What is Anxiety Attack?
Anxiety Attack – A Disease or A Feeling
Anxiety Attack is a very common and healthy emotion that we humans have. It is a feeling of worries and fear. An intuition in mind that something bad will happen leads to anxiety or you may call it is anxiety. Just like excess of anything is not good, the same applies to anxiety. A higher or misappropriate level of anxiety is never a good symptom. It may be a medical condition that is obviously treatable. But, anxiety is not a medical term it’s a feeling.
Anxiety is directly related to stress. Also, it affects the person physically like high blood pressure, muscle tension, etc.
An anxiety attack can be diagnosed easily because it has a lot of anxiety symptoms depending upon its different levels.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart rate fluctuations
- Tightness in throat
- Sleep problems
- Dry mouth
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling faint
- Tension in head or neck
The symptoms of an anxiety attack can be different for different persons or can be different for the same person in different conditions. These symptoms are not part of every anxiety attack. However, if the anxiety symptoms continue for a long time after the danger or situation has passed, then it might be an indication that these symptoms are the result of a physiological condition known as Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
Levels of Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attack has levels, which can be
- Very light
- Extremely high.
The levels mainly depend on the trigger. The trigger and reaction of the person is directly proportional. It is often seen that the symptoms disappear with the disappearance of the hazard or the danger. However, if the stress or danger continues, further problems and symptoms start to develop.
Anxiety or Panic?
A lot of people compare anxiety to panic attacks and conclude that both are the same, which is not true. A panic attack is known to be one of the common symptoms of panic disorders, on the other hand, anxiety occurs depending upon a specific situation and goes when the situation ends. A panic attack usually occurs without any specific stimulus or reason, and its symptoms are more severe as compared to anxiety. Anxiety attack, however, can be one of the symptoms of panic disorder.
How Anxiety is different from Panic
It is generally considered that
- anxiety is a result of a specific stimulus or trigger, whereas panic attacks do not have a trigger.
- anxiety does not require any diagnosis since its just a feeling, a however panic attack is one of the symptoms of panic disorder and thus is a diagnosable condition. Only a licensed professional is allowed to diagnose a panic attack.
- Anxiety is less severe as compared to a panic attack, which is known to have severe symptoms.
- Anxiety develops slowly when a person feels anxious, on the other hand, a panic attack can occur any time, either a person feels calm or anxious.
- The physical symptoms of anxiety can be a racing heart or knot in the stomach, but the physical symptoms of a panic attack might include intense terrorized feelings with a fear of death or loss of control. The panic attack can occur unknowingly and can have a duration of a few minutes to few hours.
- Anxiety does not have any long-lasting health effects; however, panic attacks may result in long term negative effects on body and mind.
- Anxiety attack is not a physiological condition as it is not listed in the American Physiological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition. But, panic attack as part of panic disorder is listed in DSM-V.
What causes Anxiety?
Anxiety can be triggered by multiple reasons. Some of the causes of anxiety are given below
- Pressure including work pressure, social pressure, financial pressure
- Problems in the family or a relationship
- Concerns about different stages of life including settling, changing house, starting a family, starting a new thing, entering a new stage
- Short term memory loss
- The diagnosis of some diseases can also lead to anxiety.
- A history of drug abuse
- Excessive use of caffeine
- Public speaking or interview
- A fear of having a panic attack
Besides these causes anxiety can also be the result of symptoms of a physiological condition, which includes social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Types of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders have been classified into different types. Every disorder has different causes and symptoms. These include
- Panic Disorder or PD, which is triggered after losing a job or leaving a home. The disorder is observed to result in having at least two panic attacks and constant fear of future panic attacks, which leads to anxiety.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a physiological condition which results in unwanted repeated thoughts, which are obsessions and behavior, which is a compulsion. The disorder is very common among people and this leads to anxiety if not worked upon thoughts and behavior.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is considered to be a continuous state of tension or worry caused due to the new or sad happenings in a person’s life.
- Phobias are also a kind of anxiety disorder. As a result of a particular phobia, anxiety can occur and it is a known fact that most of the people having phobias know that their phobia is not related to reality.
Health Effects of Anxiety
If anxiety prevails for a long time, there are certain negative health effects that can occur. For example, the continuous anxiety condition can lead a person to depression or an anxiety disorder. Some physical health problems may also arise due to continuous anxiety state. These include
- High or low blood pressure
- Increased heartbeat
- Heart diseases
- Diabetes, and
- Frequent infections
How to deal with Anxiety
Anxiety can be easily controlled with just self-manipulation and determination. All you have to do is know the signs and triggers of anxiety, learn relaxation techniques and try a new activity or socialize with people. Exercise and a proper diet can also decrease the levels of anxiety. So have control over your anxiety and enjoy your life.
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