Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Why Do So Many People Have Anxiety

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Who Does It Affect

Why So Many Have Anxiety – How Do You Overcome Shyness And Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders, and one of the most common mental illnesses. About 8% of people will experience symptoms of social anxiety disorder at some point in their life. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can last for a long time. Unfortunately, many people never seek help for social anxiety disorder.

There are some groups of people at higher risk of experiencing social anxiety disorder:

  • AgeSocial anxiety disorder often starts sometime between childhood and teenage years. The majority of people with social anxiety disorder say that their symptoms started before they were 18

  • WomenWomen are more likely to experience social anxiety disorder than men

  • Other mental illnesses or substance use disorderMany people with social anxiety disorder have other mental illness like depression, panic disorder, bulimia nervosa and substance use disorders. However, social anxiety seems to appear before other mental illnesses.

The Impact Of Toxins In Our Food Supply And Environment

25% of U.S. residents eat at a fast food restaurant daily. And the food at those restaurants is processed, heavy with sugar and salt and highly inflammatory to the body and brain. A study in Tehran showed that the more processed food young adults consumed, the more likely they were to be anxious. Multiple studies have shown a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety when kids are fed a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids and healthy protein. We are also exposed to over 50,000 chemicals in our environment, water and food supply that were not present merely 60 years ago . A sampling of the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the U.S. revealed more than 200 industrial chemicals. Of the 297 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain or nervous system, 208 cause birth defects. We have been conducting the biggest experiment on industrialized food and toxic exposure that has ever been seen in human history. And increased rates of learning disorders, depression and anxiety in our youth are likely consequences of this experiment.

These are a few tips to get started in supporting yourself or supporting a teen you love, with anxiety. Want more? Stay tuned for Part II: Treating Your Anxious Teen or 20-something with Integrative Medicine.

Why Are Anxiety And Depression Often Co

Its a cycle, says Sally R. Connolly, LCSW and therapist. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem. You feel bad about it. Then you feel like youve failed. You move to depression.

These two disorders anxiety and depression have a complicated relationship:

  • The chance of acquiring depression is much higher when an anxiety disorder already exists. Nearly half of those with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety.
  • People who are depressed often feel anxious and worried. One can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression.
  • People with post-traumatic stress disorder are especially prone to developing depression.
  • A biological predisposition for both of these conditions if often at the root of an individuals battle. This seems to be true with anxiety disorders even more than with depression. Connolly explains, Some people are just worriers and pass it down.

People with an anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist or other healthcare professional about their symptoms. Treatment for an anxiety disorder should not be delayed. If not caught in time, depression may find the door wide open for moving in and setting up house in those individuals.2

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Why Is Anxiety So Common In America What Changed

Unfortunately, no one seems to have an exact answer as to why anxiety is so common, but many attribute this presumed increase in anxiety disorders to factors such as social media, poor sleep habits, lowered stigma, and underreporting in the past. In particular, the United States has one of the highest rates of anxiety at 6.64% compared to most other countries that fall below this level.2

It should come as no surprise that many mental health consultants blame the rise of the internet, and social media especially, for anxiety in teens and twenty-somethings. It is thought that the various social media effects on mental health are largely negative. Comparing lifestyles depicted in social media and a fear of missing out are likely causes of anxiety as well as the way social media ironically makes people feel lonely.3 Not to mention the fact that social media is addictive, producing the same increase in dopamine that drugs give you. At this point, it appears anxiety and millennials are intertwined.

With the rise in technology also came an increase in artificial lighting and bad sleep habits. The blue light waves from your phone or computers late at night can have twice the adverse effects on your bodys production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, than normal artificial light.4 Could something as simple as unplugging alleviate some of the anxiety in millennials?

% Of Americans More Anxious Today Than This Time Last Year

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Although anxiety is rising across all age groups and demographic categories, there are notable distinctions among certain groups.

Americans are becoming more anxious about their safety, health, finances, politics and relationships, a new online poll from the American Psychiatric Association finds. Compared to the results of a similar poll a year earlier, 39 percent of adults in the U.S. are more anxious today than they were a year ago.

As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, I believe studies and polls like these help to identify individual and group vulnerabilities. They may provide clues for providing better clinical practice, implementing more effective public policies, and designing research projects that yield a better understanding of the causes of anxiety and better treatments.

Although anxiety is rising across all age groups and demographic categories, there are notable distinctions between certain groups.

For example, millennials are more anxious than Gen-Xers or baby boomers though boomers overall anxiety increased more than the other age groups. Women reported a greater increase in overall anxiety in all dimensions than men, and non-Caucasians overall anxiety rose faster in the preceding year than did Caucasians. Sometimes, anxiety occurs without clearly defined worries or awareness, suggesting the poll may have only captured part of a rise in adult Americans anxiety levels and those adults anxiety may be affecting children and teenagers too.

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Get Help Finding Treatment

Here are tools to find a healthcare provider familiar with treatment options:

How Generalised Anxiety Disorder Is Treated

GAD can have a significant effect on your daily life, but several different treatments are available that can ease your symptoms.

These include:

With treatment, many people are able to control their anxiety levels. But some treatments may need to be continued for a long time and there may be periods when your symptoms worsen.

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How Can I Best Cope With An Anxiety Disorder

There are several steps you can take to cope with anxiety disorder symptoms. These strategies can also make your treatment more effective:

  • Explore stress management: Learn ways to manage stress, such as through meditation.
  • Join support groups: These groups are available in-person and online. They encourage people with anxiety disorders to share their experiences and coping strategies.
  • Get educated: Learn about the specific type of anxiety disorder you have so you feel more in control. Help friends and loved ones understand the disorder as well so they can support you.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine: Many people with anxiety disorder find that caffeine can worsen their symptoms.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Your provider is your partner in your care. If you feel like treatment isnt working or have questions about your medication, contact your provider. Together, you can figure out how to best move forward.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder

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An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.

Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.

But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:

  • Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
  • You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
  • You cant control your responses to situations.

Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.

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How To Stop The Physical Anxiety Symptoms

When you suffer from the physical symptoms of anxiety, your goal is often to stop them as quickly as possible. One of the issues that affects people during treatment is that they generally want to treat the symptom that bothers them the most, but not the anxiety itself.

For example, those with digestive stress because of anxiety often take Tums or other over-the-counter stomach aids. Those with headaches tend to take pain killers, and so on.

Often these treatments have no effect at all, and those that they do affect they will only relieve temporarily. Ideally, you need to make sure your anxiety is under control, and the physical symptoms will go away with it.

Start with the following:

From there, you really need to learn to deal with your specific anxiety issues, and for that, you need to learn what kind of anxiety you have as well as recognize how it’s affecting you.

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Why Does Depression Occur Alongside Anxiety Add/adhd Ptsd Or Tbi So Often

There is one important link that connects depression to other conditions like anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, and TBIthe frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is involved in numerous functions relating to mood, including self-awareness, personality, attention, memory, and moral and social reasoning.

In the case of depression and anxiety, researchers believe that an imbalance in activity in the left and right frontal lobes causes these two conditions to occur at the same time. When the right lobe is overactive, it can lead to symptoms associated with both depression and anxiety, like withdrawing and being defensive.

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How Is Social Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed

Per the Mayo Clinic, to diagnose social anxiety disorder, your doctor may:

  • Conduct a physical exam to help determine whether any medical condition or medication may be triggering your symptoms
  • Discuss your symptoms, how frequently they occur, and in what situations
  • Ask you whether certain situations make you feel anxious
  • Have you fill out self-report questionnaires about symptoms of social anxiety

Your healthcare provider will determine whether you have the criteria for social anxiety disorder as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . These include:

  • Persistent, intense fear or anxiety about specific social situations because you fear you may be judged, embarrassed, or humiliated
  • Avoiding anxiety-provoking social situations or enduring them with intense fear or anxiety
  • Excessive anxiety that’s out of proportion to the situation
  • Anxiety or distress that interferes with your daily life
  • Fear or anxiety that is not due to a medical condition, medication, or substance abuse

What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present

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Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:

  • Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
  • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
  • Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
  • Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
  • Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
  • Feeling often tired and cranky
  • Inability to relax and live in the moment
  • Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2

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Parents Are Getting Caught Up In The Rat Race

Many parents have become like personal assistants to their teenagers. They work hard to ensure their teens can compete: They hire tutors and private sports coaches and pay for expensive SAT prep courses. They make it their job to help their teens build transcripts that will impress a top school. And they send the message that their teen must excel at everything in order to land a coveted spot at such a college.

Prevention Of Social Anxiety Disorder

There’s no way to prevent social anxiety disorder, but these techniques can help you reduce anxiety symptoms, per the Mayo Clinic:

Get help as soon as possible. Anxiety can be more difficult to treat if you delay seeking treatment.

Start journaling. Keeping a record of your thoughts and experiences can help you and your healthcare provider figure out what’s causing your symptoms and what makes you feel better.

Figure out your priorities. Carefully manage your time and energy, and spend time doing things you enjoy.

Avoid unhealthy substance use. Using alcohol and drugs, as well as caffeine or nicotine, can cause anxiety or make it worse. But quitting can also cause anxiety. If youre addicted to any substances, look for a doctor, treatment program, or support group that can help.

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Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs

Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1

Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.

Anxiety Symptoms List: Learn More About Anxiety

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The best way to stop anxiety is to understand it. The more you understand what causes your symptoms, what they mean, why you struggle with them, and what you can do to stop them, the more youll be able to start making real progress on your own anxiety symptoms.

We have broken each symptom down into categories for easy navigation. You can click on any of the links below to be taken to the section of your choice immediately, or you can scroll down to start reading more about the symptoms as a whole.

Note: Some people experience anxiety symptoms that are 100% mental with no physical symptoms. Others experience anxiety symptoms that are 100% physical: they are anxious physically even though they have no worries and their minds are clear. Most people experience some combination of the two. There is no right or wrong way to experience anxiety.

Keep in mind that categorizing some anxiety symptoms is difficult. For example, you may feel that what we consider to be a whole-body symptom is more of a chest symptom, and vice versa. So if you dont find a symptom you struggle with in the section you expect, it may be in another section.

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Are We Still Plagued By The Same Forms Of Anxiety As Our Ancient Ancestors

The way that anxiety manifests itself has not really changed over the centuries. Were still plagued by the same forms of anxiety disorder as our ancient ancestorsbut the things that trigger our anxiety have certainly changed.

We still experience many traditional causes of anxiety such as poor health, difficult relationships, unemployment, poverty and disadvantage, loneliness, work stress, and exposure to violence, trauma, and conflict. Even in our modern world, some of these traditional sources of anxiety are on the rise. These include loneliness relationship factors such as divorce violence and abuse including childhood abuse and neglect increased working hours and more stressful work procedures and a general sense of lack of control over our own destinies especially among our youngsters who are introduced to the possibility of failure earlier and earlier in their lives as a result of increased systematic educational testing.

Thankfully, some of the traditional causes of anxiety are generally on the decline, factors such as poverty, poor health and to some extent unemployment. But they leave in their place new anxieties, such as income inequality, living with long-term disability, and the stresses of modern day job seeking.

Youve Heard Of Stress Management Right

The sad thing about anxiety for young adults is that many lack the skills to cope with it. Its a lot like owning a car and not having it maintained. Sure, itll run fine for a while. Then sooner or later itll start to run on the rough side. If its ignored long enough itll adapt to the way the vehicle runs to the point that its not noticed anymore. Then one day it just shuts down and doesnt move again. The body is a lot like that and without managing stress and anxiety, the body will start to run roughly. Itll adapt to the changes to the point where it seems normal, but its not and one day it crashes. Here are some tips to help cope with stress before it starts to control your life and introduce its ally depression.

Catch Some Zs

Its kind of funny that the average young adult knows when the gas tank on their vehicle is low that they need to get some fuel. However, they often dont see in themselves when they are beginning to run out of gas. One great way to replenish energy is with sleep. Sure, working two part-time jobs and trying to stay ahead in studies may not leave a lot of time for sleep but its super important to fit into the schedule. Tips on getting a better sleep and the average young adult requires nine hours include no screen time before bed, no caffeine before bed and no stimulating activities before bed. Reading a book may be fine, writing one will not be.

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