Anxiety makes you feel nervous, disturbs your comfort level, and causes you to worry when there is no such imminent threat excessively. It is not similar to fear, the natural body’s response to existing danger. In the present time, anxieties generally revolve around family life, finances, workload, health issues, and different crucial matters that call for a person’s dedication and attention without any need for the “fight-or-flight response.
When a person encounters a likely dangerous or distressing trigger, anxious feelings are natural and essential for survival. These anxious feelings lead to a flow of adrenalin – the chemical messenger within the brain which subsequently sets off nervous reactions through a process known as the fight or flight response. This response adapts people to cope or flee likely threats for safe cover physically.
Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a component of the body’s normal reaction to stress, making it useful sometimes as you are more vigilant and prepared for action. Anxiety disorders and natural anxious feelings are not the same things. The majority of us become anxious when challenged by stressful situations. However, if those emotions do not diminish, such anxiety can turn chronic. An anxiety disorder can be present when fearful feelings or nervousness become extreme, hard to control, or conflicts with your daily routine. These anxiety disorders constitute the usual mental disorders across the United States.
Causes Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are similar to different forms of mental ailments and do not emerge from character defects, personal deficiency, or upbringing problems. Instead, researchers suspect a medley of factors that results in anxiety disorder which is as under:
Excessive or permanent stress can alter the chemical balance that regulates your mood and feel-good factor. For example, passing through immense pressure for a long duration can result in an anxiety disorder.
Undergoing a trauma may set off an anxiety disorder, more so in an individual who has it in their genes has a higher chance to incur this disorder.
Anxiety disorders and mental problems seem to run in some families. You can inherit them from either or both parents, in the same way as you acquire your eye color and the shape of your nails.
Symptoms Associated With Anxiety Disorders
Symptoms can differ based on the nature and type of anxiety condition you face. However, some of the general signs of an anxiety disorder comprise the following:
Physical Symptoms such as anxiety are not something that goes on in the head only.
- Cold or perspiring hands
- Heart palpitations
- Dryness of the mouth
- Nausea, dizziness, or experiencing fainting
- Muscle tension or trembling
- Numbness or stinging feeling in hands, legs, or feet
- Breath shortness
- Hot flashes or chills
- “Butterflies” inside the stomach
- Sleep disturbances and exhaustion
- An amplified startled response
To treat the given symptoms as a “disorder,” they need to attain a definite level of frequency, severity, and duration to produce marked distress and hamper the proper functioning of an individual.
Mental Symptoms exhibit the following traits:
- Experiencing fear, panic, and uneasiness
- Recurrent thoughts or memories of traumatic episodes
- Hard to control and unmanageable obsessive thoughts
Behavioral Symptoms denote what people do or abstain from doing when they experience anxiousness. Behavioral reactions show efforts at coping with the undesirable facets of anxiety
- Difficulty in remaining calm and still
- Ritualistic behaviors, such as frequent washing of hands
- Problem in sleeping
Typical behavioral reactions of anxiety can cover :
- Avoidance behaviors, for instance, running away from situations that produce anxiety, such as avoiding social settings or places (example, taking the stairs in place of an elevator)
- Fleeing from an anxiety generating condition such as a crowded conference hall
- Indulging in unhealthy or self-injurious behaviors such as taking drugs or drinking heavily
- Feeling forced to restrict the scope and level of one’s daily tasks to lower the general anxiety levels, for instance, staying back in the security of one’s residence.
- You are becoming immensely attached to a security-providing object or individual, such as declining to move out of the house, school, or workplace to desist separation.
The psychological symptoms of anxiety can comprise the following:
- Difficulty in concentrating or focussing on the task:
- Memory lapses
- Depressive signs such as lethargy, anguish, and poor appetite.
There is often an incorrect cognitive appraisal of a circumstance amid pathological anxiety. This indicates over anticipating the threat level in a particular situation and underestimating one’s capacity to deal with these dangers and hazards.
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Different Forms Of Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural human emotion included in the routine of life. However, anxiety is only regarded as a disorder if it leads to considerable distress and hinders people from continuing with at least a part of their lives, including work relationships, school, responsibilities, or recreational activities.
It is necessary to address the following forms of anxiety for a healthy mind and body condition.
Phobias are deep fears of specific objects, animals, or situations. This would comprise a fear of spiders, dogs, heights, dentists, blood draws, etc. An individual with a phobia takes special pains to avoid the dreaded situation or object or face it, but they feel immense distress. The fear has to remain for at least six months to be regarded as a phobia. Children having age-relevant worries do not constitute phobias, e.g., a 3-year-old who fears the dark.
A few of the more popular phobias comprise:
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Aerophobia (fear of flying)
- Claustrophobia (fear of tight spaces)
- Hemophobia (fear of blood)
- Aquaphobia (fear of water)
- Trypanophobia (fear of needles)
Agoraphobia comprises the fear of getting into situations where escape may be embarrassing or complex, or help may not be present in the case of panic symptoms. The fear exaggerates the actual situation and usually remains for six months or more, causing problems in functioning. A person having agoraphobia feels this fear in two or more of the following instances:
- Utilizing public transportation
- Standing in line or being in a crowd
- Being in enclosed places
- Being in open spaces
- Being outside the home alone
The person actively dodges the situation, needs a companion, or encounters acute fear or anxiety. Untreated agoraphobia can get so severe that a person may not be able to leave the house. On the other hand, a person can be diagnosed with agoraphobia if the fear is profoundly upsetting or substantially interferes with everyday activities.
Panic disorder is when anyone undergoes pain attacks that obstruct their life somehow. Panic attacks can comprise any mix of sensations, including rapid breathing, racing heart, chest pain, nausea or abdominal pain, dizziness, blurred vision, shaking, sweating, feelings of doom, feeling as if the world is unreal, or feeling the moment as if you are outside of yourself. The person may also undergo the fear of abandoning control or fear of going crazy, or of dying.
Something specific can activate a panic attack, or they happen out of the blue. They generally attain their peak intensity within fifteen minutes. It is vital to note that somebody can get panic attacks without getting a panic disorder. When someone gets panic disorder, they either refrain from situations that they expect to cause a panic attack (like going to the movie theater, going to the mall, or driving), or they experience continuing botheration that they will witness another attack. In the event of panic disorder, panic attacks should not be better elucidated by a particular phobia or by social anxiety.
The perceptions of terror may begin suddenly and unanticipatedly or arise from a trigger, like encountering a situation you dread. Panic attacks may be similar to heart attacks. Go to the emergency room if there’s any speculation you’re getting a heart attack. It’s prudent to err on caution and get checked by a healthcare expert.
In generalized anxiety, you worry about school or job performance, world events, finances, relationships with others, natural disasters, and other issues. These worries are challenging to manage and continue popping up, making it difficult for people to concentrate on their activities. Perturbations occur frequently and intensely enough that they make it hard to focus and may lead to or worsen headaches, muscle tension, stomach aches, and irritability.
If you get generalized anxiety, you’ll probably feel excessive worry that’s hard to handle. This worry frequently takes the shape of rumination or wasting plenty of time overthinking or thinking about separate events in the future – how they may pan out and how you may cope with them.
Separation anxiety is attributed explicitly to children; however, adults can also undergo separation anxiety disorder. People with separation anxiety disorder have fears about getting separated from persons they are connected to. They often bother that some danger or something adverse will occur to their attachment statistics if they are parted. This fear causes them to refrain from being disassociated from their attachment figures and prevent being alone. Getting parted from attachment figures may cause some people to have nightmares when they have separation anxiety or feel physical symptoms when separation happens or is imminent.
Separation anxiety creates thoughts about what will happen to their caregiver if separated, like if the caregiver will die or fall ill. Due to this geat anxiety level, the person can get “clingy” toward their caregiver and face trouble leaving their side to go to school, be alone at home, or fall asleep. For instance, when a young child loses a pet or a young adult moves out of their parent’s house for the first time.
A reasonably rare disorder linked to anxiety is selective mutism. Selective mutism happens when people cannot speak in particular social situations despite possessing standard language proficiencies. Selective mutism generally occurs before five years of age and is frequently linked to fear of social ridicule, extreme shyness, withdrawal, compulsive traits, temper tantrums, and clinging behavior. People diagnosed with selective mutism are often also diagnosed with different anxiety disorders.
A person having OCD has emotions that are hard to control. As a result, they may discover themselves redoing actions again and again. If you possess OCD, you may be highly bothered about germs or keeping things in order. In addition, you may bother about perceptions of aggression you have toward others or that somebody feels for you.
You might also have difficulty handling thoughts of taboo subjects like violence, religion, or sex. A few people repeatedly perform actions, like counting things or verifying that a door is locked.
A doctor may diagnose OCD if you:
- Spend an hour or over every day undergoing these thoughts or performing these kinds of actions
- The actions and thoughts convey no pleasure
- The activities and ideas have a considerable effect on your daily life
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (also termed social phobia) comprises a constant fear of being judged or assessed by others, characterized by acute discomfort while interacting with others. For example, someone may be terrified of mentioning the wrong thing or appearing embarrassed or stupid. This anxiety can occur in simply one specific situation, like offering presentations at school, or in numerous cases wherein a child is highly restless interacting with peers and adults.
Consequently, the individual with anxiety may bypass interacting with others but feel at ease with near friends and family. The concerned individual may also solicit that others speak for them, like ordering food at a restaurant. There is a distinction between shyness and social anxiety disorder. Shyness accompanies some minor discomfort engaging with people in specific situations, while social anxiety disorder influences individuals’ functioning at home, work, school, or in social groups. Occasional, momentary discomfort in social situations is not a sign of social anxiety disorder.
Preventive Measures For Anxiety
An anxiety condition is similar to any new health issue that needs therapy. Your preventive measures can be a treatment plan tailor-made that works well for you. Your project can include medication and psychotherapy.
- Medication can help to improve symptoms so that you function better. These anxiety medications often consist of anti-anxiety drugs that may lower your anxiety and panic. However, working fast, these drugs can create a tolerance towards them, making them lose their efficacy. Your health consultant may recommend an anti-anxiety medication for a short duration, then taper it down, or include an antidepressant in the combination.
- Antidepressants can also be helpful in anxiety conditions. This is because they change how your brain utilizes certain chemicals to boost mood and lower stress. Moreover, beta-blockers are generally given for high blood pressure but can help alleviate specific physical characteristics of anxiety disorders. For example, these can be effective in relieving rapid heartbeat and trembling.
- Counseling or psychotherapy can be beneficial in managing your emotional reactions to the ailment. Some of its approaches can cover cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where you identify your thought sequences and behavior that create upsetting feelings and then work towards modifying them.
Exposure theory emphasizes the fears behind the anxiety condition and helps you take up those activities you may have been eluding.
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How Can CBD Help With Anxiety
CBD is being touted as the new healing plant compound that can treat a myriad of conditions ranging from inflammatory, chronic pain, neuropathic and nociceptive, sleep disorders, and a host of anxiety conditions. In addition, CBD has been found to have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects that can make it work as an antidepressant and mood-enhancing supplement.
Some of the ways CBD can help treat anxiety disorders are as follows:
Some research has displayed that CBD may work by impacting serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a body chemical that performs a role in your:
Research indicates that raising serotonin levels can aid treat anxiety. In addition, specific medications, like antidepressants, work by controlling serotonin levels, and a few studies suggest that CBD may work akin to anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
CBD For Anxiety: What Does The Research Say?
- On account of the growing popularity of CBD, multiple studies have analyzed it as a treatment for anxiety.
- A 2011 study displayed that CBD lowered anxiety and restlessness during public speaking in persons with social anxiety disorder.
- One more 2011 study discovered that CBD lessened anxiety symptoms in persons with social anxiety disorder.
- A 2019 study discovered that among 11 patients with PTSD, 91 percent felt lowered symptoms after consuming CBD.
- A 2015 review of forty-nine studies indicates CBD could aid with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- A study in 2019 employed CBD to treat persons who were grappling with anxiety and sleep. Nearly 80 percent of people’s concerns improved, and almost 70% mentioned better sleep in the first month, though the results for rest differed over time.
- A 2017 study didn’t discover any evidence that CBD improved paranoia or anxiety, which elevated stress in a few people.
CBD Can Work On The Brain Chemical Anandamide
Anandamide called the bliss molecule for mental balance and happiness, is a neurotransmitter that attaches to cannabinoid receptors within the body and the brain, setting off a sense of mental wellness and enjoyment. Research indicates that CBD can inhibit the enzyme FAAH from breaking down anandamide so that it remains in the body for a longer time and enhances its signaling. This can be beneficial in treating anxiety disorder, cognitive dysfunction, psychotic traits of schizophrenia, and traumatic stress.
Ways To Use CBD For Anxiety
As there is no FDA guidance available, optimal use of CBD for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety disorders differs from one individual to another. Therefore, you can find the efficacy of one method over another.
There are different ways in which you can consume CBD to reap its health benefits:
- Oils and Tinctures are available in dropper bottles and can be consumed sublingually by holding them for some minutes beneath the tongue and then swallowing them. This delivery method offers quick absorption and higher bio-availability.
- Gummies are edibles that can be chewed and contain fantastic fruit flavors. Being pre-dosed, they offer you convenient dosage advantages. So pop one inside your mouth and enjoy its taste.
- Pills are tiny capsules that contain CBD in concentrated amounts. These are available in both solid and oil forms. CBD in oil forms is usually combined with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil to raise its bioavailability.
- Topicals, such as creams and gels, administer CBD via the skin and can be rubbed directly over the affected area as a localized treatment.
- Flowers are dried hemp plants that can be ignited, vaped, or smoked and is the fastest CBD mode of administration.
- Sprays arrive in bottles and a nozzle that can spray inside the mouth.
- Capsules, tablets, or Softgels, can be consumed directly by the mouth in the same way a pill is ingested.
- Vapes are devices that heat CBD oil without ignition and produce an inhalable vapor and are a fast CBD delivery method.
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CBD Dosage For Anxiety
To find the exact CBD dosage for anxiety, experts recommend beginning small gradually increasing the dosage, and working the way up. This is known as the up-titration method, and you should see how the body responds by weighing factors such as body chemistry, age, the severity of your condition, weight, and the CBD concentration present in every capsule, pill, tincture, or gummies.
Final Thoughts On CBD For Anxiety
Anxiety disorders follow a treatment strategy that involves both psychotherapies and medication. CBD as a natural remedy can be effectively used as an adjunct therapy and these conventional methods. Moreover, the antipsychotic, anti-convulsant, anxiolytic, and CBD effects on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, sleep disorders, metabolism, and a host of mental and physiological processes, all work in tandem to resolve various anxiety conditions. CBD works the way antidepressants do by altering the serotonin levels within the brain.