Anxiety

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What is an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety is a normal inherent emotional response. When facing crises or challenges, anyone would feel anxious and uneasy. Under normal circumstances, an appropriate amount of anxiety can activate corresponding physiological responses to help us stay alert and cope with daily challenges or protect ourselves in unexpected events. However, if a person continuously experiences unknown disturbance and fear even in the absence of crisis, the persistent and excessive anxiety, apart from causing emotional disturbance, may also hinder his/her daily life. Under such conditions, the person may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.


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Why would people suffer from anxiety disorders?

There is currently no clear cause and formation mechanism for anxiety disorders. However, it is believed that multiple factors such as psychological, environmental, physiological and genetic factors can influence one another and trigger ongoing anxiety.

1. Psychological factors:
Characters that are pessimistic, self-demanding, easily stressed, etc., are more likely to cause anxiety.

2. Environmental factors:
Incidents such as difficulties and conflicts in daily life, work, social, family, or financial problems may bring pressure and increase the chance of developing anxiety disorders. Meanwhile, unpleasant events in the past that have led to negative psychological effects or trauma on a person can also be one of the causes of anxiety.

3. Physiological and genetic factors:
Physiological health can also affect mental health. For example, patients with chronic diseases are more likely to feel anxious. Meanwhile, genetics may also be one of the factors in causing anxiety.


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What are the symptoms of anxiety?

The following symptoms are usually associated with anxiety disorders:

In terms of psychological health, patients may suffer from an inability to concentrate, bad temper, insomnia, frequent anxiety, difficulty in calming, etc. In terms of physical health, patients may feel dizzy, pounding and accelerating heartbeats, palpitations, frequent sweating, feeling of suffocation in the airways, wheezing, chest pain, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, paralysis of hands and feet, etc.


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How to treat and alleviate anxiety?

Currently, relatively effective treatments for anxiety include cognitive behavioural therapy and drug therapy. Some patients may need to receive both psychotherapy and medication in order to improve treatment efficacy.

Patients can also control and prevent anxiety disorders through the following means:

  • Learn to relax the body and mind - Focus on your breathing through meditation or breathing exercises (such as abdominal breathing). Concentrate on the breathing and slowly take regular deep breaths in order to relax the body muscles and achieve an outcome of a relaxed body and mind.
  • Accept anxious mood - Try to accept anxiety as a normal emotional response. Affirm your own strengths and improve your resilience. When facing problems, try to solve them step by step. Meanwhile, maintain a positive and objective attitude and avoid dwelling on trivial matters that cause frustration.
  • Talk to the people around you - It is recommended to make friends and identify relatives who you can trust and establish an emotional support system. When stress strikes, you can talk to the people you trust and share your feelings with them.
  • Establish a healthy lifestyle - A healthy lifestyle can help reduce anxiety. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages because caffeine may induce anxiety. Apart from avoiding alcoholic beverages, sugar intakes should also be reduced. Meanwhile, maintaining a balanced diet along with an adequate and regular sleeping pattern, and constant exercise (e.g. hiking, yoga, etc.) also helps relieve stress and improve the mood.

Last Updated : Oct 2019
Please note that all medical health articles featured on our website have been reviewed by Quality Healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for personal consultation with a qualified health professional on the reader’s medical condition.

Anxiety

 

 

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Please note that all medical health articles featured on our website have been reviewed by Quality Healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for personal consultation with a qualified health professional on the reader’s medical condition.
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