Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause certain physical or psychological symptoms or both in our body. We have an alarm system set up inside our brain which works by causing certain chemical reactions and sudden rush of hormones signalling our Nervous system whenever there is some threat to our lives.
Ever since the humans came into existence, the approach of predators and incoming danger has set off alarms in the body and allowed an individual to take evasive action. These alarms become noticeable in the form of raised heart beat, sweating and increased sensitivity to surroundings. A rush in Adrenaline hormone, in response to danger cause these reactions.
Individuals with an Anxiety Disorder can experience certain changes in their body and mind.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
- Disturbed sleep
- Chest tightness
- Stomach tested up in knots
- High or sudden fall in blood pressure
- Increased Heart rate
- Vision may also get affected
- Disturbed decision making capability
- Sweaty palms
- Pale skin
- Dried lips (ref the image for more).
Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety
- Stressed out
- Burned out
- Irritable disturbed thought process
- Feeling of tension
- Feeling low
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling uncertain
- Feeling under attack ( even through verbal conversations), and many more
Easy targets of Anxiety Disorder
Anyone can develop anxiety at any stage of life, but the mean age of onset of Anxiety Disorder is strikingly at the young age of 11 years. The lifetime prevalence of developing Anxiety disorder is astonishingly as high as 28.8%.
Over all, Anxiety disorder is associated with three fold increased risk of suicidal attempts, Anxiety is combined with other other disorders too, like 59.2% of patients with major depression had an anxiety disorder.
Over all 4 out of 10 individuals having Bipolar disorder have been diagnosed with Anxiety disorder as well, People who have co existing medical conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Arthritis etc, in over 70% of those cases Anxiety disorder actually came first.
Other medical conditions like Asthma, Heart diseases, chronic headaches, back pain, neck pain can also be associated with Anxiety, People who have had heart attack, presence of anxiety increases the risk of Reinfarction, ischemia, arrhythmia and even death.
It is very important to know the difference between normal feelings of anxiety and an Anxiety disorder that requires medical attention. There is no shame in seeking medical help. Health is above all. One should consult a physician who can guide you better for further assistance and management of this disorder.
In the next topic we will discuss about the various aspects of Anxiety.