Anxiety Disorders: Common Symptoms and Risk Factors

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Published on 21/05/2020 . 4 mins read
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Having an anxiety disorder can be a crippling mental health issue. Learning more about the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders can help you or your loved one take the necessary steps to find help.

Worrying is a natural part of life. When we worry about something, we become more motivated to resolve it.

However, if you’re frequently preoccupied with your worries or if you’ve found yourself paralyzed with fear then you might have an anxiety disorder.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

People often experience anxiety as a natural response to life’s stresses.

However, when a person lives in a constant state of fear, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders cause a person to be so anxious about something that it gets in the way of their daily life.

The term “anxiety disorder” refers to a group of psychological disorders characterized by an unhealthy amount of fear or worry.

An estimated 284 million people worldwide were reported to suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Despite its prevalence, many people are still hesitant to seek help for anxiety disorders because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. Research has shown that most people don’t even consider anxiety disorders as a real medical condition.

Anxiety disorders cannot be diagnosed just by looking at someone. A person may seem completely happy on the outside but may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.

So it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders so that you can seek or offer help as needed.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

It’s also important to note that anxiety disorders can have physical manifestations, or symptoms like:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating more than usual
  • Trembling
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Insomnia
  • Hyperventilation

Some notable symptoms of anxiety disorder involve being so preoccupied with your worries that you can’t think of anything else.

It’s a widely known misconception that people who have anxiety disorder can simply just “snap out of it”, this isn’t true.

Having an anxiety disorder means being unable to control your thoughts no matter how hard you try.

What are The Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorders?

A risk factor is something that makes you more likely to develop a certain disease or disorder. Known risk factors for anxiety disorders are the following:

Sex

Research suggests that women are more prone to developing anxiety disorders. A study conducted in 2017 showed that, out of the 284 million people suffering anxiety disorders, 2.8% were male and 4.7% were female.

There are many reasons why women are more prone to anxiety disorders.

One major cause is how women’s hormones fluctuate much more erratically due to their reproductive systems. However, men who are suffering from anxiety disorders may simply be ashamed to approach a medical practitioner.

Trauma

Anxiety disorders can be linked to a traumatic experience during childhood. However, adults who experienced something extremely distressing are also at risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

Medical conditions

Having serious medical conditions, like cancer or heart disease, can contribute to a person developing an anxiety disorder. This is due to the stress that illness can cause.

Substance Abuse

The abuse of drugs or alcohol can worsen the effects of anxiety disorder.

Social and Cultural Factors

The number of people with anxiety disorders have definitely increased over the years.

The development of technology has caused recent generations to have less and less social interactions which are one of the cultural factors that make people at risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

The impending threat of environmental collapse that only recent generations have to face can also be a key factor.

Self-Care for Mental Health

Although there is no one way to prevent anxiety disorders from happening to you or a loved one, there are a few ways you can help yourself whenever you’re feeling anxious or worried.

Here are a few ways you can take care of your mental health:

Practice Positivity

This is easier said than done, but striving towards creating a positive mindset instead of a negative one will make you less prone to becoming overly anxious.

Learn to limit time on social media and the internet, and try getting into hobbies that don’t involve fiddling with your phone.

Choose Healthy Habits

Harmful habits like smoking, drinking, or drug-use have consequences not only on your physical well-being but also your mental health.

Strive for limiting, or even quitting vices that may put you at risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

Reach out and Socialize

In today’s day and age it can become too easy to stay indoors by yourself all the time.

Try reaching out to your family more, or going on weekly outings with your friends. You’ll be surprised at how genuine social interactions can do wonders for your mental health.

Key Takeaways

Anxiety disorders are psychological conditions that cause a person to be preoccupied with extreme fear or worry. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from an anxiety disorder, it’s best to reach out for help as soon as you can.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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