How To Tackle Anxiety? |Types, Symptoms & Treatment|
Is everybody dealing with some other form of Anxiety Right? So let’s start with its definition in the beginning. It is a natural and universal human emotion characterized by feelings of worry, fear, or apprehension. Though it is beneficial in certain situations, it helps us identify potential threats and respond mindfully. The real issues arise when anxiety becomes overwhelming, persistent, or disproportionate, jeopardizing your daily life. It significantly impacts our daily lives, relationships, and overall well-being. Let’s discuss what anxiety means, the different types of anxiety, the difference between normal and pathological anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety disorders, and the available treatment options, including medications and natural remedies.
Types of Anxiety
Having discussed what anxiety means, let us proceed to how it can manifest in various forms daily. There are several types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common ones include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is defined by persistent and intense worry about a range of topics, including work, finances, health, relationships or any other issues. Individuals with GAD struggle to control their anxiety and often experience various physical and psychological symptoms.
This is a general term that we come across. Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks mark it. It is accompanied by sudden episodes of intense fear followed by physical symptoms like rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, and trembling.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Also known as social phobia, this disorder involves intense fear of social situations and being negatively judged or scrutinized by others. People with a social anxiety disorder try to avoid or endure social problems with significant distress.
Intense fear of a particular object or situation, such as heights, spiders, or flying, marks a specific phobia. The fear is typically insignificant to the actual danger the object or situation poses.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
It is marked by excessive fear and anxiety related to separation from attachment figures which can be parents, caregivers or loved ones. While it is most common in children, adults can experience it too.
OCD and PTSD are also considered anxiety disorders, as they involve anxiety-related symptoms.
How Much Anxiety is Normal?
Anxiety is a real issue and affects your daily life when you don’t address the problem. It becomes excessive, persistent, or out of proportion to the situation. Generally, anxiety is considered normal under the following conditions;
- Occurs in response to a stressor or threat
- Is proportional to the situation
- Resolves once the stressor is removed or the situation is resolved
- Does not significantly interfere with daily functioning, relationships, or overall well-being
- If anxiety persists or becomes overwhelming, it may indicate an anxiety disorder, and seeking professional help is recommended.
What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?
Each anxiety disorder has a unique set of symptoms. We have listed below some common symptoms across most anxiety disorders, including:
- Persistent and excessive worry
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle tension
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling or shaking
- Gastrointestinal issues
Medications and Treatments for Anxiety
Taking professional medical advice is the best way to address anxiety disorder. Below we have listed some common ways by which anxiety disorders can be fixed:
- Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely researched and effective psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. It helps you identify and alter negative thought patterns and behaviours conducive to anxiety.
- Several medications are available to help manage anxiety symptoms, such as antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs), benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
- Lifestyle changes, for instance, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper sleep, can all be conducive to improved mental health and reduced anxiety levels. Incorporating stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help regulate anxiety.
- Using Some natural supplements and remedies has shown potential in managing anxiety symptoms. However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before trying natural remedies, as some may interact with medications or cause side effects. Some common natural remedies for anxiety include:
- Valerian root is a herbal supplement commonly used to help with sleep problems and anxiety. Some studies have shown that it may effectively reduce anxiety symptoms, but more research is needed to confirm these claims.
- Passionflower- A herb traditionally used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Some studies suggest it may be as effective as prescription medications in reducing anxiety symptoms, but further research is needed.
- Lavender: Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil has been found to have a calming effect and is often known to reduce anxiety symptoms. Ingesting lavender as a supplement may help alleviate anxiety, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
- Kava: It is a root native to the South Pacific and has been used traditionally to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Some research supports using kava for fear, but its safety is still a matter of concern due to potential liver toxicity. It is necessary to consult a doctor before using kava to treat anxiety.
The bottom line is that anxiety is a complex and multifaceted emotion ranging from a normal response to stressors to a debilitating disorder. Understanding the different types of anxiety, t, and common symptoms can help individuals identify when they may need professional help to avoid aggravating the situation.
Anxiety can be curbed by excellent means by availing of the benefits of various treatment options, from psychotherapy and medications to lifestyle changes and natural remedies.
There are several medications commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. It is essential to consider that drugs should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as they may cause side effects or interact with other medications.
Here are some of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety, along with reference URLs for further information:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): They belong to a category of antidepressants that work by increasing serotonin levels that work for mood regulation in the brain. Common SSRIs prescribed for anxiety include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), and paroxetine (Paxil).
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs are another class of antidepressants that increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Common SNRIs prescribed for anxiety include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
- Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are medications that improve the efficacy neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) reduce anxiety. They are typically prescribed for short-term use due to the risk of dependence. Common benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin).
- Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers are medications that block the effects of adrenaline and help control physical symptoms like that of anxiety, rapid heart rate and trembling. They are typically prescribed for short-term use and are most commonly used to treat social and performance anxiety. Common beta-blockers for concern include propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin.
- Buspirone (Buspar): Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that works differently from benzodiazepines and is less likely to cause dependence. It is prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and may take several weeks to become fully effective.