What Is Anxiety? Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations. But for some people, it becomes excessive and can cause them to dread everyday situations. This type of steady, all-over anxiety is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Other anxiety-related disorders include panic attacks–severe episodes of anxiety which happen in response to specific triggers–and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is marked by persistent invasive thoughts or compulsions to carry out specific behaviors such as hand-washing. Anxiety so often co-occurs with depression that the two are thought to be twin faces of one disorder. Like depression it strikes twice as many females as males. Generally, anxiety arises first, often during childhood. Evidence suggests that both biology and environment can contribute to the disorder. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety, but studies show that does not make development of the condition inevitable. On the other hand, early traumatic experiences can reset the body’s normal fear-processing system so that it is hyper-reactive to stress. The exaggerated worries and expectations of the worst outcomes in unknown situations that typify anxiety are often accompanied by physical symptoms. These include muscle tension, headaches, stomach cramps, and frequent urination. Behavioral therapies, with or without medication to control symptoms, have proved highly effective against anxiety, especially in children.
You know the feeling. It's that rage you get when someone cuts you off on the highway; the one where you just want to floor it and flip the bird. Anger is a corrosive emotion that can run off with your mental and physical health. So do you hold it in? Or do you let it all hang out? Yet, anger doesn't dissipate just because you unleash it. Here are a few articles and blog posts that can help you manage this raw emotion.
Excessive sleepiness that intrudes on daily functions for a month or more may affect teens and young adults. It is also a common accompaniment to depression. Stimulants and adherence to good sleep routines can alleviate symptoms.
Leaving home can be a reason to panic for some. Agoraphobia refers to a fear of any place where escape may be difficult, including large open spaces or crowds, as well as various means of travel. Translated from Greek as "fear of the marketplace," agoraphobia involves intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult. Agoraphobics may avoid situations such as being alone outside of the home; traveling in a car, bus, or airplane; being in a crowded area; or being on a bridge or in an elevator.
Panic disorder is characterized by uncontrollable episodes of fear and its physical manifestations, such as heart palpitations, sweating, and dizziness. Worry about having an panic attack may bring about the additional stress of chronic anxiety.
The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particular person, object, or situation. Ordinarily, the ambivalence is not fully conscious and suggests psychopathology only when present in an extreme form.
Grinding of the teeth, occurs unconsciously while awake or during stage 2 sleep. May be secondary to anxiety, tension, or dental problems.
Separation into different parts, or preventing their integration, or detaching one or more parts from the rest. A fear of fragmentation of the personality, also known as disintegration anxiety, is often observed in patients whenever they are exposed to repetitions of earlier experiences that interfered with development of the self. This fear may be expressed as feelings of falling apart, as a loss of identity, or as a fear of impending loss of one's vitality and of psychological depletion.
Automatic psychological process that protects the individual against anxiety and from awareness of internal or external stressors or dangers. Defense mechanisms mediate the individual's reaction to emotional conflicts and to external stressors. Some defense mechanism (e.g., projection, splitting, and acting out) are almost invariably maladaptive. Others, such as suppression and denial, may be either maladaptive or adaptive, depending on their severity, their inflexibility, and the context in which they occur.
A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which emotions, ideas, or wishes are transferred from their original object to a more acceptable substitute; often used to allay anxiety.
A behavior therapy procedure for phobias and other problems involving maladaptive anxiety, in which anxiety producers are presented in intense forms, whether in imagination or in real life. The presentations, which act as desensitizers, are continued until the stimuli no longer produce disabling anxiety.
Characterized by extreme anxiety about being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. Individuals experience excessive selfconsciousness in everyday social situations. Physical symptoms may include heart palpitations, faintness, blushing and profuse sweating. Individuals often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation. Symptoms may be limited to only one type of situation, such as fear of speaking in formal or informal situations or eating, drinking or writing in front of others. In its most severe form, individuals may experience symptoms anytime they are around other people.