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Anxiety

anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause your brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and depression.

Characteristics:

Positive characteristics: The positive aspects of high functioning anxiety are generally the outcomes and successes that you and other people observe. On the surface, you may appear to be very successful in work and life and in fact, this may be objectively true if you evaluate yourself simply on what you achieved.

Below are some "positive" characteristics you might see with high functioning anxiety:

1.   Outgoing (acts happy, tell jokes, smile, laugh)

2.   Punctual (arrive early for appointments)

3.   Proactive (plan ahead for all possibilities)

4.   Organized (make lists, keep calendars)

5.   High achieving

6.   Detail-oriented

7.   Orderly and tidy

8.   Active

9.   Helpful

10. Appear calm on the outside

11. Passionate (throw yourself 100 percent into tasks)

12. Loyal in relationships

Negative characteristics:  Success does not come without a cost, and sometimes the anxiety that you feel finds its way out.

Some of these characteristics might be perceived by others as "cute" or just part of your personality, but they may, in fact, be driven by underlying anxiety. Some of these characteristics are internal and are never even noticed by others but they are "over the top" nonetheless. Since people don't know that these actions are caused by anxiety, they may view them as just part of your personality. Despite being "high functioning," you might face the following struggles:

a.   A people pleaser (fear of driving people away)

b.   Nervous chatter

c. Nervous habits (playing with your hair, cracking knuckles, biting your lip)

d.   Need to do repetitive things (counting stairs, rocking back and forth)

e.   Overthinking

f. Lost time (arriving at appointments too early)

g.Need for reassurance (asking for directions multiple times, checking on others frequently)

h.procrastination followed by long periods of crunch-time work

i.  Avoiding  eye contact  Rumination and a tendency to dwell on the negative (What if? thoughts, dwelling on past mistakes)

k.Inability to say no and an overloaded schedule (fear of being a bad friend or letting people down)

l. Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, waking early and unable to fall back asleep)

m. Racing mind

n.   The tendency to compare yourself to others (falling short of expectations)

o.   Mental and physical fatigue

p.   Overly busy/full schedule (fear of saying no)

q.   Loyal to a fault in relationships

Treatment:

1.Self-care: Doctors recommend several exercises and techniques to cope with brief or focused bouts of anxiety, including:

a.Exercise: Physical exertion and an active lifestyle can improve self-image and trigger the release of chemicals in the brain that stimulates positive emotions.

b.Support network: Talk to a person who is supportive, such as a family member or friend. Avoid storing up and suppressing anxious feelings as this can worsen anxiety disorders.

c.Stress management: Limit potential triggers by managing stress levels. Keep an eye on pressures and deadlines, organize daunting tasks in to-do lists, and take enough time off from professional or educational obligations.

2.Medications: Several types of medication can support the treatment of an anxiety disorder. Other medicines might help control some of the physical and mental symptoms. These include:

a.Anti-depressants: While people most commonly used anti-depressants to manage depression, they also feature in the treatment of many anxiety disorders.  Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are one option, and they have fewer side effects than older anti-depressants. They are still likely to cause nausea and sexual dysfunction at the outset of treatment. Some types include fluoxetine and citalopram.

Order medications that can reduce anxiety include:

1.   Beta-blocker

2.   Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

3.   Buspirone

b.Benzodiazepines: These are only available on prescription, but they can be highly addictive and would rarely be the first-line medication. These drugs tend not to cause many side effects, except for drowsiness and possible dependency.

Causes:

1. Environmental factors: Elements in the environment around an individual can increase anxiety.  Stress from a personal relationship, job, school, or financial predicament can contribute greatly to anxiety disorders. Even low oxygen levels in high-altitude areas can add to anxiety symptoms.

2. Genetics: People who have family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to have one themselves.

3. Medical factors: Other medical conditions can lead to an anxiety disorder, such as the side effects of medication, symptoms of a disease, or stress from a serious underlying medical condition that may not directly trigger the changes seen in anxiety disorder but might be causing significant lifestyle adjustments, pain, or restricted movement.

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