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I started getting help for my generalized anxiety condition in 2016. Actually, I should have sought therapy years earlier, but I was oblivious to my condition at the time. Instead, I made the decision to self-medicate with booze. What led to my fear? I don’t know how I let things get so awful.
It turns out that there are many aspects and reasons that contribute to anxiety disorders in humans. The lives of men and, primarily, women are frequently destroyed by a perfect storm of hereditary and environmental variables rather than by a single element alone.
What is Anxiety?
It’s critical to differentiate between anxiety, a universal sensation felt by all people, and anxiety disorders. Your body’s natural reaction to stimuli is normal anxiety. Worrying over a test or how you’ll pay your mortgage if you lose your job are two examples.
When anxiety is extreme, ongoing, and crippling, it develops into a disorder. People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are afflicted by constant concern that is frequently excessive compared to what the situation truly justifies. It’s anxiety about anxiety, an unwillingness to unwind or let go of the anxiety.
It is quite draining, and I can say that from personal experience.
My head can be a really absurd place. Worst-case scenarios frequently pop up in my head and I have to fight them off.
Anxiety Disorder Types
Unfortunately, this illness comes with worry for a lot of people. There are so many varieties, and you probably have more than one! If you will, consider mental illnesses as the Baskin-Robbins of food.
I’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the various forms of anxiety here, but the website Anxiety.org is a terrific resource for everything anxiety-related. (There are more; if you’re interested, I’ll let you go through them on your own.)
Disorder of Social Anxiety
According to the definition, this is “an excessive fear of humiliation or embarrassment in social situations, which frequently results in significant avoidance behaviors.” It’s not being timid.
Disorder of generalized anxiety
The mental condition known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is defined by a persistent feeling of concern and fear that interferes with day-to-day activities. Those who have generalized anxiety disorder may feel anxious, distressed, or agitated without any apparent cause; this type of anxiety is known as “free-floating anxiety” by psychiatrists.
The phrase “free-floating anxiety” almost sounds tranquil, don’t you think? The irony, ah!
I have this one, and although leading a very regular life, I continually rely on helpful tools and coping mechanisms to control the persistent anxiety in my thoughts. The worst part is that most of us are aware that our worries are unwarranted, yet we just can’t seem to find a way to permanently turn them off.
Also I, albeit not quite as bad as many others. Attacks caused by panic or anxiety fall under this illness. Visualize Randall from This Is Us.
The common misconception regarding these attacks is that they frequently aren’t brought on by any particular circumstance. Hollywood versions frequently go like this: a person is in a tense position, sweat beads start to gather on their head, and they are suddenly forced to breathe into a bag.
Panic attacks happen at random. I’ve had my attacks while wandering around the mall or lazily reading my email. They have no pattern or purpose, which causes many patients to worry unceasingly that an attack may happen at any moment.
What sensations do panic attacks cause?
similar to dying a little. It’s possible to experience symptoms that resemble a heart attack, such as sweating, numbness, feeling faint, or a racing heart. My ears grow heated, I see spots as if I’ve just gazed directly at a camera’s flash, and then I lose the ability to see straight ahead. The elephant then takes a seat on my chest.
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder,
My own personal trifecta is completed with this one. The majority of individuals are somewhat familiar with OCD, albeit possibly not fully understanding it.
It is described as “Repeated and persistent thoughts [known as obsessions] that frequently cause distress and that an individual attempts to alleviate by repeatedly engaging in particular behaviors [known as compulsions].”
What triggers fear?
It’s natural to assume that stressful life events cause anxiety, and eventually anxiety disorders, but the issue is far more nuanced than that. Learning to manage fear and anxiety can help elevate one’s emotional state from a state of low vibration to a more harmonious and positive frequency. The following 9 causes of anxiety and anxiety disorders are listed.
Our mental health is still (at least in part) influenced by our DNA in the continuing nature vs. nurture debate. Absolute bummer, but that’s the way things are.
Clinical research has demonstrated that between 30 and 67% of anxiety disorders are caused by hereditary factors. Because of this, your doctor will inquire as to whether anxiety or mental health problems run in your family.
2. Parental Conduct
You may be more prone to having anxiety problems if you were raised in a home where your parents interacted with you in a very controlled manner.
A higher likelihood of anxiety disorders is also associated with parents who exhibited nervous behaviors around their kids or rejected them.
This is because of how adaptable our brains are, especially while we’re young and still growing.
The formation of neural responses in the brain is significantly influenced by early experiences. According to research by Dr. Kristin Buss at Penn State, harsh parenting practices were frequently used on very scared children who exhibited heightened reactions to making mistakes.
3. Going through stressful life events or long-term stress
While some level of stress is inevitable in everyday life, chronic stress is not, and it can result in more severe anxiety disorders. Examples of this include but are not limited to, physical or emotional abuse, child neglect, parent loss, bullying, and social exclusion.
We need to pay attention and begin tackling these issues with the seriousness they demand in light of the rise of social media, online bullying, and the increasing number of cases of young people and children committing suicide.
My heart could actually burst if I read just one more article about a seven or eight-year-old kid who took their own life after being bullied for weeks or years. However, I digress.
It is important for adults who are responsible for children’s general welfare to reframe what some individuals try to dismiss as “kids being kids” or “normal childhood experiences.”
Schools, parents, and other community members need to be aware of the lasting effects that these experiences may have on children.
A Remark on Long-Term Stress & Anxiety Disorders
Chronic stress is difficult to discuss since, to a significant part, being able to escape it might be a question of privilege.
I spent 14 years teaching middle school, which was about 13.5 years too long. If you’ve ever worked in education, you are aware of the tremendous demands and stress that come with the position. I struggled to satisfy the needs of the students I taught in schools where they were fighting rather significant fights of their own.
It wasn’t until I eventually quit my work in June 2018 and began writing full-time that I realized how badly this job had harmed my mental health. I was aware that it stressed me out, but I was unaware of how much it was affecting both my physical and emotional health.