Anxiety Symptoms

 

anxiety-2The human body can cope with stressful situations in many ways. Depending on an individual’s brain chemistry, the mind can indeed overcompensate itself. Though, it is normal to experience periods of fear and worry dependent on what is going on in life, when these feelings take over and magnify an anxiety issue may be the underlying cause. Those with these may suffer from these feelings constantly over large periods of time, even after what has triggered the feelings is taken care of. They find themselves in a permanent state of worry over the slightest problems. Everyday life is strained making it difficult to concentrate on their jobs, relationship, schools, and other important matters in life as the fear takes hold. Life is transformed into a landscape of terrifying situations, causing withdrawal and avoidance of even miniscule tasks.

Anxiety disorders differ in cause but the basic symptoms stay somewhat the same, though existing on a spectrum of severity depending on the exact disorder. A generalized anxiety disorder is the most common, where the sufferer feels worry and fear for no real reason at all times. They may feel quickly tired out, unable to take care of the simplest of tasks as their concentration fades from their work to their worries, they may become irrational and tense, and they generally develop sleep problems such as insomnia as their brains are unable to turn off at night due to constant worrying and obsessing. Another common anxiety disorder is that of social anxiety, or social phobia, where a sufferer feels a terrifying sense of dread about any kind of public event or performance. They feel judged and embarrassed around others, fearing that they will be ridiculed for no apparent reason at all. Some find themselves freezing up, unable to talk or express themselves to others while in the presence of strangers. Days and weeks before a social situation the worry begins, as they angst and worry over doing something embarrassing and being laughed at or judged by their actions or looks or any number of issues.

Anxiety disorders such as these take to their extreme result in what is known as a Panic Disorder. It is less common than a generalized anxiety or social disorder, but is still faced by a large percentage of the world population at one time or another. Everyday problems are exaggerated in the mind and the body enters into what is known as the fight or flight, or adrenaline, response. The heart begins to race, blood pressure soars, they begin to feel shaky and sweaty, and a feeling of impending doom looms over head. Almost anything can trigger this response, even the most benign of situations. A sense of things becoming to “real” is a common system and a feeling of being too self-aware where the mind is paying attention to the smallest details. Shortness of breath occurs, where the sufferer feels their breathing is stifled and may seek respite from these feelings in any way they can. The effects tend to mimic that of a cardiac event or a heart attack where the limbs can tingle with chest pains and a racing heart, as well as the dizziness and loss of the ability to breathe property. Once these become a common occurrence the individual may begin to fear the panic itself and attacks can occur because of them wanting to avoid another. It becomes harder and harder to stop these attacks as they continue.

Crying womanLuckily, there are many successful forms of treatment for these disorders. A visit to most doctors will find most individuals prescribed with a combination of psychotherapy and a form of anti-anxiety medication known as a benzodiazepine. Therapy tends to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a form of psychiatry that pushes the patient towards new ways of thinking and dealing with the problems that cause the anxiety in the first place. Confrontation of the fears are very important, as well as talking them out and discussing what is causing the fear as to get to the bottom of the underlying issue. This can take the form of group therapy, wherein similar patients confront their fears together and talk them out to gain an understanding of themselves through seeing it through the eyes of others or in a one-on-one session, which is more common with sever social phobia situations. In either case homework where the person must deal with their problems on their own to help their minds be able to deal with its fears without the help of the psychiatrist. Beyond the CBT medications are also prescribed commonly, such as the benzodiazepines. These anti-anxiety medications calm the mind and slow down and ease the symptoms of anxiety such as the worries and fears associated with it. They also lower the blood pressure and lower the heart rate, helping deal with the physical symptoms as well. These medications do come with a downside, as they inebriate the mind and body similar to the way alcohol does. They also come with serious withdrawal after used for a long time, and can even be life threatening if not properly tapered off of with lowered dosages over time.

In the search for a less severe prescription medication some have found medical cannabis to be highly effective in anxiety treatments. Cannabis was discovered by doctors to have these benefits after prescribing large amounts of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy the plant and noticing an increase in the well-being and mood of the afflicted. Further research has shown that Cannabidol, or CBD, is the main chemical at work in the plant. It effects the body similarly as the anti-anxiety medication, lowering the heart rate, blood pressure, and improving mood, but by activating a different part of the brain called the endocannabinoid system. This part of the brain effect the respiratory, circulatory, and certain hormonal systems in the body. By stimulating these parts of the brain medical Cannabis has been shown to be quite effective in the treatment and even prevent of anxiety disorders.