You’ve been nervous and tense lately. The question is, why? Factors like work, school, or relationship issues could trigger these feelings, but ignoring them could result in temporary anxiety or even long-term anxiety disorders. But these symptoms are manageable, allowing you to take back control of your life.
What Is Anxiety?
“Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. However, it can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.” Anxiety often goes away on its own, but you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder when the symptoms persist.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety happens to all of us at some point, but when nervousness, agitation, and other symptoms happen daily for months on end, you may have developed an anxiety disorder. Medicine like ketamine can treat symptoms of mental illness, so if you’re suffering from anxiety, ask your healthcare provider for information on coping strategies.
Common anxiety disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder is where you feel severe and impractical worry and stress, even without triggering such feelings. Most days, you obsess and worry over different topics, like your health, job, school, and personal relationships. You may even feel like the worry cartwheels from one thing to another.
- Panic disorder, featuring intense, rapid feelings of terror. These attacks are often characterized by deeper, more intense emotions than other kinds of anxiety disorders. Symptoms may resemble those of a heart attack (sweating, pounding heartbeat, chest pain, or feeling as if you’re choking).
- Phobias are another kind of anxiety disorder. This means you have intense and irrational fear over common situations and objects, even when they don’t present danger and result in previous harm. For example, you could be afraid of animals, insects, crowded rooms, or other objects and situations.
- Social anxiety disorder, once known as social phobia. This can feature devastating worry and self-consciousness with regular social situations. If you have a social anxiety disorder, you may avoid social situations completely.
Why Does Anxiety Happen?
Uncovering the causes of anxiety and anxiety disorders can be difficult. Everybody handles stress differently, but that’s just one possibility among many. It’s probable that a blend of factors, including your family history and environmental influencers, play a part in developing mental health issues. But some events, feelings, or experiences may be the starting point for anxiety or could make them worse. These components are what are known as anxiety triggers. They may include:
- Medical problems. An undiscovered health issue may be causing anxiety, especially if you haven’t had anxiety before, have no family history, and haven’t gone through any recent big changes. Georgetown University psychiatrist Robert Hedeya, MD, developed a diagnostic procedure to help doctors uncover possible medical causes for anxiety – it’s known by the acronym “THINC MED”. It looks for tumors, hormones, infectious diseases, nutrition, central nervous system, miscellaneous, electrolyte abnormalities, environmental toxins, and drug usage.
- Certain medications can trigger anxiety symptoms, such as over-the-counter medicine, birth control pills, drugs for cough and congestion, and weight loss medication.
- According to a 2010 study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, caffeine has certain anxiety-inducing effects, like making you feel jittery or nervous.
- Skipping meals could result in lower blood sugar, resulting in nervousness, agitation, and, yes, even anxiety. However, there are nutrition strategies to help fight anxiety.
- Thinking badly about yourself, others or the world around you can trigger anxiety. What can help? The power of positive thinking.
- Money trouble, relationship issues, and stressful situations.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosing anxiety can be accomplished in a few different ways. First, your doctor may perform a medical examination and run different tests to uncover the source of your anxiety, such as the THINC MED procedure. If there are no medical reasons for your anxiety, they may refer you to a mental health professional for a psychiatric assessment. During a mental health exam, you’ll be asked about your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and whether you have a personal or family history of mental illness. Symptoms will then be compared to standard criteria before discussing treatment options, like psychotherapy, self-help, nutrition, or ketamine.
There are many reasons that anxiety happens, and while you can control some of these triggers, the condition should never be ignored. If symptoms begin taking control of your life, talk to your healthcare provider about diagnosis and treatment options. With care and time, you can live a productive life.