Anxiety is a feeling that will affect everyone at some point in their life, especially around times of high stress or worry. Most of the time these feelings will fade as soon as the stressful situation has passed but for others, feelings can continue throughout day to day life, resulting in an anxiety disorder. The phrase ‘fight or flight’ is often referred to when talking about anxiety, and relates to the body’s physical reaction when under threat. Increased heart rate, shaking and dry mouth can all result from the disorder, but the levels may range between mild and severe.
Anxiety symptoms will be specific to each individual, but common signs can include the following:
As with many mental health disorders, there is often no single cause for anxiety occurring. Experts suggest that experiencing difficulties during childhood, adolescence or adulthood can trigger anxiety later in life, with traumatic events such as losing a parent, being bullied and physical or emotional abuse by a parent or partner all being common in patients suffering from the illness. Current life problems including, exhaustion or high stress, being unemployed, homeless or having money problems have all been known to trigger anxiety.
Quite often, anxiety can develop from another mental health illness such as depression or an ongoing psychical health problem, making it increasingly difficult for those suffering to identify a way through their feelings and symptoms.
Treatment of anxiety is most effective when the type and any causes are identified, below are common types of anxiety but are not exhaustive.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder – Regularly having uncontrollable feelings of worry that surface without any clear trigger and persist for many hours. Can often be overwhelming for the person and consist of many possible emotional and physical symptoms, because of this GAD can be a very broad diagnosis and experiences can differ highly between sufferers.
Panic Disorder – Panic attacks that occur spontaneously and unexpectedly consisting of an elevated heart rate, shallowing breathing, lightheadedness and dizziness. The sufferer becomes engulfed with the fear of a recurring attack which in turn triggers them - becoming a vicious circle.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Recurring unwanted thoughts or sensations that drives a person to do something repetitively which can interfere with their day to day life. These repetitive thoughts and behaviours can include cleanliness, security and order but can also include many others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – When an individual suffers anxiety that may be brought on by exposure to a variety of traumatic events in their life, such as warfare and childhood neglect. It can cause flashbacks and an uneasy feeling of surroundings or situations that remind them of the events.
Phobias – An extreme rapid fear triggered by a situation or object. These commonly include flying, fear of spiders and heights.
Those who suffer from anxiety often find that a combination of treatments works best to keep their symptoms under control and prevent reoccurrence. BREVIN helps their clients by involving mental health experts that support, treat and care for them at home, making hospitalisation less likely for this debilitating condition.