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Getting Down To Basics with Health

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is referred to as a manifestation of different disorders which can cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. While it is true that we normally experience fear or worry, especially when we are confronted by normal circumstances, like an approaching interview or exam, such manifestations become abnormal when our reaction to a circumstance results into a behavior that is already out of proportion, and that kind of manifestation is anxiety. Anxiety can be classified into mild anxiety, which is vague and unsettling, and severe anxiety creates a serious impact on our daily life.

The specific symptoms of anxiety are classified according to the kinds of anxiety disorders, which are – Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Separation Anxiety Disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a prolonged anxiety and worry about everything on life events, objects, circumstances. Sufferers of GAD always worry about health, money, family, work, etc, they have an unrealistic fear of anything, and they have trouble identifying what that fear is and trouble controlling worries.

Panic Attack

When symptoms, like shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty in breathing are manifested, these are results of a form of anxiety called panic disorder.

The Fear of Being Judged

A kind of anxiety which manifests through a fear of being judged or embarrassed by people is called Social Anxiety Disorder, and it manifests through the following: stage fright, fear of intimacy, and a fear of humiliation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which is characterized by thoughts or actions that are repetitive, distressing, and intrusive. OCD sufferers are obsessive and meticulous on cleaning their hands or on their personal items and are constantly checking, locks, stoves, light switches.

The Fear of Being Separated

Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by high levels of anxiety whenever a person is separated from another person or place which provides feelings of security or safety.

Environmental factors, medical factors, genetics, brain chemistry, substance abuse, or a combination of these – they are basically the main causes of anxiety disorders. The triggering factor of these disorders are the stresses that we bear in our lives.

Environmental factors may cause excessive anxiety and they are: trauma from events, abuse, victimization, death of a loved one, stress in a personal relationship, marriage, friendship, divorce, stress at work, stress from school, stress from finances and money, lack of oxygen in high altitude areas.

Anxiety can also be felt in medical conditions, such as anemia, asthma, infections and heart conditions. Medically-related causes of anxiety may include stress from a serious mental illness, side effects of medication, and lack of oxygen from emphysema or pulmonary embolism.

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