Anxiety is a feeling of tension, worried thoughts, or fear that can be mild or severe. It is your body’s natural response to stress. But if your feelings are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
These disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of fear. These disorders may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, personality, and life events. Researchers are learning that these disorders run-in families. Following are the list of disorders:
Generalized anxiety disorder
It is a disorder in which a person is unexplainably and continually tense and uneasy.
It is a disorder in which a person experiences sudden episodes of intense dread.
It is a disorder in which a person feels irrationally and intensely afraid of a specific object or situation.
It is a disorder in which a person is troubled by repetitive thoughts or actions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
It is a disorder in which a person has lingering memories, nightmares, and other symptoms for weeks after a severely threatening, uncontrollable event.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
People experience anxiety includes nightmares, panic attacks, thoughts, or memories that you can’t control. Symptoms of this condition are the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of sexual drive
- Feeling nervous
- Feeling isolated
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating
Causes of Anxiety
It is caused by a combination of factors such as genetic and environmental factors. Changes in hormonal secretions also cause this condition.
Environmental or social factors are the following:
- Financial problems
- Relationship problems
- Serious medical illness
- Emotional trauma such as the death of loved ones
Hormone cause anxiety
When hormone levels are too high or too low, this can influence neurotransmitters, resulting in problems such as increased anxiety.
Hormones that increase social anxiety are sex hormones, stress hormones, and thyroid hormones.
Sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen play a role in the anxiety you experience. Little testosterone with increased anxiety, increased testosterone may help to reduce it. While low levels of the female sex hormones such as estrogen may also be linked to its symptoms.
Anxiety is on the peak during times of hormonal change such as during puberty, at certain times of the menstrual cycle in women, and during menopause in women.
Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released in situations when you are stressed. When you experience stress, cortisol increases, which slows your body’s ability to make testosterone.
Stress and sex hormones can also have a combined effect on anxiety. Excess levels of these hormones leave you feeling anxious and impact your body in various ways. The combined effect of increased cortisol and lowered testosterone may make you feel more anxious.
An overactive thyroid can create this disorder in the form of physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, palpitations, and increased sweating. If you live with a thyroid condition, this may make your social anxiety worse.
Lifestyle changes can be an effective way to prevent anxiety. Some hormones can also help you to reduce this condition.
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a balanced diet
- Staying active
- Avoiding alcohol
- Quitting smoking
Hormones That May Reduce Social Anxiety
There are actually some ways in which people prevent themselves from anxiety. Some hormones can also help to reduce this condition. Following are the list of such hormones that may reduce social anxiety.
Estrogen is known to calm the fear response in women. As a female, you may have also noticed that your ability to feel calm and relaxed is better at certain points during your menstrual cycle.
You’ve probably heard of the “love” hormone, oxytocin. This is a hormone, acts as both a hormone and a brain neurotransmitter. It is known as the love hormone because it is released during contact with a loved one.
Oxytocin is known to have an anti-anxiety effect and may help to relieve this disorder. Research shows that oxytocin promotes relaxation and trust, which makes it easier to manage social situations.
Increase oxytocin by doing the following:
- Give a gift
- Cuddling with a loved one
- Use social media
- Spend time with a friend
- Share a meal
- Foods that increase oxytocin secretion are figs, avocados, watermelon, spinach, and green tea.
Little testosterone may increase social anxiety; increased testosterone may help to reduce it. Testosterone is a steroid hormone, has been shown to reduce socially fearful and avoidant behavior. In general, men have half the reported rate of anxiety disorders as women. This is due to the role of testosterone in levels of anxiety.
Increase testosterone by doing the following:
- Eating a balanced diet that contains Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates
- Getting regular exercise
- Minimize stress and cortisol levels
- Get enough high-quality sleep
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements
- Food that increases testosterone secretions is tuna, low-fat milk, egg yolks, fortified cereals, oysters, Shellfish, Beef, Beans.
What s the treatment for anxiety?
For some people, medical treatment isn’t necessary. Lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms. In moderate or severe cases, however, treatment can help you overcome the symptoms.
Treatment is of two types:
Psychotherapy is a type of counseling that addresses the emotional response to mental illness. A mental health specialist helps you by talking about how to understand and deal with your disorder.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely-used therapy for anxiety disorders. Research has shown it to be effective in the treatment of panic disorders, social and generalized anxiety disorder, and among many other conditions.
Medications typically used to treat anxiety include antidepressants and sedatives. Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are sometimes used to treat anxiety for a short-term period.