Feeling nervous and anxious is a natural reaction to stressful event. Everyone is familiar with these unusual sensations in the stomach, when getting results of some important tests or exams. Or maybe you can’t calm your shaky hands before speaking to large audience.
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Anxiety normally occurs in both adults and children from time to time. But for some of us, this feeling becomes a routine event, which interferes with daily activities. Doctors call it anxiety disorder.
It’s not the single condition. There are several types of anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic disorder. All of them have special features and differ in duration, trigger factors and severity.
Why does anxiety disorder happen?
Your body releases hormone adrenaline, when experiencing emotional or physical stress. In normal cases, this is a short-term surge, and adrenaline levels drop down after stress is over.
It’s different in people with anxiety disorder. Mental or physical illnesses, certain medications and genetic factors may keep adrenaline levels elevated for extended period of time, causing these symptoms:
#1. Persistent restlessness, panic and excessive worry – in generalized anxiety disorder, people feel extremely nervous and tense most days of the week during six months or more. Unreasonable anxiety may lead to numerous dysfunctions in the body and may significantly disturb your well-being.
#2. Trouble concentrating – it may appear really difficult to stay calm and think about anything else besides the reason of your trouble.
#3. Sleeplessness – chronic insomnia is one of the most common anxiety disorder symptoms. People with this problem can’t fall asleep and sleep normally the whole night.
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#4. Tingling in hands or feet – those, who experience panic attacks, may feel numbness and tingling in some parts of the body, most frequently in extremities.
#5. Muscle tension – this symptom often accompanies generalized anxiety disorder, but can become apparent in other types of anxiety disorders too.
#6. Dizziness and fainting – this usually occurs during anxiety attacks. Symptoms usually come abruptly and go away after 10 to 30 minutes.
#7. Indigestion – everybody may experience nausea, bloating and constipation. But be aware that anxiety disorder may have a link with chronic dysfunction of your digestive tract.
#8. Having strange “rituals” – any changes in your habitual activities may trigger panic. Like when somebody changes volume level in your radio. Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder perform some mental or physical behaviors again and again.
#9. Heart palpitations – racing heartbeats usually become apparent during panic attack, together with discomfort in the chest and shortness of breath. It may sometimes even mimic heart attack symptoms.
#10. Derealization and depersonalization – these medical terms mean that a person with anxiety disorder may feel detached from himself/herself or from reality now and again.
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