Worry and anxiety
Worry as a protective mechanism
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel they can’t relax and think that they always have to be on alert for danger.
Worry has become their protection mechanism. They often startle more easily than others and have difficulty concentrating. Many also feel persistently joyless, frustrated, and frequently depressed. Their sleep patterns can also become regularly disrupted with their inability to sleep becoming yet another reason for worry and concern.
Many with generalized anxiety disorder appear fine on the surface, seem to go about their day normally, may seem calm and relaxed, or may be perceived as the last person to have an anxiety problem.
It’s their internal life (thoughts, beliefs, and emotions), however, that undergoes intense and persistent turmoil.
Generalized anxiety disorder usually comes on gradually and can begin at any age, though the onset of it is more frequent between childhood and middle age.
Those who experience incessant worry for six months or more are typically diagnosed as having generalized anxiety disorder.
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder are always anticipating doom, disaster, and the worst-case scenarios.
They worry about their health, money, family, work, and the world in general. Their reason for worry is often hard to pinpoint. Even the thought of getting through another day can bring on anxiety.
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel that they can’t stop worrying, even though they know the subject they are worrying about isn’t that serious.
Acute or chronic fatigue; headaches;
muscle tension, stiffness,
debilitating pain; general aches and pains;
difficulty swallowing or feeling like there is something stuck in their throat;
trembling; uncontrollable twitching;
hot and cold flushes; profuse sweating for no apparent reason;
poor concentration, day dreaming
light headed-ness or dizziness.
This type of anxiety condition is characterized by symptoms that come and go over an extended period of time (from a few months to a year or more). Examples include, an individual who has symptoms come and go at different stages of their life (as early as 4 years of age), remain as an ongoing backdrop to their life, or have been on and off of medication throughout their life.
1 Spontaneous anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs regardless of where a person is.
2 Situational or Phobic anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs because of a particular situation or location. This type of anxiety condition is characterized by symptoms that appear because of an acute stressful event (s), circumstance( s) or emotion (s). Examples include a relationship difficulty (fighting within or the break-up of an important relationship), career challenge (job loss or important job promotion), illness or death of a loved one, or educational stress (intense workload).
3 Anticipatory anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs because of a thought that something “might” happen or a situation that “might” occur.
4 Involuntary anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs involuntarily, by itself, or “out of the blue” that hasn’t been preceded by spontaneous, situational, or anticipatory anxiety.
Inherited tendencies – DNA Often there is a history of other family members having been described “anxious.” There should be caution in blaming the family DNA for the tendency to anxiety. Poverty, social conditions, cultural factors etc may be part of the explanation.
Learned behaviour. Humans are creatures of habit. Much of behaviour is learned. Some learning may then become a habit. If habits can be formed, then habits can be changed and new ones built in their place.
Some ways of managing anxiety
Change mind set
Cognitive behavioural therapy, Mindfulness therapy, relaxation training, thought field therapy etc.
Brain activity causes changes in the body chemistry which in turn affects the body’s responses. can be recorded on sensors.
Hypnotherapy and self hypnosis
It may be utilized in conjunction with some of the mind set methods.
Medication can be most useful . Generally the best outcomes occur when it is used together with some of the above.