a debilitating disorder
Most people occasionally face experiences in life that can cause them anxiety. For example, it is a normal reaction to feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem or a dangerous situation. Indeed, mild anxiety can be a positive defence mechanism in these circumstances.
However, when anxiety is severe and endures for months or years, it can interfere with an individual’s ability to lead a healthy life. There are various types of anxiety disorder, which include Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and phobias.
Anxiety disorders can occur alongside other conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and in severe cases can lead to self-harm or suicide.
The symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety disorders are linked to the body’s so-called ‘fight or flight’ responses in the sympathetic nervous system. This is activated when an individual perceives a threat to their wellbeing (real or imagined), which results in the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Whilst this is a natural defence mechanism, over time it can be counter productive and lead to adrenal fatigue.
Physical symptoms of anxiety disorders can include stomach pains, diarrhoea, heart palpitations, dry mouth, chest pains, shaking, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath. Psychological symptoms can include insomnia, constant feelings of worry or unease, tiredness, lack of concentration, feeling irritable or angry, and a general feelings or detachment or loss of control.
Recovering from anxiety disorders
A study by the World Health Organization estimated that over 264 million people globally are living with an anxiety disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 4.1% of the US population suffers from anxiety that can be classed as severe.
Overall, it is thought that around 10% of people will experience problems with anxiety at some point in their life. However, with professional help and support from qualified clinical experts it is possible to overcome anxiety disorders. For details please contact us.
National Institute of Mental Health
World Health Organization – (Depression and anxiety disorders)