Anxiety Disorders: Symptoms, Causes and Possible Solutions

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Anxiety disorders are extremely prevalent in today’s society. Fortunately, there are many solutions and treatments that help relieve the symptoms of anxiety.

It is normal, particularly in modern life, to feel a certain degree of anxiety from time to time. However, if you experience feelings of continuous, excessive and intense anxiety and fear about normal situations and events, it could be a sign that you have some form of anxiety disorders.

Usually, when you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you will have regular and very sudden bouts of intense fear, worry or even terror that increase and explode in as little as minutes. This is often referred to as panic attacks.

It is very difficult to control these feelings of panic and anxiety that can have a disruptive influence on your life. Generally, they are also incredibly irrational as the level of worry and anxiety you experience is disproportionate to the actual risk or danger you causing you anxiety.

The great thing is that there are various ways these conditions and their symptoms can be treated. However, before we look at possible solutions, it is best that you understand better the causes and symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Causes of Anxiety Disorders

There are a variety of different factors that can cause anxiety and other anxiety disorders. Like other issues related to mental health and well-being, anxiety can be brought on by any of the following:

  • Environmental stress
  • Brain chemistry
  • Genetics
  • An underlying medical issue
  • The use of or withdrawal from the use of illegal or even legally prescribed substances

Environmental Stress

Environmental factors including stress from a traumatic event, your financial situation, school, work and personal relationships can cause anxiety levels to increase far beyond the normal levels. This is perhaps the most common cause of stress.  While it is normal for life to stress you from time to time, as noted at the outset, this is a problem when even the smallest things cause you panic and fear.

Brain Chemistry

As anxiety manifests itself in predominately a psychological way, there are often connections to the brain and whether it is functioning properly if you have anxiety issues. Changes in the balance of the necessary chemicals in your brain can increase and trigger feelings of worry and fear.

Genetics

Like many other mental health and physical health conditions, anxiety and anxiety disorders can be passed from one generation to another by genetics. Therefore, you are more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder or be susceptible to the effects of anxiety more if someone in your family suffers from anxiety.

Underlying Medical Issues

Many people suffer from anxiety problems because of underlying medical issues.  In many cases, these are conditions they don’t even know they have and anxiety is often the first sign that they have a problem. Anxiety is often linked to the following medical conditions:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Respiratory disorders including Asthma and COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Problems related to the Thyroid, including Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Rare tumors that increase the production of the brain’s ‘fight or flight’ hormones

Using Illegal And Certain Legally Prescribed Substances Or Withdrawal From Using Them

Like most drugs, both illegal and legally prescribed, have positive and negative effects on the body and in particular the brain; it could be the use or withdrawal from these that is causing anxiety.  Anti-anxiety medications or benzodiazepines can actually increase anxiety levels, as does the abuse of alcohol and when you stop drinking.

Symptoms

An important part of diagnosing anxiety issues or an anxiety disorder is looking out for common symptoms. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling sick or nauseous
  • Dry mouth
  • Heart palpitation
  • Shortened breath or trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Easily startled
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble controlling the feeling of worry
  • Having urges to avoid things that could trigger your anxiety
  • Feeling weak and lethargic
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Constantly sensing impending doom, panic or danger
  • Often restless or nervous

Solutions and Treatment

There are many solutions and treatments for anxiety, but the one that is best for your condition will depend on the cause of it and your own preferences.  Most often though, a treatment plan for anxiety will involve a mixture of medication, behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy. There are also a number of natural treatments and solutions. To give you a good idea of what is available, we have highlighted some of the best below.



Medications and Natural Remedies

There are various anti-depressants that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. There are also anti-convulsants that are normally used for Epilepsy and antipsychotics (taken in low doses) that can be used with other solutions. Another type of medication that can be used to treat anxiety is Anxiolytics.

Moreover, there are also some natural solutions when it comes to relieving the symptoms of anxiety. Check out this recipe for lavender lemonade that treats insomnia, headaches, and anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A particular type of counseling and psychotherapy, CBT can teach you to identify and alter thought patterns and certain behaviors that could be triggering your anxiety attacks.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is often used to treat the emotional response to mental illness.  A specially trained doctor can help you to understand and manage your anxiety disorder.

Natural Treatments and Solutions

As many medications can become addictive if you become too reliant on them and you would rather deal with the problem yourself, there are many tried and tested natural treatments and solutions to anxiety. We have highlighted some of the best below.

Green Tea

Green Tea is delicious and refreshing, but it could also help reduce anxiety. This is thanks to the amino acid found in the tea known as L-theanine which can reduce rising blood pressure and heart rates. It has been shown to increase the focus and calm test subjects who were anxiety-prone when they took 200 mg of the acid.



The downside, if you are not a fan of the tea, is that you would have to drink between 5 and 20 cups of tea to feel the benefit.

Exercise

Safe and good for your body and brain, exercise is an excellent solution to both anxiety.  It not only can effectively treat anxiety in the short and long term. The more you exercise, the healthier and better you will feel about yourself. Do whatever you enjoy, whether it’s swimming, cycling, aerobics, dancing, playing sports, weight training etc. The list is endless.

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By Valerie S.



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