Anxiety can affect both physical and mental health There are short and long-term effects of anxiety on both the mind and the body and while many people know about the effects of anxiety on mental health, fewer are aware of the physical side effects, which may include digestive problems And an increased risk of infection, as anxiety can also alter the functions of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
What is anxiety disorder?
Anxiety describes a group of disorders that cause stress, nervousness, and fear. These feelings of anxiety interfere with daily life and are out of proportion to the triggering object or event. In some cases, people are unable to identify the trigger and become anxious for what appears to be no cause.
While mild anxiety can be expected in some situations, such as before an important presentation or meeting, and persistent anxiety can interfere with a person’s well-being, according to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States and affect 40 million adults in the United States. country every year.
Types of anxiety disorders
While these disorders respond well to treatment, only 36.9 percent of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment. Types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, excessive worry for no apparent reason that lasts for 6 months or longer, social anxiety, fear of judgment or humiliation in social situations separation anxiety fear of being away from home or family phobias Fear of a specific activity, object or situation persistent fear of having serious health problems obsessive-compulsive disorder recurring thoughts that cause certain behaviors post-traumatic stress disorder A severe disturbance after an event or trauma.
The different symptoms of anxiety disorder on the body
People with anxiety can have a range of physical and psychological symptoms, such as feeling tense or afraid, restlessness, panic attacks and in severe cases, rapid heart rate, rapid or hyperventilating breathing, sweating, shakiness, fatigue and weakness, dizziness and difficulty in breathing. Concentration, sleep problems, nausea, digestive problems, chest pain, and some anxiety disorders have additional symptoms such as mania, compulsive behaviors intended to reduce anxiety caused by thoughts, and periods of temporary relief that follow compulsive behaviors.
Effects of anxiety on the body and its treatment
Anxiety can have a significant impact on the body, and long-term anxiety increases the risk of developing chronic physical diseases. The medical community suspects that anxiety develops in the amygdala, an area of the brain that manages emotional responses. When a person feels anxious, stressed, or afraid, the brain sends signals to other parts of the body, and these signals indicate that the body must prepare to fight or flee.
The body responds, for example, by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, which many describe as stress hormones, and the response is intense when facing an aggressive person, but it is less useful when going to a job interview or giving a presentation, and also it is not good for this response to continue in the long term.
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will evaluate the symptoms and check for any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the anxiety, as anxiety is highly treatable and doctors usually recommend a combination of some of the following such as medications, therapies, support groups as well as lifestyle changes that involve physical activity and meditation.