
- Dark chocolate
- Green Tea
- Selenium rich diet
- Omega-3 rich food
- Egg yolk
- Vitamin - E rich foods
- Spinach/ swiss chard
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q.1) How do I know if I am experiencing anxiety?
Ans.- When signs and symptoms like feeling nervous, restless, increased heart rate, breathing rapid, sweating, weakness/ tiredness appear, difficulty controlling worry, trouble sleeping etc. Tends to appear for long time by influencing daily life activities, then it may be result of anxiety.
Q.2) What is Anxiety?
Ans.- Normal emotion that causes increased alertness/ fear/ physical signs such as rapid heart rate. Intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations occurs and with this fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating and feeling tired may occur.
Q.3) How severe is Anxiety?
Ans.- It becomes severe when panic attacks occur several times. Panic attack, can happen without any specifiable trigger & their symptoms are far more severe than the symptoms of anxiety. Consistent and Frequent attacks may lead to severe conditions.
Q.4) What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder ( GAD) ?
Ans.- It is generally characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a no. Of different things. People who will face such a condition are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. They find difficult to control their worry.
Q.5) Does breathing help anxiety?
Ans.- Yes, it may help to overcome hyperventilation. During Anxiety, shortness of breath occur which may lead to condition called hyperventilation. Shifting breathing rate and pattern can stimulate the body’s parasympathetic response, helps in relaxation and makes you calm.
Q.6) What triggers Anxiety?
Ans.- Drinking too much caffeine/ Family history conditions/ personality factors/ ongoing stressful events/ physical health problems, and many more factors are responsible for Anxiety.
Q.7) How to stop triggers of Anxiety?
- Schedule your time to avoid your worry time.
- Practice Yoga and exercise.
- Improve sleep cycle.
- Limit caffeine intake.
- OTC drugs
- Get into your hobbies.
- Avoid amphetamines/alcohol/excessive caffeine.
- Routine changes, etc.
Q.8) How long are Anxiety attacks?
Ans.- Attacks can last for 10-30 mins, but they make you much worry and stressful that you may feel like you are about to die/ totally lose control.
Q.9) What is the age distribution of anxiety attacks?
Ans.- Most anxiety disorders begin in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Separation anxiety is an anxiety disorder that commonly begins in childhood and often includes anxiety related to going to school according to DSM-5. Panic disorder, demonstrated a bimodal age of onset in the NCS study in the age groups of 15-24 years and 45-54 years under age distribution.
Q.10) What is the difference between Anxiety and OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) ?
Ans.- Anxiety is different for different people. People who are facing severe anxiety and GAD(Generalized Anxiety Disorder) tend to jump from one anxiety to another throughout their day, whereas someone with OCD is more likely to obsess on a particular anxiety and devote excessive attention to it. In OCD, anxieties are largely irrational.