How Anxiety Disorder Affects The Functioning Of Our Brain

Anxiety Disorder

Harmful Effects Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is quite normal, and we all have gone through the feeling at some point in our lives. For instance, you might have felt anxiety before writing your university entrance exams or appearing for an interview.

It is a mental state when your heart and breathing rate increases, while moving in more blood to your brain. This is a physical reaction wherein your body starts to prepare you for facing intense situations. If your anxiety becomes a little too severe, it can even result in nausea and leave you lightheaded. A prolonged bout of anxiety might have a very debilitating effect on the psychological and physical health.

One of the latest surveys by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has revealed that more than 40 million US citizens suffer from one or the other form of anxiety disorder. Frequent anxiety bouts interrupt your normal life and can be a big deterrent to a healthy career, social and family life.

Several Anxiety Disorder Types Are Listed Below:

GAD Or Generalized Anxiety Disorder – There is no specific reason behind this type of anxiety. Here victims suffer from frequent and excessive anxiety. It has been observed that patients suffering from this condition tend to unnecessarily worry about numerous things, which last more than six months. People with a normal GAD can lead a normal life; however severe cases can have a major impact on an individual’s life.

Panic Disorders – People tend to suffer from a spontaneous feeling of terror, impending doom or anxiety. Symptoms can range from chest pain, palpitations, to shortness of breath.

Social Anxiety Disorder – This is a condition in which a person suffers from paralyzing fear of socializing, and they fear of being constantly judged. Their social phobia often pushes them to lead a secluded life, often ashamed of mingling with others.

Phobias – This is another form of anxiety disorder, which include claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) and acrophobia (fear of heights).

OCD Or Obsessive-compulsive disorder – OCD is a condition wherein people suffer from a strong urge to perform a particular thing repeatedly. Counting, hand washing or checking the time is some of the rituals that victims tend to do over and over again.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – People who experience or witness traumatic things start to suffer from intense bouts of fear and anxiety without any specific triggers. Symptoms of PTSD may not show at time but can come to the surface after years.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of anxiety disorder vary from person to person, and it also depends on the type of anxiety that a person suffers from. Some of the general symptoms are as follows:

  • Irritability, Nervousness, Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue, Trouble sleeping,

Apart from the above symptoms some other symptoms that might surface include the following:

  • Fear of doom or impending danger
  • Weakness, Trembling, Dizziness
  • Excessive Perspiration
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Tingling or Numbness In The Hands
  • Feeling Overheated Or Cold
  • Chest pain, Palpitations, Rapid Heartbeat
  • Hyperventilating, Rapid Breathing

Implications Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Disorder

People suffering from the problem of anxiety can either take up the fight or the flight mode of response, which releases a variety of chemicals into the blood including hormones like adrenaline. This implies that your breathing and pulse rate will suddenly increase so as to supply more oxygen to your brain. Your body will be ready to encounter and respond to any intense situation. The immune system of the body gets a boost, and the body returns to the normal state once the stress gets over. However, if the bouts continue for a longer time, then the body might never really return to the normal state resulting in various psychological and physical complications.

You must immediately visit a doctor for thorough examination of your symptoms, and your physician needs to evaluate and treat you for any underlying condition. Treatment of anxiety disorder includes behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy or medication. If your doctor feels the need, he/she can even resort to a combination of treatments for best and quick results. However, one thing you should keep in mind – only long-term treatment can completely cure the condition. Patients can lead a fulfilling and stress-free life if they get timely and proper treatment.

Author: Joe Clark

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