Anxiety is an alert system of the organism before situations considered threatening, that is, situations that affect us and in which what we value comes into play. The concept of Anxiety Disorders is close links to the perception of danger and the availability of responses to it. Therefore, the function of concern is to warn and mobilize the body against risky situations (a risk that may be true or probable, chimerical, or real) to succeed.
Table of Contents.
Difference Between Stress and Anxiety Disorders
Both Anxiety and stress processes are inherent to our day today. It prepares us to face our challenges, and they can give rise to health problems. They produce high physiological activation and trigger similar situations, like exam time.
However, these words are not synonyms. People feel anxiety due to emotion, and Likewise, stress is a feeling usually triggered by a stimulus. Depending on the surrounding threats or adversities and happening.
Anxiety Will Prepare Us To :
- Fight, attack, or face possible danger or problem.
- Flee possible danger or threat.
- Avoid aversive or feared situations.
- Activate submission behaviors that neutralize hostile behaviors of others (for example, in cases of social fear).
- Seek protection, security elements, and support.
- Endow ourselves with the knowledge or tools that allow us to avoid risks and access our objectives.
Synthesizing these actions, we could say that anxiety makes us behave mainly in two ways:
- avoiding the problem
- standing up to the problem
As with fear, overt anxiety has three elements that can act with some independence from each other:
- Cognitive: They are threatening anticipations, negative automatic thoughts, risk assessments, untimely images.
- Physiological: They involve the activation of various nervous centers, particularly the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS), which implies modifications in respiration in heart rhythm.
- Engines: They refer to the behavior, which will be inhibition or over-activation, generally involving defensive behavior, seeking security, submission, avoidance, or aggressiveness, among others.
Anxiety Disorders Causes
Anxiety interacts with other features of our personality (neuroticism, introversion,) There are various situations that people will lead to face this emotion.
Below are the origins of frequent causes of anxiety:
We learn many things throughout our life; on our observations and some personal development of experience and most of the critics from others. In them some certain life aspects of being unemployed, and threats or dangers to us. Strong ideas can develop in childhood, which produces athletic ability to react to the situation that will affect the future. Childhood period is a very crucial time to learn emotional stability.
Mental schemes and unpleasant thoughts:
Thinking about the incidents that happen in the past or the present or afraid that it would happen shortly, which cause discomfort and unnecessary panic of the dangers or threats. It does not matter if they are real or fictitious; what is relevant are the cognitive processes of the individual.
Expectations of dangers or threats:
An unpleasant event, such as illness, the possibility of being criticized by other people, coming into contact with a dangerous animal or financial loss, this emotional state will trigger the anxiety in people.
Perception of physiological disturbances:
many notice that uneasiness or discomfort in our body, such as headaches and some other muscle pain, we do not know the reason why it is happening, then anxious reactions will occur. On the other hand, the heavy consumption of alcohol, unhealthy food substances, or other elements that affect our physical activity and our daily life are part of those responsible for this anxiety.
External Stimuli And Internal Stimuli
Anxiety can be triggered both by external stimuli and internal stimuli to the subject, such as feelings, thoughts, or mental images. The kind of stimulation capable of evoking anxiety determines considerably by the characteristics of the person, by his emotions, circumstance.
We were talking about a facilitating mechanism for our interaction with the environment and aimed at preserving the interests of the individual in particular and of the species in general.
Many of the things that are going well for us, in part, are due to the proper functioning of this system: we avoid dangerous activities or places, we try not to be late for work, we face different conflicts, we prepare for an exam or a meeting, we look for supports to solve a problem, we minimize some setbacks, or we find formulas to assume and refocus them.
Depending on the demands and options of the environment, on the one hand, and our possibilities and interests, on the other, it is convenient to be moderately alert and have minimal physiological and psychological activation. Otherwise, we would be clumsy, inattentive, slow, with little capacity for anticipation and response, which could cause us some damages.
When anxiety is proportionate and manifests within limits, there is no worrying symptomatology (the psycho physiological changes do not exceed the sensory thresholds of pain receptors, temperature, pressure.), except at some point in time. These alterations in the physiological processes are not only standard but are adaptive: they predispose the organism to emit the pertinent actions concerning the characterization of the reality that it faces or could face.
On the contrary, when anxiety exceeds certain limits, it becomes a health problem, impedes well-being and interferes notably in intellectual, social, or work activities. You can restrict the freedom of movement and personal options. In this case, we are not facing simple “nerve” problems, but preferably greater damage. That can cause us doubts and fear by not knowing how to control anxiety.
The Severity of Anxiety Disorders:
The primarily measured by two parameters, the pain and the incapacitation generated; being more serious those that cause more health problems, and more intense, those that imply greater limitations for those who suffer from them.
But what are the factors that cause a normal, healthy, and adaptive mechanism to stop being so? And How to control anxiety when this happens ?. Three major groups of elements influence the appearance and maintenance of concern as a disorder.
Dispositional Factors :
- Biological factors: Some of them genetic.
- Personality factors: such as stress coping behavior patterns or lifestyle.
- Environmental factors: such as learning, context, and social supports.
- Those situations or events experienced as overflowing with our resources.
- Life events with severe consequences or that demand relevant adaptive efforts.
- Obstacles or limitations to achieve or maintain achievements.
- The consumption of stimulant substances or other drugs.
- The existence of “fear of fear.”
- Loss of conditions or faculties due to anxiety itself, which makes it difficult to cope with problems.
- Those solutions that are counterproductive, the problem aviation of initially non-conflictive areas, as a consequence of one’s anxiety.
- An erroneous or insufficient coping with the problems that cause anxiety.
- The establishment of phobic mechanisms.
Types of Anxiety Disorders And Their Characteristics
What is clinical anxiety and general anxiety?
The difference between clinical and habitual anxiety will base on a matter of degree. In other words, there is a very blurred line that separates a healthy emotional reaction in our lives from the definition of negative anxiety related to severe psychological problems. However, disorders can be detected using tools such as questionnaires.
What is clinical anxiety?
It is pathological anxiety that causes maladaptive responses, such as being incarcerated at home due to Below, we discuss information about anxiety disorders and their types according to DSM V.
1- Generalized anxiety disorder
People who suffer from it are incredibly concerned and react anxiously to a variety of stimuli, not just common ones. Their concerns are persistent, irrational, intense, and hinder the functioning of people at various times of their lives. We can diagnose this disorder if only the person should have the symptoms for at least half year and half of the day.
2- Specific Phobias
Phobias are typical; some time may be extraordinary fears at certain stimuli. There is a variable number of specific phobias such as nyctophobia, hematologic, height phobia, fear of flying, and many more.
It is a fear related to the situation of public places for fear of being trapped in them. People feel this anxiety in places like the streets, markets, theaters, or Hitech parks. Agoraphobes fear that they will not be able to escape from the places where they are, In many severe cases, people with this disorder will lock themselves in homes.
4- Social Anxiety
It is a phobia characterized by excessive fear of relationships with other people. People who suffer from it feel unnecessary anxiety in situations such as public speaking, other people’s comments, or having conversations with strangers. Though experts are there who provide natural social anxiety treatment without any medications.
5- Panic disorder
It causes unexpected times and repeating of panic attacks that start suddenly. Among its main symptoms are symptoms such as going crazy, palpitations, sweating, breathing difficulties, chest pain, dizziness, chills, paresthesia’s, blurred vision, derealization, shaking or nausea, and a big fear of dying. They last approximately fifteen minutes. People who suffer from it feel anxiety about the circumstances that they associate with their attacks.
6- Substance or medication-induced anxiety disorder
It characterizes in mainly by the appearance of anxiety crises relating to the consumption of alcohol, cocaine, anxiolytics, medical drugs, hallucinogens, or any other substance or the edition of consuming medicines that are capable of causing anxiety.
7- Separation anxiety disorder
What is a separation anxiety disorder? It consists of reacting with excessive anxiety when separated from a person with whom a deep bond will maintain or from home. They are disproportionate responses that produce intense discomfort in those affected and are notably disabling for them.
8- selective mutism
This disorder occurs exclusively at an early age. It lies in the inability to speak in public or the presence of others in certain situations. In contrast, affecting children talk and function normally with the family.
Anxiety is present in large part of psychological or organic disorders. For example, it is common in depression or eating disorders.