What makes you so anxious? Everyone is anxious, restless and exhausted, but if you constantly feel worried, tense or on edge, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are more than temporary worry or fear. In a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away on its own and can get worse over time.
Doctors make a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder when patients have symptoms of anxiety such as:
– intense and overwhelming worry
– sleeping troubles,
– muscle tension,
– difficulty concentrating and restlessness
For more than six months. Anxiety disorders are psychiatric diagnoses that, by definition, are not caused by the effects of a substance or medical condition.
- 1 Here are some examples of anxiety disorders:
- 2 You may suffer from several anxiety disorders
- 3 Stress plays an important role in anxiety problems
- 4 Could any of the following be causing your anxiety?
Here are some examples of anxiety disorders:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Separation anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
You may suffer from several anxiety disorders
The causes of anxiety can be a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or thyroid disorders that require treatment. There is a clear link between caffeine and anxiety and between alcohol and anxiety. Also, some medications can cause anxiety. In this case, stopping caffeine and alcohol or changing medications can reduce anxiety. Although all of these (medications, substances) can cause anxiety, this type of anxiety is distinct from a psychiatric diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.
Stress plays an important role in anxiety problems
A major life event or the sudden loss of a family member or income can trigger anxiety attacks (panic attacks), as can small daily stressors such as traffic jams, long lines at the supermarket and endless email or text messages.
Having a certain personality type makes some people more prone to anxiety than others. And as with many health conditions, anxiety seems to run in families. Genetics may play a role in deciding which people develop anxiety and which do not.
Some anxiety is normal, but if you have severe anxiety or worry too much, it’s important to talk about your symptoms with a mental health specialist. Psychologists focus more on psychotherapy and are not doctors. Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental health. Psychologists and psychiatrists can diagnose and treat anxiety disorders through psychotherapy, and psychiatrists can also prescribe medication.
Also, if you suffer from anxiety accompanied by suicidal thoughts, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Could any of the following be causing your anxiety?
1 Heart problems can cause anxiety
If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know your hands get sweaty, you can’t catch your breath, and your heart races. But heart problems can also cause anxiety. Indeed, people with generalized anxiety disorder are more likely than others to have a heart attack or cardiovascular disease. A third of people experience symptoms of anxiety such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath after a heart attack. These symptoms often last up to a year or more, and are more common in women.
There is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety. Research shows that people with anxiety disorders are two to three times more likely to have drug and alcohol problems at some point in their lives than the general population. But that’s not all. Alcohol or drug abuse can also lead to an anxiety disorder or panic attack. People with social anxiety who abuse alcohol have been shown to be more likely to experience severe anxiety symptoms as well as other emotional and health issues. Whichever problem comes first, the combination of drugs, alcohol and anxiety can become a vicious cycle.
3 Caffeine and anxiety make you nervous and restless
Caffeine is a stimulant. This is bad news for an anxious person. The effects of caffeine on your body are similar to those of a scary event. Indeed, caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response. Studies show that it can make anxiety worse and even trigger an anxiety attack. And like the symptoms of anxiety, one cup of coffee too many can make you jittery, moody, and keep you up at night.
4 Medications can trigger an anxiety attack
Some drugs have nasty side effects. They can cause anxiety symptoms or a panic attack. Prescription medications to watch out for include thyroid and asthma medications. Over-the-counter decongestants and combination cold remedies can also put you at risk. And if you suddenly stop taking certain medications sometimes used to treat anxiety, such as benzodiazepines, it can cause additional anxiety.
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your neck that produces thyroid hormones. These hormones are important for regulating your metabolism and energy levels. But if your thyroid produces too much of it, it can cause symptoms of anxiety. Such as nervousness, irritability, heart palpitations and insomnia. If you have symptoms of anxiety along with neck swelling, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, or heat intolerance, ask your doctor to examine your thyroid gland.
6 Stress can make anxiety symptoms worse
Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand (stress can cause anxiety symptoms, and anxiety can make stress worse). When you’re too uptight, you may also turn to other behaviors that make the anxiety worse, such as smoking, abusing drugs, or drinking alcohol. Remember that stress and anxiety are often accompanied by physical symptoms such as upset stomach, headache, dry mouth, dizziness and sweating.
If you have unexplained symptoms of anxiety, talk to your doctor. Anxiety disorders can be treated.