What is an anxiety disorder?
Many have been anxious, but what if it interferes with living normally? In this case, we can talk about anxiety disorder. Learn how it manifests and how it affects behavior.
Anxiety Disorder and Its Forms
Anxiety disorder is a mental state in which anxiety levels increase. This is not a specific disease, but a number of different symptoms that affect behavior, the perception of the surrounding picture of the world, the reaction to current events and lifestyle. Disorders often develop in adults, but can also occur in adolescents. In young children, they are rarely detected, since the diagnosis is very complicated.
There are several forms of anxiety disorder:
- Obsessive compulsive disorder or, as it is called otherwise, an obsessive state. When he has obsessive fears and ideas, a person can constantly repeat any actions or rituals, monotonous manipulations, bringing temporary and often imaginary calm.
- Panic disorder is characterized by the periodic occurrence of sudden and unreasonable panic attacks, in which the patient has a strong fear. It may seem to him that there is a serious danger, a real threat to life has arisen.
- Anxiety personality disorder is diagnosed in people with a certain temperament, character traits. As a rule, from childhood they are suggestible, vulnerable, they sharply react to stimuli, they hardly adapt to change.
- A general or generalized disorder is the most severe form, in which there are numerous symptoms of increased anxiety, not only mental, but also physical, affecting the functioning of the body. Anxiety persists almost constantly, and its amplification is facilitated by everyday events and situations to which normal people react absolutely adequately.
- Specific phobias are pathological mental reactions to specific events, objects, phenomena and things, such as darkness, certain insects, confined spaces, and water.
- Social phobia - the fear of some of the events that occur when interacting with people.It can be new acquaintances, communication with strangers, stay in crowded places, public speeches.
- Post-traumatic stress disorders develop as a reaction to the psychological trauma received, which may be caused not only by the experienced events, but also by physical influences or threats.
- Anxiety-depressive disorder. This form is characterized by the presence of general dissatisfaction with life, apathy, mood swings and other manifestations of depression, which are accompanied by anxiety symptoms.
- In a mixed disorder, there are signs of various forms that can occur alternately or together, suddenly or in response to stimuli, regularly or randomly.
Anxiety is a normal response to external threats, dangers, or unfamiliar conditions. But anxiety disorder is caused by disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system, namely, interruption of interneuronal connections, disruptions in the transmission of impulses between parts of the brain and the pathologies of various brain regions (they may be acquired or congenital).
The exact causes of anxiety disorders are unknown, but there are several negative factors:
- severe stress or systematic increased emotional and psychological stress;
- psychological traumas suffered in childhood or already in conscious age;
- genetic predisposition (the disorder is not inherited, but the closest relatives may still have an increased risk of developing deviations);
- organic damage to brain cells caused by external influences (injuries) or internal (infections, strokes, aneurysms, neoplasms);
- the use of alcohol in large quantities, the use of narcotic drugs and other addictions affecting the psyche;
- some somatic diseases, for example, endocrine, autoimmune;
- adverse effects of the environment and the environment (polluted air, constant increased noise, poor living or working conditions).
Anxiety disorder can have various symptoms:
- anxiety, often unreasonable or trivial;
- increased nervous excitability;
- high level of anxiety;
- sleep disturbances: frequent waking, nightmares, recurring dreams, insomnia;
- fears, including unfounded;
- muscle tension;
- panic attacks characterized by impaired breathing, palpitations, confusion, fear of death;
- changes in appetite: its decline, lack of satiety and systematic overeating, changes in taste, complete lack of taste of food;
- behavioral disturbances (inadequate reaction to normal events, mood swings, thoughtless actions and strange actions);
- excessive sweating;
- cold extremities;
- pain in the sternum, interruptions in the contractile activity of the heart (often imaginary);
- dyspeptic disorders: diarrhea, alternating with constipation, epigastric pain, belching, increased gas formation;
- dizziness, headaches.
What is dangerous anxiety disorder? It affects the behavior and life of a person, changes his perception of the world and current events. And if reality is perceived inadequately, it can lead to sad consequences. For example, a patient may regard a simple treatment of a stranger as an attempt to cause harm. As a result, he will fall into a state of panic or affect and cause serious injury.In addition, an increased level of anxiety negatively affects professional activities, relationships with loved ones, and personal life. There is a possibility of thoughts about suicide, and if a person is not helped on time, he can do it.
How to identify?
Identify the problem will allow timely and comprehensive diagnosis, which includes consultation of a psychologist or psychiatrist. But it is necessary to differentiate the disorder and exclude other mental disorders. In addition, a comprehensive examination is desirable to identify possible malfunctions in the central nervous system, brain, endocrine system.
How to solve a problem?
Treatment of anxiety disorders should be complex and individually selected, depending on the specific form and symptoms. Therapy may include the following areas:
- Changing the way of life. It will be useful to change the type of activity, find a hobby, gain new skills, give up bad habits, review the diet. In addition, changing the situation is effective, for example, moving to a new apartment or even another city.
- Abstraction.It is necessary to find an occupation that will help get rid of negative emotions and receive exceptionally pleasant impressions.
- Mastering relaxation techniques, breathing techniques. They allow you to be distracted from negative emotions and eliminate unpleasant symptoms.
- Hypnosis is effective, but an experienced, highly qualified specialist should conduct the sessions.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is developed individually by the therapist and helps to gently correct and gradually change the patient's behavior, his reaction to events and irritants.
- Group psychotherapy. Sometimes communicating with people who have similar problems helps to look at them from the outside, to cope with difficulties.
- The constant support of loved ones is very important.
- In some cases, medication is prescribed, namely, the use of antidepressants, sedatives, tranquilizers, adrenoblockers, vitamin complexes and other drugs. The treatment regimen is compiled individually by the doctor.
- Confrontation is the artificial creation of anxious situations and the gradual gaining control over one's behavior and emotions, getting rid of fears.
Now you know what to do for anxiety disorders, and if necessary, you can help yourself or your loved ones.
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