What is anxiety? Anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder is a debilitating mental disorder characterized by excessive fears or worries about everyday things in life. The constant worrying is unrealistic and is characterized by a state of unease or apprehension that is exaggerated or out of proportion to the situation. Individuals who experience this are in a constant state of worry and fear that interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships. Sometimes people who experience anxiety feel nervous, restless, and stressed without understanding the cause of these feelings. An anxious person may even realize that there is no real reason to worry but they cannot relieve or calm their fears due to the disorder.
When experiencing this feeling an individual may experience physical problems such as rapid heart palpitations, tiredness, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach pains, and/or headaches that can lead to serious mental and physical problems if left untreated.
The cause of being anxious often occurs due to a chemical imbalance in the body, genetics, brain chemistry, and stress from one’s environment. A state of anxiety may last for weeks or months where an individual may feel a constant state of worry and apprehension. This state is also accompanied by physical symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, nausea, and muscle tension.
People can suffer from mild to moderate levels. A person with mild anxiety is able to function but may spend their days worried about a variety of situations including work, school, or home. Moderate to severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating where people will find themselves constantly, which affects how they sleep, eat, and function throughout the day.
Anxiety can be treated with medications, psychotherapy, or coping skills. Some techniques include learning how to manage stress, practicing relaxation techniques, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing deep breathing, and positive thinking.
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