Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. We all feel anxious at times, but anxiety may be a mental health problem if your feelings are very strong or last a long time.
Anxiety is typically described as a feeling of apprehension or fear in situations where there is no actual real threat. This feeling of fear is disproportionate to the situation you are facing.
Unlike stress, anxiety persists even after a certain uncomfortable situation passes. Stress is usually a response to an external cause, such as a tight deadline at work or having an argument with someone, and usually disappears or reduces once the situation has been resolved.
In some cases, anxiety can escalate into an anxiety disorder and can affect day-to-day life. Anxiety is a mental disorder due to which a person feels discomfort from an uncertain perspective.
What Is Anxiety?
The evolutionary significance of anxiety lies in the mobilization of the body in extreme situations. A certain level of worry is necessary for normal human life and productivity.
Take a short, but accurate anxiety test.
Normal anxiety helps to adapt to different situations, it occurs in situations where it is very important for a person to make the right choice, in objectively dangerous situations.
Pathological anxiety or worry, although it can be caused by external factors, is conditioned by internal psychological and somatic factors. The worry and fear are disproportionate to the real danger or not related to it at all, and the most important thing is that it is not adequate to the significance of the situation and sharply reduces productivity and adaptive abilities.
Because of all mentioned above, an anxiety disorder can be a problem if it’s affecting your ability to live your life. If your anxiety is ongoing, intense, hard to control or out of proportion to your situation, it can be a sign of a mental health problem.
General anxiety disorder is a common condition, estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population. Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is more common in people from the ages of 35 to 60.
Most people experience stress and anxiety at some point in their lives.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
The clinical manifestations of pathological fears (anxiety) are different and can have the character of an attack or permanent, manifesting both through psychological and, even primarily, somatic symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Physical symptoms of anxiety disorder are:
- heart rhythm disturbances
- blood vessel spasms
- irregular breathing
- irregular breathing
- irregular breathing
- excessive sweating
- paraesthesia – a burning or prickling sensation that is usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, but can also occur in other parts of the body
These symptoms sometimes accompany panic attacks. Often, physical symptoms replace feeling of anxiety as such.
Physical manifestations of anxiety, as well as severe chronic stress and depression, are found in such socio-cultural environments where mental disorders are considered unacceptable and shameful. If one suffers from a physical illness, it is easier to receive compassion, help, and support from the people surrounding them.
In addition, somatization – transferring emotional issues into physical symptoms, leads to a number of factors. These factors are personality traits of physical sensitivity, duration of stress, and even alexithymia (inability of a person to verbalize their feelings).
In addition to the listed physical symptoms, there also may be symptoms related to chronic muscle tension, headaches, back and waist pain, muscle twitching, etc. As a result of muscle tension, a persistent feeling of lack of energy occurs.
In addition, vegetative symptoms are very typical for anxiety:
- Heart palpitations
- high blood pressure
- stomach cramps
- dry mouth
- increased sweating
- paleness or redness
- poor sleep due to various thoughts running through my head.
Symptoms such as dizziness, itching, sexual dysfunction, and allergic skin reactions are also common.
Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety
Research shows that less than 20% of patients notice typical psychological symptoms of anxiety: feeling unsafe, restlessness, worry, constant planning, super control of the situation, nervousness, irritability.
The main psychological anxiety symptoms are
- negative feelings
- unjustified anxiety for various reasons
- and the basic symptom is that people with anxiety disorder absolutely cannot stand the uncertainty
- excessive crying
- insulting people around
- over-planning in the smallest details.
When anxiety disorder sufferer sees an ambulance in front of their building, they immediately think that something had happened to their child. After they have realized that the child is alive and well, they feel relieved but have an urge to scold them.
Another situation is when a husband is late, he doesn’t answer the phone calls, and when he finally comes home, a wife suffering from anxiety is relieved, but she can’t refrain from shouting at him for not answering her calls.
The main questions for determining anxiety are:
- Have you felt anxious, worried, tensed, do you feel afraid most of the time during the last month?
- Are you often tense, irritable and sleeping poorly?
If at least one answer is yes, it is necessary to contact a psychiatrist for further examination.