Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Meaning of Anxiety

By Samuel E. Knight

Most people are aware that everyone has experienced anxiousness a handful of occasions, but when excessive worry interferes with the well-being and health of certain individuals, a disorder may be the cause. Anxiety meaning will vary from one case to another, depending on the condition from which one suffers. In general terms, however, anxiety refers to a state of vexation, apprehension or uneasiness. Below are some examples of anxiety-causing conditions:

Generalized anxiety disorder, as its name implies, is a condition that causes one to feel constantly worried, even when there is no justifiable reason for this emotion. Also called GAD, this disorder is not diagnosed unless the person has experienced the symptoms for six consecutive months with no reprieve.

GAD is typically treated with structured therapy designed to help patients recognize and cope with their fears. Medication may also be prescribed for certain individuals. For others, a combination of behavioral therapy and medicine is needed to completely control their symptoms. GAD affects more women than men, although the reason for this is not yet known.

Another kind of condition that results in excessive anxiety is social phobia. Those afflicted with this disorder usually become worried and anxious in any type of social situation, such as a wedding or party, an intimate gathering in a public place or even their work environment. Sufferers avoid such situations if possible, for fear of being embarrassed in front of other people or judged harshly. Counseling is almost always recommended for those with this condition.

Panic disorders are somewhat different from social anxiousness or GAD. People with this condition experience sudden and intense episodes of panic accompanied by severe physical symptoms. During such an attack, sufferers generally feel as if they are losing their mind, having a heart attack, or dying.

Panic attacks occur suddenly with no warning. Wondering when and where the next attack will occur frequently alters the sufferer's quality of life. Such attacks strike more women than men by 5-1, respectively. The disorder is usually treated with benzodiazepines, which are drugs that slow the nervous system and stop the adrenaline rush that essentially always accompanies a panic attack.

Almost everyone experiences occasional worry, but apprehension and uneasiness should not alter one's normal life. Numerous treatments are available to help sufferers keep their symptoms under control. For this reason, individuals who think they may have such a disorder or who want to understand anxiety meaning and its symptoms should consult a health care professional.

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