Signs of Anxiety

attractive thoughtful brunette curl woman with a pillow on the bed Woman`s problemAnxiety and anxiousness are common problems faced in the day to day life of the modern age. Brief periods where people feel overwhelmed by events that transpire in their lives. But, with an actual anxiety disorder this feeling is magnified both in effect and lasting time by many magnitudes. These temporary worries and fears evolve into what seems like permanent terrifying thoughts that absolutely encompass every part of thought. This anxiety tends to not disappear, even when the problem that has caused it is taken care of and generally gets worse over time. Daily life is affected, such as job performance, school, and even relationships. A genuine fight or flight response over every day conflicts become part of normal life.

Different anxiety disorders exist on a bit of a spectrum, with a range of symptoms that vary each one. Generalized anxiety being the most common, with symptoms such as excessive worry and anxiousness for months to years on end with no letting up for no particular reason at all. Sufferers tend to feel easily fatigued, unable to accomplish basic work, lack of concentration, irritable, tense, and sleep problems tend to develop as their brains do not relax at night making them unable to sleep which can also magnify the problem. Social anxiety, or social phobia, is another common disorder wherein the person may feel a massive terror of being in a public environment or a performance. They may feel judged and embarrassed for no reason at all, in severe cases they may completely freeze up and be unable to talk to others in these situations. For days and weeks before a social situation they worry that they will embarrass themselves and that others will not like them, this can in fact cause the social judgement they fear the most as having friends becomes difficult when they are unable to go to social gatherings.

Probably the most extreme version of an anxiety disorder is that of the Panic Disorder. It is relatively uncommon, but still not rare and many do face this problem. This is anxiety taken to its logical extreme wherein everyday problems are met with the bodies fight or flight, or adrenaline, response. Anything can trigger this in severe cases, even the fear of the disorder itself can cause a feedback loop. The afflicted feel a sense of impending doom, like they might die at any moment, causing the body to overreact to a normal problem with an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Their hearts begin beating hard, blood pressure is increased, sweating, shaking, and sudden shortness of breath where they feel they cannot breathe are common. In fact, many of the symptoms of a Panic attack, as they are called, mimic many of the signs of a heart attack such as tingling limbs and dizziness. This can be extremely disconcerting, magnifying the feeling of impending doom. Those with the most severe cases of this may even forget what it feels like to not be panicking constantly, making it harder and harder to bring themselves down.

Things-to-Remember-if-You-Love-An-Anxiety-Ridden-PersonAnxiety treatments are a vast field, many find success with a combination of psychotherapy and a variety of medications. As far as therapy goes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most common. A licensed practitioner teaches the patient different ways of thinking and reacting to the situations that cause the anxiety. Confronting their fears is important to expose them to the things that frighten them and make the mind more used to it. Group therapy, of likeminded patients, is very common as it helps to hear others speak of the same things that frighten them. One on one therapies are also used, especially for those experience social phobias. Homework is prescribed in most of these cases for the patient to confront their fears on their own and help them conquer their anxieties by themselves. This, alongside benzodiazepines, a form of anti-anxiety medications, are the most commonly used treatments for severe cases of anxiety. Benzodiazepines work by slowing the mind down and easing the symptoms associated with anxiety attacks such as the fear and worry. They also lower the blood pressure and stop the heart from racing, taking care of the physical symptoms. The issue many find with these medications, however, is that these medications are highly addictive and mimic many of the effects of alcohol such as lowered inhibitions and slower reaction times. Like alcohol, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and can cause life threatening withdrawal effects if not weaned off of in a medical environment and monitored by a doctor. These downsides turn many away from these medications in search for an alternative that does not require these dangerous side-effects.

Sad Woman Sitting on Floor and Holding Head in HandsOne of the most promising fields of research into alternative anxiety medications exists withmedical cannabis. This plant originally had the reputation of increasing paranoia and anxiety, and this is still true in certain cases. Research into patients taking low doses of the plant, especially those strains high in Cannabidol (CBD), have shown very promising results into a highly effective treatment for anxiety even stopping the symptoms as they occur. Strains higher in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can also be effective, but as long as they are dosed correctly as this is the psychoactive substance in the plant that can also trigger anxiety attacks if incorrectly taken. Both these chemicals work by stimulating the endocannabinoid system of the brain which controls respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, and a litany of other complex systems of the body. Cannabis for use in anxiety was first noticed by medical cannabis chemotherapy patients who suffered from extreme anxiety due to their life threatening illness, their mood very consistent was improved and their worries lessened; his has led to anxiety and depression being some of the leading reasons for Cannabis use. Beyond this Cannabis is also capable of helping the mood and allowing for relaxation, even in social situations without the full inebriation of alcohol or benzodiazepines. Withdrawals are also relatively minor, even with long time users, as it is not a physically addictive substance unlike the commonly prescribed medications for anxiety.