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Anxiety: Anxiety Disorder, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Anxiety is a mechanism of the mind that allows us to stay alert to situations that generate high levels of stress . This is a natural reaction of our mind that also allows us to stay focused and attentive to risky situations, although in some cases it occurs in an extreme way, which prevents the subject who suffers from continuing with their daily routine.

Faced with recurring episodes of extreme anxiety, we can say that the person who suffers them has an Anxiety Disorder .

What is Anxiety Disorder?

As we mentioned previously , Anxiety Disorders are recurrent episodes of extreme anxiety ; These are accompanied by a wide variety of negative symptoms that make those who suffer from this disorder have to interrupt their daily activities, preventing them from continuing with their daily life until it disappears.

There are various types of Anxiety Disorders , among them we can find: panic attacks , generalized anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder , social phobia and agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and post-traumatic stress disorder .

Generally, anxiety disorders are accompanied by intrusive thoughts ( invasive, unwanted thoughts ) which filter into our mind in an inappropriate and repetitive way, generating in the subject an increase in anxiety levels . These thoughts do much of the work to bring the subject to anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is often found to be directly linked to depression , as people with anxiety disorders are more prone to chronic depression or occasional depressive episodes.

Causes of anxiety disorder

The exact causes that originate Anxiety Disorders are still unknown, but it is estimated that this disorder, like others, is caused by a combination of factors that range from biological factors -such as brain changes and environmental stress-, social and external factors -such as it can be social stress- and circumstantial causes -such as traumatic experiences-.

Anxiety disorder could also be hereditary, since if a subject comes from a family where one of his parents or direct blood line suffered from this type of disorder, he will be prone to suffer from them.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder

  • Tachycardia
  • Shortness of breath and a feeling of suffocation
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Pupil dilation
  • Body tremor
  • Auditory hypersensitivity
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Alert reaction
  • Feelings of fear, panic, and restlessness
  • Emotional fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Feeling of insecurity
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

Anxiety disorder in children

As they grow older, children tend to have different concerns and concerns. These concerns and worries, which are normal in children’s development, often manifest themselves in episodes of anxiety.

Anxiety begins at a young age, starting at 6 months of age, when babies begin to manifest separation anxiety. This type of anxiety presents as a typical symptom crying or clinging to separation, and tends to decrease by three years of age.

Many children feel anxious when they start a new stage, for example, going to a new school or before tests. Researchers specializing in anxiety have identified that when a child experiences anxiety more frequently and intensely than other children of the same age, the child is likely to have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder, unlike isolated episodes of anxiety, is considered a psychological problem, since it generally interferes by hindering the child’s daily life and altering or impairing the routine functioning of his life. This disorder can damage the mental and emotional well-being of children, affecting their self-esteem and self-confidence.

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Some of the typical symptoms of anxiety in children are irritability, crying , regression in toilet training, sleep disorders , eating disorders and repetitive behaviors that focus on the body. Repetitive body-centered behaviorsThey constitute a group of common behaviors that include: pulling hair, scratching the skin, biting the nails, scratching the nose, movements with the hands and biting the lips or cheeks. These behaviors can last from several minutes to over an hour, and they tend to be repetitive despite the extensive efforts of children and their parents to stop the behaviors. Some children tend to become withdrawn and avoid situations or avoid going to places where episodes of anxiety may occur . If this is not treated in time, it can awaken other personality disorders in the child, such as antisocial disorder .

Treatment to combat anxiety

There are many effective treatments and coping strategies that can be used to minimize or cope with symptoms .

Some people choose to take natural methods to combat anxiety  either through homeopathy, infusions of natural herbs such as linden, lavender or chamomile, through the practice of relaxing exercises – such as Yoga – or attending massage or acupuncture sessions.

Other recommended and effective ways to reduce anxiety are the practice of physical exercises and sports . Through this practice, the mind is focused on the physical exercise that your body is doing and the anxiety triggers go into the background, therefore, in this way, anxiety can be controlled in a certain way.

If you or someone close to you is suffering from any of the mentioned anxiety disorders and you cannot control it with the above methods, it is advisable to go to a mental health professional to treat the problem.

Psychotherapy is an effective way to combat anxiety disorders , where your psychotherapist or psychiatrist will help you cope with this disorder in the healthiest way possible. As a complement to psychotherapy, your specialist may prescribe some drugs -such as anxiolytics or mood regulators- that will help you to minimize the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapies , with or without medication, have also shown great efficacy in controlling anxiety symptoms, especially in children.

Treatment to control anxiety in children

The first step in a treatment to control children’s anxiety is awareness. You must become aware of the disorder that the child suffers and explain how it works, making him recognize the symptoms and the moment in which they occur.

Parents of children with anxiety disorders should avoid becoming anxious in front of their children, as failure to do so will not help the child learn to control their anxiety impulses.

There are various relaxation techniques to practice with children, such as taking slow, deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling for a count of three, closing your eyes, and thinking about beautiful things, among others.

If the techniques applied at home are not enough, it is necessary to seek help from a child mental health professional, who will provide the child and their parents or caregivers with the necessary tools to cope with their condition in the best possible way.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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