Common Factors Related to Anxiety
Anxiety is a "state of uneasiness and apprehension." It can further be explained as excessive worry about events, situations and the future. Everyone has anxious feelings at one time or another, but those who suffer from anxiety on a daily basis are diagnosed with GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Reasons Women Suffer From Anxiety
GAD sufferers worry constantly about work, family, school, health issues and money. They often ask themselves, "why do I feel anxious?" and have no good answer. Daily life is a constant cycle of fear. People with GAD have feelings of anxiety that interfere with their thinking, social lives, work and school. Approximately 4 million of Americans experience GAD during the course of a year. Feelings of anxiety usually manifest themselves in childhood or early adolescence. They can, however, begin in adulthood. Women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Worry and tension that is unreasonable
- Unrealistic views of problems
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Often have a feeling of irritability
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Tense muscles
- Frequent visits to the bathroom
- Feeling tired
- Sleep problems
There are many reasons women suffer from anxiety. First, genetics may play a role. Research now supports the assumption that anxiety issues are hereditary and passed down through families. Second, a woman's brain chemistry may be predisposed to anxiety because of misfiring neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If they are out of balance, messages cannot reach the brain. This causes the brain to alter its reactions to events and situations, thus resulting in anxiety. Third, environmental factors such as a death in the family, changing jobs, trauma, and changing schools can all cause anxiety.
Is There Treatment for Anxiety?
Treatment for anxiety includes ruling out any physical illnesses. If nothing is found physically wrong, then cognitive behavioral therapy performed by a mental health professional that specializes in anxiety disorders is recommended. Cognitive behavior therapy believes if you can change the way you think about a present situation, then you can change the emotions associated with that situation.
The more severe symptoms of anxiety can be treated with the family of medications known as benzodiazepines. Known as tranquilizers, these medications leave one feeling calm and relaxed. Xanex, Librium, Valium and Ativan are some of the more common benzodiazepines. Often antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft are prescribed for long-term treatment.
Is There a Cure for Anxiety?
Unfortunately there is no cure, but certain precautions can be taken to prevent anxiety or control the symptoms. Diet plays a large role in prevention. Excluding caffeine and chocolate from the diet is recommended. Daily exercise and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is advised. However, stress management is just as important as diet and exercise. Last, getting help if you need it after a trauma or extremely stressful event is imperative.
The symptoms of anxiety can range from mild to debilitating. There is no cure, but there are steps you can take to control and even prevent anxiety. Medications, therapy, diet and exercise can allow one to master and even conquer anxiety.