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Anxiety: An Overview

Anxiety is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. It can range from a mild, persistent feeling of dread to more severe and debilitating panic attacks. Understanding anxiety and its symptoms is key to treating it successfully.

What is Anxiety?
Put simply, anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. When faced with a stressful situation, an individual’s body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that trigger the ‘fight or flight’ response – preparing them for action. In some cases however, this response may be excessive or out-of-proportion leading to feelings of fear, worry or unease. This can lead to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, trembling and difficulty breathing which can interfere with everyday life.

What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are believed to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetics; however, it is still not fully understood why some individuals develop anxiety while others do not. Common triggers for anxiety include: traumatic experiences (such as war or abuse), extreme stress levels in daily life (such as financial problems or work pressure) and certain types of drugs (such as cocaine). Additionally, people who have family members with mental health issues may be more likely to develop an anxiety disorder themselves.

Treatment & Symptoms of Anxiety
Fortunately there are many treatments available for people suffering from anxiety disorders including therapy (CBT), medication (antidepressants) and lifestyle modifications (yoga/meditation). The most common symptoms associated with anxiety include restlessness or feeling ‘on edge’; difficulty concentrating; irritability; fatigue; muscle tension; sleeping problems; difficulty controlling worries; shortness of breath; palpitations; dizziness; nausea/stomach discomfort and feeling like one has no control over their own thoughts/emotions.

Anxiety can be debilitating but with the right help and treatment it can also be managed well so that it does not interfere with day-to-day life. If you think you may have an anxiety disorder it is important to talk to your doctor who will discuss potential treatment options depending on your specific needs. Remember that you are not alone – millions of people struggle with anxiety every day but there are many ways in which those affected can learn to cope and live a fulfilling life despite their condition.






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