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Anxiety and Accompanying Conditions

anxiety and accompanying conditions

Anxiety disorders make it hard to lead a normal life. Constant feelings of anxiety may make it hard for you to focus. Chronic stress can also lead to other health problems.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from anxiety also develop accompanying conditions. In addition to unique problems, these coexisting conditions can change the way in which anxiety disorders manifest themselves.

anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Depression

Depression often occurs with anxiety disorders. In anxiety disorders, a person suffers from a near constant fear, sometimes of real possibilities and sometimes of things that aren’t likely to happen. In depression, a person suffers from an inability to carry out tasks, often due to a perceived lack of energy.

Unfortunately, these seemingly different conditions can trigger one another. Someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder may experience feelings of helplessness or uselessness in the face of their symptoms that trigger feelings of depression. Alternatively, someone suffering from depression may be unable to keep up with work or school and have feelings of anxiety due to falling behind on grades or bills.

Of course, anxiety disorders and depression don’t need to cause each other in order to occur at the same time; these can be caused by unrelated things. For example, Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause depression due to lack of sunlight or changes in the amounts of sunlight that can prevent your body from working like it’s supposed to. A person that suffers from anxiety year-round may also be impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, isn’t usually considered an anxiety disorder, but it is closely related. This condition, suffered by people who undergo traumatic events, is characterized by both depression and anxiety. The good news is that this condition is usually temporary, though it may last for months or years.

anxiety and substance abuse

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from anxiety disorders and related conditions also develop substance abuse problems. This is often an attempt to manage symptoms without the help of a healthcare provider. Sometimes this may be because you don’t have access to a healthcare provider, because you are afraid of undergoing proper treatment, or for any other number of reasons. Substance abuse problems carry their own dangers, but they also may worsen rather than improve symptoms of anxiety disorders and related conditions.

Many people with anxiety disorders take up smoking because the nicotine in tobacco products makes them feel better for a short time. However, it also makes it harder to breathe, which can trigger or complicate panic attacks.

Similarly, alcohol may help you feel better, though it has been linked to depression. It can also make symptoms worse for people who have depression or PTSD.

Even those who don’t want to take medication or help for their anxiety disorder or related condition should try to work with a healthcare provider or community organization to quit or cut back on drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, especially if you think that the use of these substances is making your symptoms worse.

anxiety

Anxiety and Physical Disorders

Anxiety disorders and related conditions increase the level of stress in your life. Stress, however, is not just a feeling, but a physical process. During what is called the “stress response,” the body is flooded with chemical messengers that change the way that it operates. This is fine from time to time, but in cases of chronic stress, it can cause other problems.

One of these is called Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Characterized by frequent stomach aches and other symptoms (including diarrhea), this painful condition can be caused by and can cause anxiety.

A potentially more serious condition occurs when panic attacks cause regular spikes in blood pressure. These spikes can wear out blood vessels increasing the chances of a more serious cardiac event in the future.

Finding Help

In some cases, as is the case with anxiety and depression, two accompanying conditions can occur for different reasons, though finding relief for one can bring relief of the other. In other instances, as is the case with anxiety and IBS or substance abuse, managing anxiety can prove to eliminate or lessen the other condition.

While many people try to manage anxiety disorders on their own or through support networks, if you believe that your anxiety disorder has lead to or has worsened a coexisting condition, it is time to reconsider seeking the help of a healthcare provider to find a way to better manage your anxiety disorder.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

anxiety and accompanying conditions

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties concerning the accuracy, applicability of its contents, or any omissions.

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Anxiety and Related Conditions

anxiety and related conditions

When most people say that they have anxiety, they are using shorthand to say they have a condition that makes them experience anxiety more often or differently than other people.

Anxiety can be seen as prolonged stress, a healthy and natural human emotion. Constant and extreme feelings of anxiety, even when there isn’t anything obvious to be anxious about, is one of the most powerful symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

There are also a number of related conditions that are similar to anxiety conditions but have different causes or effects.

anxiety and insomnia

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

A common form of anxiety disorder is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD for short. People with this condition feel stress and may even have anxiety attacks over any number of things that other people would consider mundane, or about things that they have no control over. They may constantly worry about their health, having their identity stolen, or losing their jobs.

In some cases, the anxiety suffered by people with GAD can be so severe that it interferes with the way they live their daily lives. The physical impacts of chronic stress may also make them more likely to develop other health conditions.

People with GAD may also be more likely to develop substance abuse problems.

It is unknown what causes GAD, but it can be treated with medication, as well as through a number of different kinds of therapy and lifestyle changes.

fear of crowds

Phobias

Phobias are just about as far as you can get from GAD while still having an anxiety disorder. People with phobias live largely normal lives but suffer crippling and irrational fears about a specific thing or event. Of course, the thing that a person is afraid of has a huge impact on the way that it affects them.

Phobias were once thought to develop because of experiences in childhood. While phobias can develop in childhood or grow out of childhood experiences, phobias also commonly develop during the teenage years or early adulthood.

Treatments for phobias often depend on the thing that the individual is afraid of but are generally based on therapies rather than on medications.

One common approach, called commitment therapy, aims at helping the individual to understand that they have their fears and that their fears may come true but that they need to deal with those emotions and possibilities. Of course, this is usually done for people who have irrational fears of rational things, like dogs.

People who are afraid of irrational things are more likely to undergo exposure therapy. In this well-known approach, the individual is placed in progressively closer proximity to the object of their fears until they become comfortable with them.

Other examples of phobias include agoraphobia (the fear of open places), arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), acrophobia (the fear of heights), and aerophobia (the fear of flying).

stress anxiety PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be similar to phobias but, is not always considered an anxiety disorder.

People who suffer from PTSD experience strong feelings of anxiety and/or depression following a high-stress event. It is commonly associated with combat veterans, but can also be experienced by people who suffer other high-stress events like traffic collisions, abuse, or violent crime.

While their anxiety/depression may be with them constantly, it can also usually be worsened by “triggers.” PTSD triggers can vary based on the person and traumatic event, but common examples include loud noises for combat veterans or victims of violent crime, yelling for victims of abuse, or being in a car for survivors of traffic collisions.

Treatments for PTSD are often similar to treatments for anxiety and depression, with some slight differences. For example, therapy for someone with PTSD may focus heavily on the traumatic event that caused their condition, while someone with GAD might focus on general ways to handle anxiety and stress.

living with anxiety

Living with Anxiety Disorders and Related Conditions.

This post has only discussed some of the more common anxiety disorders and related condition. There are many more (too many to list here), but all of them are characterized by unusually strong feelings of anxiety or feelings of anxiety in unusual situations.

While many anxiety disorders are commonly treated with prescription medications, they are also treated with therapy. Treatment largely depends on the case and on the preferences of the patient.

If you think that you might have one of the conditions described above or a related condition, bring it up with your healthcare provider. While you may be nervous about treatment, people with anxiety can choose not to undergo treatment and try to manage their symptoms through lifestyle and diet changes and other alternatives. However, the only way to really understand your condition and your options is through talking to your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider may then refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other type of therapist. They might also recommend cognitive therapy ( a way to change your thinking of certain fears or behaviors).

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties concerning the accuracy, applicability of its contents, or any omissions.

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Anxiety and Addictions

Anxiety Disorders and related conditions arise from problems in how people see the world and in how their minds and bodies communicate. As a result, few problems related to chronic feelings of anxiety or anxiety attacks can be resolved by diet and lifestyle changes.

However, there are some substances that can worsen symptoms of anxiety disorders and related conditions, or even mimic their symptoms. Removing these substances from your diet might help to ease symptoms. If you are suffering from anxiety disorders or related conditions, you should work with your healthcare provider to be sure that you are adequately managing your condition.

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Getting to the Cause of Your Anxiety

It’s early. You slept in because you struggled to get to sleep last night. You rush around trying to get yourself (and children) ready for the day ahead. Maybe you feel as though there’s something stuck in your chest like you didn’t swallow properly, but you haven’t actually eaten anything because who has the time, right?

You’re finding it difficult to breathe and you’re wondering if you have asthma. Then a wave of nausea crashes over you and heat rushes from your head to your toes. You are now convinced that you’re having a heart attack.

For some people, this feeling passes and they laugh off the fact that they thought it was serious. Others will go straight to the ER believing they are about to die. The situation is serious either way. This is anxiety.

Continue reading Getting to the Cause of Your Anxiety
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What is Anxiety?

When most people say that they have anxiety, they are usually describing a condition they have been diagnosed with.

The truth is that anxiety isn’t a condition, it is a feeling. It can be symptomatic of a number of different conditions including but not limited to a group of disorders called anxiety disorders. On the other hand, it’s a natural emotion that is normal and healthy to feel from time to time.

Continue reading What is Anxiety?
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Having Problems with Oversleeping?

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Oversleeping can seem like a great thing when your schedule allows for it, but this is actually a lot worse for your health and wellness than you might think. Both inadequate sleep and too much sleep are not good for you. In general, the best thing to do for your health is getting a normal amount of sleep, without getting too much or too little. Continue reading Having Problems with Oversleeping?

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Understanding Stages of Sleep and Sleep Cycles

sleep stages and cycles

Each night when you go to sleep, your body and mind go through a lot of changes. This is why it seems like you are in a lighter or deeper sleep, or sometimes you dream and other times you don’t. Each of these changes will occur during a different stage of sleep. Here we discuss the stages of sleep and what a sleep cycle looks like. Continue reading Understanding Stages of Sleep and Sleep Cycles

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