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Managing Fear and Anxiety

Mental Health > Managing Fear and Anxiety

Anxiety relates to apprehension, fear or worry. Apprehension blown out of proportion may cause anxiety, which can cause serious impairment of one’s life. Sometimes, symptoms related to medical disorders might accompany it.

Anxiety has several causes. Panic disorders like palpitations, dizziness or gasping for breath may cause it. Other causes arise out of phobias and stress arising out of various activities and circumstances in life.

Several symptoms accompany anxiety. Panic disorders are intense periods of about ten minutes where there is an impending feeling of doom associated with sensations such as palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, choking, chest pain, nausea, giddiness, fear of death, numbness or tingling or chills or hot flushes. Restlessness, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbance may also cause such disorders. Fear of several things may also turn into nightmares and cause it. When one has narrowly escaped death, it may also cause such disorder. However, sometimes symptoms like chest pain, palpitation, giddiness and some associated feelings might have physical causes and not mental ones.

When the causes of anxiety are not diagnosed properly and treatment does not produce results, then one must seek medical help. When the symptoms associated with it extend over a prolonged period and are stable, then it might be the outcome of a mental trauma. However, if severe symptoms appear over a brief period, a physical condition might have caused it.

Anxiety can be treated at home by supportively talking to the patient and by other activities such as watching television, meditation and breathing exercises, resting in a dark room and taking a long warm bath. Medical treatment is symptomatic. Drugs of the SSRI class (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are prescribed.

One should always follow-up anxiety by getting regular checkups and through exercise, meditation, relaxation exercises and visualization. In most cases where the cause is identified, the disease is curable. Counseling is recommended to keep the symptoms in check.

Mental Health > Managing Fear and Anxiety