Anxiety should not just be left unattended. Once a person starts to feel anxious, something must be done to manage the feeling because this feeling does not only occur once in a person’s life. During a stressful situation, any person can feel anxious and it is but normal for all of us to feel this way.The effects of anxiety affect our physical and emotional health. Some are used to the feeling already that they do not anymore notice the adverse effects that anxiety has brought them. The reason for this is the more stressed we are, the less able we come to identify the growing level of anxiety in us.
Short term anxiety usually happens when there is possibility of danger such as when you are walking down a dark and empty street and a strange figure suddenly approaches. Instantly, immediate physical symptoms occur. You start to shake and sweat, hands get cold, increase heart beat, and rapid breathing. You can choose to either fight or run away. This strategy is called the fight or flight response.However, if the situation does not actually pose any threat but only the mind thinks that there is danger coming, the level of anxiety increases and the symptoms become more serious. The body’s health will be affected if these symptoms continue to exist for a longer period.
Side Effects of Long Term Anxiety
There are various health problems and illnesses that a prolonged anxiety can bring. For one, it can cause migraine after making the brain think too hard of the negative possibilities when there is actually none. The anxious person may develop cases of asthma, back pain, and frequent illness.Since anxiety creates disturbed minds, the effects of it may be restlessness, irritability and sleep disturbances or insomnia in some cases. Its tremendous effect may reach the body system such as the digestive tract. The person will also experience changes in appetite.
In worse cases, an extreme level of anxiety may cause the person to have sexual disorder and depression. Some physicians would misinterpret anxiety for depression so the same treatment for depression is prescribed to those who are feeling an increased level of anxiety.
Understanding Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety that is chronic and in some cases, worsens the physical and emotional conditions of the person becomes a disorder. Long term anxiety is also called anxiety disorder or anxiety attacks. Once the anxious feeling interferes with social relationship and day-to-day living, beware of anxiety attacks.Compared to normal or regular anxiety, anxiety disorder has a more serious manifestation of adverse effects on a person’s health as those mentioned above. Such imperil health conditions are not treatable with simple self-help programs; it requires medical treatment and a consultation from medical professionals and therapists.
Different Forms of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder may come in different types. Phobia is an example of a mental problem causing anxiety. It is a kind of fear from the real danger of the thing or situation that prompts it. An example for this would be social phobia which is a common but complex type of phobia. People with social phobia always feel anxious when surrounded by other people and always worry about what others think.Panic disorder is another factor caused by anxiety. Panic attacks may be shorter than anxiety attacks but can also be prolonged. This usually happens in a situation that comes unexpected without warning or precaution.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another undesirable outcome of anxiety disorder. Repetitive thoughts and visions about things or situations that trigger feelings of repulsion or disgust is obsession. Compulsion is an action or a manner of thinking that triggers repetition about something. Anxiety caused by obsession is decreased by a compulsive response. An example would be constant hand washing to get rid of germs or dirt.
The last type of anxiety disorder would be generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This is long term anxiety wherein constant worrying about negative consequences manifests in an anxious person. To combat such level of anxiety, medical treatment is needed. Professional therapy will also be a solution. Counseling would also make a good option. The counselor will help an anxious individual concentrate on making things right and conditioning the mind to be more rational in thinking.