Anxiety | It's Causes And Best Ways To Overcome It

Anxiety | It's Causes And Best Ways To Overcome It
Anxiety can be defined as the general term used for several disorders that cause fear, nervousness, worrying, and apprehension. These disorders affect how we behave and feel and can also cause physical symptoms.
The anxiety affects around 40 million Americans making it the most common group of mental illnesses in the United States. It is not any different in Nigeria and other countries of Africa, infact Africans have a high rate of anxiety especially among the adults. Despite the great number, only around 36.9 percent of people with the condition receive the necessary medical and psychological treatments.

Causes of Anxiety

Some common causes if anxiety include:
1) Drug Abuse: This is the illegal use of drugs without the prescription of medical personnel. Substances that can be abused Caffeine, Nicotine, Marijuana, Cocaine and Heroin. Substance abuse can lead to anxiety disorders, and vice versa so therefore, the both issues need to be controlled together.

The Chemical Connection between Anxiety Disorder Substance Abuse

Chemicals used in manufacturing these drugs like marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, and pain-relieving medications, as well as even seemingly harmless substances like alcohol  and caffeine, can affect the normal way the brain functions and ignite anxiety symptoms, including:
- It causes constant nervousness and worry
- It makes the victims to have a feeling of something bad happening or impending disaster
- It can cause panic or even make the person to have feeling like he is going to die soon
- It can cause insomnia
- It can lead to the victims having problems with concentration and memory loss
Apart from the above listed issues, it can also show some physical symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, difficulty breathing and fast heart rate.
2) Stress: Stress can be defined as the way your body responds to any kind of threat or demand. Whenever you notice or sense an impending danger coming—whether it's real or an illusion—the body's defenses kick into a high gear in an automatic and rapid process known as the “stress response” or “fight-or-flight” reaction.

Causes of Stress

Some common causes of stress include:
- Getting married or divorce
- Job loss
- Death, especially when it involves a loved one
- Increase in financial responsibilities and obligations
- Change of home
- Chronic injury or illness
- Emotional problems like low self-esteem, anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, grief
- Traumatic event like theft, a natural disaster, violence against you or a loved one and rape
- Taking care of a sick family member or an elderly
- Being forced to do a job you don’t like, maybe due to financial obligations
- Working long hours
- Stage fright, i.e. having to give speeches in front of colleagues
- Facing harassment or discrimination at work

Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress can have diverse effects on your health which can include:
- Fatigue
- Headache
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Depression
- Irritability
- Arrhythmia (Abnormal heartbeat)
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries)
- Heartburn, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome
- Heart attack
- Weight gain or loss
- Upset stomach -- cramps, constipation, and diarrhea
- Changes in sex drive
- Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
- Fertility problems
- Flare-ups of asthma or arthritis

How to Prevent Stress

- Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, Nicotine and other related substances.
- Indulge in physical activity like swimming, football, basketball, strolling and others.
- Try getting more sleep, it helps too.
- Talk to someone about the situation.
3) High levels of cortisol in the body: Cortisol is a hormone that is vital for better overall health and it’s released by the adrenal glands. It functions include:
- Boosting of energy levels
- It increases focus
- It enhances memory functions
- It helps decrease pain sensitivity
- It also helps maintain body homeostasis when an individual is in a problematic time.
This last function is one of the things that help it to efficiently deal with anxiety and daily stresses of life.

Disadvantages of elevated Cortisol in the Body

- It can cause hypertension
- Suppressed immunity
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Reduced libido
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
- Insulin resistance.
- High levels of cortisol can also lead to the occurrence of mental problems like anxiety.

Symptoms of High Cortisol in the Body

The symptoms of cortisol in the body include:
- High blood pressure
- Fast and rapid weight gain in areas like the face, chest and abdomen.
- Victim may develop a round and flushed face.
- Osteoporosis.
- Skin changes i.e. purple stretch marks and bruises
- Weakness of the muscle
- Mood swings, which show as depression, irritability or anxiety.
4) Panic disorders: Panic disorder can be defined as the anxiety disorder that can be characterized by reoccurring or regular accidental panic attacks. Panic attacks may include sweating, palpitations, numbness, shaking and a feeling that something really bad is going to happen, stomach upset or shortness of breath.
5) Pulmonary embolism: Pulmonary embolism can be defined as a situation whereby a clump of material like blood clots or gets wedged into an artery in the lungs. These blood clots can commonly come from the deep veins of the legs. Lack of oxygen in situations like this can lead to anxiety. It brings intense fear and panic which in turn makes the victims to develop fear of something bad happening.
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