Anxiety is a natural response of our brain to stress and fight or flight situations and preventing dangers is usually defined as a diffuse, vague, very unpleasant feeling of fear and apprehension. The anxious individual also shows combinations of the following symptoms: rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, fainting, dizziness, sweating, sleeplessness, frequent urination, and tremors.
For example: You may worry when your younger sibling goes alone for the first time. Which is okay and such feeling of anxiousness is called occasional anxiety which is common in every human. But when does this anxiety take a really dangerous and addictive phase where it becomes really hard to run from the thoughts that bother you? When you face the occasional anxiety coming constantly, irrationally and evoking thoughts of fear and uneasiness, it turns into anxiety disorder. Which may prevent you from functioning normally in your life. There are several types of anxiety disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder: It consists of vague, unexplained, prolonged feeling of fear. A person suffering from Generalized anxiety disorder may feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.
Panic attacks: Re-occuring anxiety attacks causing an extreme feeling of fear in a person are called Panic attack. A person experiencing panic attacks may feel sudden, intense fear that may result to sweat, chest pain and have a pounding heartbeat also known as palpitations. Sometimes it may also lead to intense feeling of choking or having a heart attack .
Social Anxiety Disorder: Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You obsessively worry about others judging you or being embarrassed or ridiculed.
Phobia: Ever heard from a person that they are phobic to dogs or cats or anything which is harmless? That’s is called a phobia. Irrational fear related to specific objects which generally start with Generalized anxiety disorder. It can be characterized in 3 main groups namely specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobia.
Specific phobias: You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.
Agoraphobia: You might have come across a person who did not leave their house for days or even months, at first you thought they were anti-social but later their condition proved to be more dangerous. This condition is called Agoraphobia. When a person faces difficulties in entering a new place and cling to their parents or loved ones and go to any limit to avoid going out or entering new places which may include throwing tantrums to avoid separation, they are suffering from this Agoraphobia.
Separation anxiety: marked by motor tension, as a result of which the person is unable to relax, is restless, and visibly shaky and tense, In separation anxiety disorder individuals face fear of separation from loved ones. Anyone, regardless of their age can get separation anxiety disorder. Children facing separation anxiety disorder may find it difficult to leave their parents and go to school or any social environment.
Selective mutism. This is a type of social anxiety in which young kids who talk normally with their family don’t speak in social areas like at school or between group of friends or any place that is new to them.
Medication-induced anxiety disorder. Medicines can also cause anxiety disorder. Overdose of drugs or use of harmful drugs or even withdrawal from drugs can lead to symptoms of anxiety disorders and withdrawal symptoms.
Obsessive-Compulsive disorder- In this disorder, a person is unable to control their preoccupation with specific ideas or are unable to prevent themselves from repeatedly carrying out a particular act or series of acts that affect their ability to carry out normal activities.
Here obsessive behavior is inability to stop thinking about a particular habit even though a person knows that it is not right.
Compulsive behavior is a need to inability to stop behaving in that way and repeating the same obsession again and again.
Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders: Very often people who have been caught in a natural disaster (such as tsunami) or have been victims of bomb blasts by terrorists, or been in a serious accident or in a war-related situation, experience
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- When a person suffers from repetitive flashbacks from a traumatic event, they are suffering from.
Somatic Symptom and Related Disorder: In this kind of disorder a person has psychological difficulties and might feel that they have an injury where as in reality everything is normal.
Somatic symptom disorder: In this kind of disorder, a person may constantly worry and visit a doctor believing they have some physical sickness or let’s just say even hearing about someone’s else illness they feel like they might have the same illness and go for a check-up. The only difference between a somatic and illness anxiety disorder is the way the concern is expressed but both are concerned with medical illness.
Dissociative Disorders Dissociation: In this condition an individual loses their identity and adopts a different identity. Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Identity Disorder and Depersonalisation/Derealisation Disorder are several conditions involved in this disorder.
Depressive and major depressive disorder: Anxiety at its worst turns into Depressive disorder which later worsens to major depressive disorder. The depressive disorder may include negative emotions and a constant feeling of negativity and being in a void.
A period of depressed mood may include loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, which lead to increased or decreased body weight, constant sleep problems, tiredness, inability to think clearly, agitation, greatly slowed behavior, and thoughts of death and suicide or other symptoms that include excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness is called Major depressive disorder.
Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic depressive disorder. These include both depressions as well as mania. Here a person experiences extreme emotions at two poles and there is no in-between. If a person is sad then they would be extremely sad and if happy then extremely happy.
Schizophrenia: Indeed the most dangerous and risky stage of anxiety. A descriptive term for a group of psychotic disorders Schizophrenia is the disorder in which personal, social, and occupational functioning deteriorates as a result of disturbed thought processes, strange perceptions, unusual emotional states, and motor abnormalities. It is a debilitating disorder. The outcomes of schizophrenia are painful and even sometimes unbearable both to patients as well as to their families and society.
The reasons behind these anxiety disorders can be social setting, drug abuse, brain chemistry biological, past – trauma, and more. It is really important to keep a check on your behavior to make sure that you don’t have an anxiety disorder.
Here are the 5 signs of an anxiety disorder you need to keep a check on.
1) Feeling Nervous
Are you facing an irrelevant feeling of nervousness and it is making it difficult to make a decision or go out in a social setting? Then you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The symptoms may include sweaty hands, increased heartbeats, body shaking, and dry mouth.
Have you started feeling low and drained out of energy and do not feel like getting up and doing anything? And you sleep for 7-8 hours more than your normal need. And spend your days in your room, then you are suffering from anxiety disorder.
Have you stopped socializing or recently your level of communicating with others has decreased? And you prefer staying alone and crowded places scare you off? Then possibilities are higher that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Are you having nightmares or continuous flashbacks that are preventing you from sleeping? And it has started to happen almost every night? That you have started spending most of your night staying awake and thinking about nothing. Then you are having an anxiety disorder
5) Lack of concentration
People suffering from anxiety find it difficult to concentrate and sit still. People find it hard to focus on the given task and wonder about things that don’t even matter which might lead to poor performance. It can affect your professional life in the worst ways.
6) Hyper activeness
Ever came across a person who talks a lot and sometimes overreacts as compared to the situation? It is very possible that a person having anxiety may react in happy or overly active to hide the fact that they have anxiety. It might be difficult for such a person to sit still or be silent sometimes. If they are asked to sit silently it makes them depressed and angry. Such a person is suffering from anxiety as well.
7) Digestive issues
Chronic anxiety may cause digestive issues as well. Anxiety may lead to stomach aches and a feeling of nausea as well. If you are facing constant digestive issues, it is more likely that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.
These all are just the common symptoms that can help you to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. In case, you are suspicious after relating to these signs, it is advisable to visit a counselor as soon as you can to prevent the situation from getting worse. Remember, never self-diagnose because the symptoms tend to overlap with a lot of other illnesses or disorders as well.