Anxiety and its effect on health.

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.

But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

Anxiety is just the exaggerated response of body to a situation that is out of one’s comfort zone, when this response lasts for so long this is when you need to address the issue and look for a medical professional.

Symptoms of Anxiety disorder

  • Signs and symptoms of anxiety may be physical, emotional and behavioral such as nervous habits, compulsions and cognitive including racing thoughts, worries, obsessions. Many of these signs and symptoms are similar to the body’s normal “fight-or-flight” response to danger.
  • Children and adolescents may have symptoms of anxiety either similar to or quite different from those of adults, depending on the specific diagnosis and age of the individual.
  • There also seem to be gender-related differences in how many men and women experience and show anxiety.
  • While obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) used to be classified as an anxiety disorder, it is now grouped with other compulsive disorders.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been reclassified as a trauma-related disorder instead of an anxiety disorder.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive worries that interfere with the person’s life in some way.

Types of Anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorders are differentiated based on the type of object or situation that causes fear, anxiety, or avoidance as well as the thought patterns associated with the fear or anxiety. 

The most common anxiety disorders are specific phobias. Specific phobias are an excessive fear of a specific object or situation, such as spiders i.e.arachnophobia, heights as in acrophobia, flying, or closed spaces i.e.claustrophobia. Most people are aware that their fears are excessive, but they often feel powerless to control them. Sometimes a phobia may start after a traumatic event for example, being stuck in a small space; seeing someone injured by an animal, but the symptoms are related to the fear and not related to re-experiencing the trauma (for example, the symptoms don’t better fit a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis.

Coping Strategies

Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. 

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