Everything You should know About anxiety

We live in a culture that doesn’t take mental health issues seriously. There’s a lot of stigma, some people tell you to just suck it up, or get it together, or to stop worrying, or that it’s all in your head. But today in this article we are here to tell you that anxiety disorders, they’re as real as diabetes.

You might know that feeling when your stomach drops, when you ride a roller coaster that’s just about to fall over the edge, or feeling your heart beat widely against your ribs so loud you can almost hear it that’s what anxiety feels like and a lot of people all over the world struggle with it most of their lives.

According to a recent survey by The National Institute of Mental Health, it’s the most common mental illness with over 40 million adults in the United States only, alone being diagnosed every year. The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as a future-oriented concern that may lead people to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their distress.

Often called the common cold of psychology along with depression, it’s one of the most prevalent and widespread mental health concerns today.

We approached Dr. Jen, and asked her about what was the common thing between her patients. The answer was that in most cases patients describe to her some classic symptoms of an anxiety disorder such as: Constant worrytrouble sleeping, tense muscles and struggle with concentrating. But what most important is they aren’t getting treatment.

There’s a lot of issues when it comes to mental-health care. Some people don’t have insurance that would cover it. Some have been dismissed or minimized in the past, and don’t think seeking help will do any good.

There’s a lot of issues when it comes to mental-health care. Some people don’t have insurance that would cover it. Some have been dismissed or minimized in the past, and don’t think seeking help will do any good.

Some worry about the stigma and whether it could affect future jobs or relationships. But severe anxiety isn’t a moral or personal failing. It’s a health problem, just like strep throat or diabetes. It needs to be treated with the same kind of seriousness.

Before we can talk about anxiety disorders, let’s talk about anxiety itself. Keep reading to find out.

Anxiety And Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is the very real and normal emotion we feel in a stressful situation. It’s related to fear. But while fear is a response to an immediate threat that quickly subsides, anxiety is a response to more uncertain threats that tends to last much longer.

It’s all part of the threat detection system, which all animals have to some degree, to help protect us from predators. Anxiety starts in the brain’s amygdala, a pair of almond-sized nerve bundles that alert other areas of the brain to be ready for defensive action.

Next, the hypothalamus relays the signal, setting off what we call the stress response in our body.

Our muscles tense, our breathing and heart rate increase and our blood pressure rises. Areas in the brain stem kick in and put you in a state of high alertness. This is the fight-or-flight response.

There are ways the fight-or-flight response is kept somewhat in check, with an area of higher-level thinking called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

It works like this: If a person sees something they think is dangerous, like a tiger, that sends a signal to the amygdala, saying “it’s time to run.” The ventromedial prefrontal cortex can say to the amygdala, “Hey, look. The tiger’s in a cage. You know what a cage is? They can’t escape from a cage. It’s OK to calm down.”

It’s a feedback loop that can help keep the response in check. The hippocampus is also involved. It provides context, saying things like, “Hey, we’ve seen tigers in cages before. We’re in a zoo. You are extra safe.”

With anxiety, these threat-detection systems and mechanisms that reduce or inhibit them are functioning incorrectly and cause us to worry about the future and our safety in it. But for many people, it goes into overdrive. They experience persistent pervasive anxiety that disrupts work, school and relationships and leads them to avoid situations that may trigger symptoms.

Anxiety disorders are not at all uncommon. Based on data from the World Mental Health Survey, researchers estimate that about 16% of individuals currently have or have had an anxiety disorder. These include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and phobias.

Studies have shown that people with anxiety disorders don’t just have a different way of reacting to stress. There may be actual differences in how their brain is working.

One model describes possible mix-ups in the connections between the amygdala and other parts of the brain. The pathways that signal anxiety become stronger. And the more anxiety you have, the stronger the pathways become, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

The good news is there’s treatment for anxiety, and that you don’t have to suffer. Remember, this isn’t about weakness. It’s about changing brain patterns, and research shows that our brains have the ability to reorganize and form new connections all throughout our lives.

A good first step is to do the basics. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep, as your mind is part of your body. It might also help to try meditation. Instead of our heart rate rising and our body tensing, with mindfulness and breathing, we can slow down the fight-or-flight response and improve how we feel in the moment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of talk therapy, can also be fantastic. In it, you learn to identify upsetting thoughts and determine whether they’re realistic. Over time, cognitive behavioral therapy can rebuild those neural pathways that tamp down the anxiety response.

Medication can also give relief, in both the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term, anti-anxiety drugs can down-regulate the threat-detection mechanisms that are going into overdrive. Studies have shown that both long-term medications and cognitive behavioral therapy can reduce that over-reactivity of the amygdala we see an anxiety disorders.

High blood pressure and diabetes, they can be treated or managed over time. And the same is true for an anxiety disorder too. but first you need to find out which anxiety type you have? how sever is it? and which treatment suits you? Keep reading to find out.

5 Common Anxiety Disorders

When it comes to anxiety disorders, there is no ‘one type’. Each form of anxiety has its own set of symptoms and treatments. It is important to remember that, while some symptoms will overlap. No two anxiety disorders are alike.

We dig deep into anxiety type, we asked doctors and patients and finlay we came up with a list of 5 common anxiety types. This list aims to bring attention to the five major anxiety disorders, and what they mean for the sufferers.

So, without further ado, here’s five anxiety disorders as well as their symptoms and treatments.

1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Or OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder technically has two components: the obsessions and the compulsions.

Obsessions can encompass anything from a severe fear of germs to the placement of things around the home and many things in between. The compulsions are what the sufferer does to rid themselves of those obsessive thoughts.

Someone who has obsessions about germs may ritually wash their hands or carry hand sanitizer everywhere they go. Someone who has obsessive thoughts about the placement of objects might arrange and rearrange their belongings until they feel just right.

These obsessions and compulsions can become very intruisive and disrupted to the sufferers daily life. As far as treatments for OCD go, there are a couple: There are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine sertraline. These medications are meant to help alleviate the symptoms for the sufferer so that they are at a manageable and less destructive level.

The other widely used treatment is psychotherapy. With this, you might run into cognitive behavioral therapy that will be used to help the sufferer essentially reprogram their response to obsessions and compulsions.

For the most part, medications and therapies are used in tandem to get the best results.

2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder or GED is a bit unlike the other anxiety disorders on this list. Those who suffer from GED aren’t always able to give a reason for their symptoms. In fact, one of the symptoms is a general feel of restlessness or an ease. They may also experience worry as one of the symptoms.

Everyone worries from time to time, but GED causes the sufferer to eternalize those worries and take them to an entirely new level. They may think of them in an obsessive manner which will cause a downward spiral of other symptoms such as a disturbance in sleep patterns.

The treatments available for GED are similar to those of OCD: Medications and therapy.

Though in this case the medications may be benzodiazepines and antidepressants rather than the run-of-the-mill SSRIs. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used with GED as well as relaxation techniques and mindfulness.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder

Those with social anxiety disorder experienced panic attacks related to social situations. This can manifest in a fear of public speaking or stage fright, and can be so severe that they avoid going into public altogether.

Social anxiety can also have symptoms of severe self-consciousness and a general fear of being around others. Someone with social anxiety might find it hard to speak when other people are present, even if they aren’t addressing the crowd as a whole.

Social anxiety is mainly treated with SSRIs and therapy.

As we stated before, just because a treatment option looks similar from one anxiety to another it isn’t going to be the same. Each sufferer presents their own needs that must be taken into account. Each therapy isn’t going to work the same for each individual. Personalization of treatment is key in these situations.

4. Panic Disorder

Unlike the other anxiety disorders on this list, panic disorder rests solely on panic attacks. With many other anxiety disorders, panic attacks are just another symptom, when it comes to panic disorder those attacks are the symptom.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks. The sufferer may experience heart palpitations, erasing pulse an intense fear and the feeling that they are hopelessly out of control. There isn’t a rhyme or reason to many of these attacks, so the sufferer is essentially lying in wait for the next one to come.

Panic disorder can be treated in many ways. The medications used are some that we’ve heard of such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs. We are also introduced to serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs and beta blockers. These medications, as with OCD, are often used in conjunction with therapy to help maximize the usefulness of each.

5. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD can be diagnosed in anyone. For the most part you have probably heard it, when someone speaks about veterans or police officers. While those careers have a higher rate of PTSD, it is in fact true that anyone can be diagnosed with it.

PTSD is the result of a very traumatic event or series of events. This leaves the sufferer with flashbacks and night terrors where they feel as if they are right back in the event again. The sufferer may also suffer from panic attacks as well as phobias associated with people places or even sounds.

Medications such as fluoxetine venlafaxine may be used in the treatment of PTSD. Therapies such as prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, and brief eclectic psychotherapy may be utilized as well. Again, this is a situation where the use of medications and therapy together can help give a better outcome than just one alone.

It is important to note that those with PTSD can lash out in certain situations. But there is no need to be afraid of the sufferers. There is nothing inherently dangerous about them. In fact, those with mental illness are exponentially more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than they are to be the perpetrator.


This is not a complete list of the different anxiety disorders out there by any means, nor is it completely comprehensive in each description. There are many kinds of anxiety, these just happen to be the most talked about and diagnosed at this particular moment.

Regardless of which anxiety disorder the diagnosis is for, it is important to remember that the sufferer is in need of help and acceptance. You don’t have to understand anxiety to be able to offer an ear to talk to, or some words to keep them grounded in the moment.

Remind the sufferer that they are alright, that what they are feeling are just symptoms of their anxiety and that it will pass if given the time. Aside from that, just make sure that they know you are there with them and wait it out.

What Really Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling to say the least but we mustn’t let it rent space in our minds. Otherwise it can end up taking control over everything, from your thoughts to your attitudes and behaviors.

An important first step in overcoming anxiety is acknowledging it and understanding where it’s coming from. So if you’ve been having a hard time figuring it out yourself here are six of the most common causes of anxiety.

1. Overthinking

Also called rumination in psychological terms. This is when you make a big deal out of everything to the point where every experience and interaction you have starts to seem negative.

Reading too much into everything from the slightest change in someone’s voice to the subtle facial expressions, It can be enough to drive anyone mad. Sweating the small stuff and never letting anything go can keep you up at night, and obsessively thinking about that small mistake you made years ago.

Overthinking can make you worry about the most unimportant details and twist everything in your mind into something much much worse than it actually is.

2. Overachieving

While the high of excelling at something can be a wonderful feeling, in the end it’s not worth all the anxiety you end up giving yourself in the long run. Overworking yourself and feeling stressed out all the time leads you to becoming more susceptible to anxiety and depression.

When you strive for unrealistically high goals you’re only setting yourself up for failure and disappointment, you may feel compelled to busy yourself with work or school all the time and feel guilty about relaxing and having fun. You never feel contented with yourself or what you’ve achieved because there’s always some other mountain you think you need to climb.

3. Low Self-Esteem

In today’s day and age when popularity comes at the price of your privacy the internet makes it easy for you to feel like you always need to impress everyone. Some people think that their social media presence defines who they are. So the pressure to be accepted and well-liked by others has reached an all-time high.

This is probably why having a negative self-image has become one of the most common causes of anxiety everywhere. Insecurity is something that all of us struggle with, but failing to overcome it can cost you a great deal of happiness energy and peace of mind.

Self-doubt can make the prospect of being judged and criticized by those around you absolutely horrifying. However, caring too much about what other people think and letting this fear rule your life is not healthy.

4. Pessimistic Thinking

Similar to overthinking pessimistic thinking is another kind of mind trap most people with anxiety find themselves falling into, a lot of the time. This means you’re always worrying about the worst things that could happen in any given situation.

Having a negative mindset about yourself your circumstances or those around you makes it difficult for you to feel calm, because you’re forever finding something new to worry about. You can’t turn even the smallest inconvenience into a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, it’s hard to escape.

5. Traumatic Events

Any negative experience you may have had in the past plays an important role in shaping your fears and anxieties.even if you don’t know it. Our sense of self-preservation is so strong that oftentimes our minds will do everything they can to keep us happy and safe.

This can mean avoiding anything that may have previously given us distress or anxiety, in fact this is one of the most common reasons why we develop phobias. When it comes to anxiety on the other hand traumatic events teach us what to fear and be wary of no matter how irrational it may seem.

So if you find yourself feeling anxious for seemingly no reason at all it might be because you have some deep-seated trauma or lingering issues you still need to resolve.

6. New Experiences

Trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone is another one of the leading causes of anxiety. Certainly the most positive point on this list the anxiety you feel here is actually a good sign that you’re being brave and making a conscious effort to grow as a person.

This kind of anxiety is more of a nervous excitement than a dreadful worry. Change can be scary especially if it’s sudden and stressful, but it’s also one of the many constants in life.

learning to embrace change takes a lot of emotional maturity of course the nervousness and worry that accompanies it is only normal in fact it can even drive you to do better and try harder if you let it inspire you and remind you of all the possibilities life has to offer.

There are other several possible causes of depression and anxiety you must know about. They can range from biological to circumstantial.

  • Family history. You’re at a higher risk for developing depression if you have a family history of depression, anxiety or another mood disorder.
  • Medical conditions. Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Drug use. A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.
  • Environmental factors. The living environment of an individual i.e. if it’s supportive, healing OR distrusting and toxic can be a huge factor for them developing such conditions.

After reading through all of this, you might have give a though about depression and anxiety and how they seems to be the same thing, but in reality they are two different medical conditions, even if their symptoms, causes, and treatments frequently overlap. Keep reading to find out what’s the difference between them!

Are Anxiety And Depression The Same?

While depression and anxiety are two different medical conditions, their symptoms, causes, and treatments can often overlap.

If you ask someone to name two common mental health problems, chances are they will think of anxiety and depression. Despite the fact that they are commonly referenced in conversation, people still struggle sometimes to determine the difference between these two conditions.

This is because many people with anxiety also develop depression and vice versa. Roughly 50% of people diagnosed with depression with also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. However, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to treat the correct conditions.

We created the table below to show the difference between these two disorders.

Anxiety Person BehaviorDepression Person Behavior
Anxiety is kind of worrying, Uneasiness, nervousness etc.Depression Bigger than anxiety, it affects how you think, feel, behave etc… it has many shades.. Anxiety, stress etc are subset of it.
People are looking at me. Did I say something wrong? Did I offend them? Was it that conversation we had 3 months ago? I must have said something wrong. Maybe these people really don’t like me. Maybe they are just being polite. If I’m really careful, maybe I won’t say anything wrong. This time.None of these people like me. I am an unlovable person. I am not worthy of friendship.
I can’t sleep. I have so many things to think about. What about my career? What about my family? What about my future? Am I running out of time? Have I forgotten something important? Did I lock the front door? I should get out of bed and check. Again.If I stay up late enough, maybe I can sleep through the day.
If I make a single mistake at work, I’m sure they will fire me. I need to double-check or triple-check this. Have I forgotten anything? My coworkers keep making mistakes. I’m afraid I’ll get blamed for what they do so I need to check their work too. I think my coworkers are talking about me behind my back. How can they be so relaxed about everything?I can’t concentrate on anything at work. My mind is so sluggish that I have trouble getting through simple tasks. I will never advance in my career. I am a professional failure.
I don’t know what to eat today. All of our foods are full of chemicals. Is this fruit ecologically responsible? Are these soybeans GMO? Heart disease runs in my family, should I be eating this meat or not? Should I be spending $2/lb more for the locally grown beans? Is my diet causing suffering and oppression? I want a cookie. Can I let myself have a cookie today?I don’t feel hungry. I know I should eat something, but nothing is going to taste good and it’s too much trouble to cook.
I am sitting in traffic in the middle of a bridge. Our infrastructure isn’t in very good shape. What if the bridge isn’t stable? What if the bridge collapses? What if we all fall and die? I am not prepared. My affairs are not in order.Perhaps I should jump off this bridge. That would solve a lot of my problems, and no one would really miss me anyway.

To summer up this table we could say: Anxiety has a lot of questions. Unfortunately, depression has most of the answers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *