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Unmasking Anxiety: The Truth About its Illness Status

Updated: May 26, 2023

Anxiety is the tax we pay for having the ability to imagine the future

Butterflies in your stomach, racing heartbeats, dizziness, nausea—ring a bell? Well, I know not experiencing any of these is undeniable. As humans, we all have reflexes, and such signs are nothing but our bodies' ways of reacting and responding. Just because we have a system of nomenclature in place, there is a term assigned to such a state of mind - anxiety. Anxiety is a basic, inherent emotion. It exists within all of us. It's the brain's way of reacting in a given scenario. Well, we all have emotions. Therefore, feeling anxious comes naturally to us. Work problems, worrying about a deadline or a test, and problems in a relationship are just a few examples of situations that require quick decisions at important times. When the brain gets overwhelmed by arbitrating a situation based on the acquired knowledge, all it can do is fight, flee, or freeze.

Anxiety in itself is not bad. Fear and concern in an appropriate ratio often yield positive outcomes. Getting motivated comes as a by-product. Occasional bouts of anxiety are therefore innate and productive to some extent The problem arises when this motivation converts into an escape mechanism. Constant fear and stress that makes you avoid work, friends, and family is a red flag! Here comes to life the well-known - anxiety disorder.

The occasional urge to avoid people and tasks is understandable. But if this becomes a regular feature, it's time to seek help. Anxiety brings things to your attention and makes you want to change things or situations that could hurt you.

The underlying reason

Anxiety is a reaction to uncertainty and risk, and anything or nothing, in particular, might cause it—just a broad, nebulous sensation of doom or bad luck. Having to deliver a discussion or presentation or being called upon in class, where people run the risk of losing their social position by being harshly judged, are at the top of the list of scenarios that cause anxiety.

People experience anxiety because their neural network has become so hypersensitive that it sees danger when there is none. Caffeine is a chemical and prescription drug that makes your body feel the same way that anxiety does. Due to differences in each person's biological make-up, parental heritage, individual life history, personality traits, and coping mechanisms, different people have different susceptibilities to anxiety.

When it comes to any disorder in the body, the most maligned member of the family is the genes. If anxiety disorders run in the family, they ought to catch you anyway. Research in medicine suggests that defective brain circuits are accountable for how we react emotionally.

Stress, as we know, is the root cause of any mishap in our physical system. Anxiety disorders are caused by childhood trauma, bereavement, or any event that causes distress. Another strong contender is alcohol. Substance abuse and recreational drugs often contribute to triggering panic attacks.

Some medical conditions, like heart, lung, and thyroid problems, can also make anxiety worse or make the symptoms worse. To rule out any irrelevant speculation, a thorough medical checkup should be planned.

The warning signs

Never forget that anxiety is a natural emotion, not a medical condition. But that does not mean it has to be left untreated, even if the symptoms go untreated. Addressing the issue is very important for a healthy and peaceful mind.

The following red flags need immediate attention and call for medical help:

⦁ Constant panic and worrying about everything happening around you

⦁ The constant urge to avoid people and events because of fear

⦁ Inability to get over the feeling of anxiety

⦁ Need for alcohol or drugs to get over the symptoms of anxiety and fear

⦁ Strong urge to give up leading to suicidal thoughts

⦁ The feelings do not normalize just stay on your mind all the time

dominating your personal, social, and professional lives

groups for a timely recovery.

The costs of anxiety

Anxiety can have significant costs for both an individual and society as a whole. Anxiety can hurt a person's physical and mental health, which can lower their quality of life. Anxiety can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as too much worrying, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, feeling tired, or being irritable. Another issue could be decreased productivity in the workplace or academic settings. People with anxiety may find it hard to focus or finish tasks, which can make them less productive and waste time at work. Due to the need for medical treatment and therapy, anxiety can cause healthcare costs to go up. The treatment may require medication, psychotherapy, or hospitalization, which can be expensive. Anxiety can impact a person's social and monetary well-being. For example, anxiety can lead to job loss or difficulty finding and maintaining employment. It can also lead to social isolation, strained relationships, and reduced social functioning. The consequences of anxiety can extend to society at large, which can involve reduced work efficiency and higher medical expenses. It can also lead to other problems in society, like drug abuse, homelessness, and violence in the home. To summarize, anxiety can have a significant impact on individuals and society, including decreased quality of life, lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, social and economic costs, and broader societal impacts. If you have anxiety symptoms, it's important to get help because effective treatment can help reduce these costs.

Take away

The good part about the bad thing is that it is treatable. Modern medicine and technology are so advanced that they can solve almost any problem. The keystroke here is, "the sooner the better." The same holds for anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy and cognitive therapies, along with proper medication, are good enough to get you back on track. There are ways in which feelings of fear and distress can be normalized. Your mind gives away the response of stress and fear to seek attention and revitalizes you to make amendments for your protection.

The most important parts of a good treatment are changes in lifestyle, a healthy diet, counseling, and support groups. So keep calm, address the issue, and follow the plan.

In short, Connect, Consult & Heal.

That's it!

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