According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , over 6.8 people in the world suffer from anxiety. Experiencing clinical anxiety can come in the form of whole-body clenching, rapid heartbeat, and a persistent sense of worry. The most common anxiety disorders are agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.
The key is to recognize if your anxiety rises to the level of a clinical condition and what to do about it. No one can live a life untouched by fear or worry. But, with the right skills and the right help, you don’t need to live one that is destroyed by it, either. Here are four interesting facts you probably didn’t know about anxiety.
Anxiety Alters the Senses
Research shows that anxiety adversely affects all five senses. The stress response leads to changes in the body’s normal functions and causes nerve sensations, muscle tension, and odd smells or tastes. Many people report having a blood-like taste in their mouth or a bitter or repugnant smell with no rational explanation. These symptoms can come and go or persist indefinitely. It can also stop you from functioning in the way you’ve always been able to, like making you hungry at odd times, or not hungry at all for days. It can also make you feel sleepy at the wrong times, or wide awake when you should be sleeping. Calm Clinic explains, “anxiety can make your skin extra sensitive so that even mild discomfort feels unbearable, and even things that are usually comforting like holding hands or a heavy blanket can be overbearing.”
It’s Usually Easily Treatable
According to New Paths, “unlike some other problems, anxiety is highly treatable, yet only about 1/3 or those receive treatment. In other words, many people suffer unnecessarily.” To diagnose generalized anxiety disorders, a physician may perform a physical exam to see if your anxiety symptoms are linked to a medical condition or medications. Two main treatments are medication and psychotherapy. Most people benefit from a combination of both. Psychotropic drugs like Prozac or Zoloft can lower the voltage of pain. Medicine might also make it easier to embrace cognitive behavioral therapy. Practicing daily self-soothing techniques such as controlled breathing, meditation, and yoga can help you take back your anxiety.
It Can Cause Attacks
Anxiety can prevent people from sleeping and create severe emotions that lead to emotional attacks. Symptoms of an anxiety attacks include rapid heart rate, a choking sensation, sweating, tight chest, dizziness, and the fear of dying. They come on slowly with symptoms usually peaking after 10 minutes.
You Avoid Things Because of Your Fears
Anxiety tends to strip away the ability to do things in your life. Many people avoid seeing a doctor because they’re scared of what they could learn. Those with an airplane phobia might limit their traveling. Specific anxiety disorders can become so severe that it interferes with your day-to-day life. Job performance and school work might suffer due to physical and emotional symptoms that come with anxiety.