Anxiety Disorders Symptoms and Causes Q&A
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Worry and fear about everyday situations are common symptoms of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are often characterized by episodes of sudden, intense anxiety and fear (panic attacks) that peak within minutes.
Feelings of anxiety and panic can interfere with daily activities, be difficult to control, be out of proportion to actual danger, and last for many years. In order to prevent these feelings, you may avoid certain places or situations. Children and teens may experience symptoms during childhood and continue into adulthood.
Among the types of anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder. It is possible to have more than one anxiety disorder. Anxiety can sometimes be caused by a medical condition that needs to be treated.
When stress or worry becomes excessive or persistent, anxiety negatively affects your daily life, as well as your ability to cope with stresses that are part of everyday life.
You may be tempted to ignore these signs and symptoms in the short term. Your quality of life may begin to suffer as a result of anxiety symptoms over time. The pain of headaches and difficulty concentrating may affect your productivity at work, muscle tension may keep you from being active or sleeping well, and nausea may impair your appetite.
There is no single root cause of anxiety, but a combination of factors usually contributes to it. Genes, personality, stressful events, substance abuse, and physical health are some factors that correlate to anxiety.
It is not always necessary for external stressors to trigger anxiety conditions, but they can do so. Several traumatic events or dramatic life changes can sometimes trigger anxiety or pose risk factors for the development of an anxiety disorder, including trauma, abuse, family problems, career change, and career stress. Anxiety is more likely to develop in people with certain personality characteristics.
Anxiety is more likely to develop in people who behave timidly, find themselves easily flustered, or lack self-esteem. Diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and other physical health problems can also be related to anxiety. Substance misuse can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders in approximately 20 percent of those with substance abuse disorders. Genetic predisposition, such as a family history of mental health conditions, is a common precursor to anxiety.
Everybody experiences anxiety at some point in their lives, even those without anxiety disorders. Those with anxiety disorders, however, experience more severe and frequent symptoms than those without the disorder. A person diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is constantly worried and concerned about everything around them. A person’s heightened fear and anxiety can cause panic attacks. Patients with anxiety disorders experience a range of symptoms that can make everyday life difficult.
The following symptoms are typically associated with anxiety: nervousness, difficulty controlling worry, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, weakness, sweating, and gastrointestinal distress.
Anxiety is not a mental illness in and of itself; it can be an appropriate reaction to stressful situations for those without a mental illness. Anxiety disorders are characterized by a continuous and more severe experience of feelings and symptoms. Further, individuals with anxiety disorders are prone to experiencing this reaction even in situations with disproportionately low levels of external stressors.
Anxiety disorders are diverse but generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common. Other forms of anxiety disorder are related to specific phobias, usually social ones.
Anxiety disorders affect nearly one-fifth of American adults, making them the most common mental health problem. Although effective treatment options are available, only about a third of adults with the disorder seek help.
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