What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

Definition

Anxiety is a mood characterized by strong feelings of fear and worry. Symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, chest pain, hyperventilation (rapid breathing), trembling, stomach/digestive problems, avoiding things and situations that cause anxiety, nightmares, headaches, panic attacks feelings that something bad is going to happen (dread). These symptoms can be situational or exist continuously. 

Causes

Like many mental health conditions, the cause of this disorder is one or a combination of the following: genes, life experiences (especially trauma), some chemicals in food and some medications.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Treatment

You can get treatment for anxiety with one or a combination of the following – therapy/counseling, medication and lifestyle changes. Regardless of the treatment route used, therapy/counseling should always be part of the treatment initially. 

Way Forward

Because this disorder often manifests as bodily symptoms, many people, especially in Africa, seek medical treatment for these symptoms. While this helps, the cause is often psychological so people either become dependent on medication or keep relapsing. If you or someone you know is struggling with this disorder, reach out to a professional for help. You do not have to suffer in silence with this disease. It is possible to overcome it, and lead a healthy and stable lifestyle. 

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