What is anxiety?
Sometimes feeling anxious is normal, as it is a common response to a stressful situation, such as before making an important decision or before an exam. However, anxiety can develop into a medical problem, known as anxiety disorder, which can affect people at any time, causing constant fear and worry, for indefinite reasons, and can often make it difficult to live a normal life.
Symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can affect people in many different ways, with both physical and psychological symptoms. Among the most common psychological symptoms caused by anxiety are restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating and a feeling of being “on the spines”. People suffering from anxiety often experience physical symptoms, such as tiredness, dizziness, palpitations, muscle tension and pain, headache, difficulty sleeping, stomach pain, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, malaise, panic attacks.
What are the causes of anxiety?
Often the cause of anxiety is related to known events, such as a stressful situation, problems at work, relationship problems or family problems. It may also be related to a known phobia, such as a fear of heights, which causes a feeling of anxiety when approaching a ledge. The origin of anxiety is not always clear when it comes to anxiety disorder. Sometimes you do not know why you feel anxious or what triggers this feeling. In such cases, it is difficult to find a solution to anxiety if you do not know the reason that triggers it.
Medical tests for anxiety
When consulting with an anxiety specialist, a series of questions are asked to understand what the root cause of the symptoms is and to distinguish it from other conditions such as depression. Talking about how you feel can be difficult, and the doctor will do everything possible to help you feel comfortable. You may also need to have a physical exam and blood tests to rule out any other conditions underlying the symptoms.
Treatments for anxiety
Once anxiety is diagnosed, there are several methods the physician can use to treat the condition. One of the most commonly offered initial treatments is cognitive behavioral therapy (CCT), which helps to understand the underlying problems and causes, allowing for better management of the condition. CCT will involve a series of meetings with a specialist over the course of a few months, which will help to identify the source of the negative feelings.
Another method of treatment is represented by mindfulness, which aims to make the patient more aware of his feelings; in this way, when the feeling of anxiety arises, and once he understands what it is, controlling his feelings can be easier. He will also learn ways to calm himself in situations where feelings of anxiety begin to manifest themselves.
Finally, medication can be used as a treatment method if other options have not been successful. There are some medications that your doctor can prescribe, which can relieve anxiety, and your doctor will always decide which is the best course of action.
What specialist treats you?
The physician in charge of the treatment of this disorder is the specialist in Psychiatry and Psychology.