Anxiety and its effect on Health- Benzodiazepines and Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

We experience a variety of emotions at various stages in our lives. Anxiety is one of the most frequent of such emotions. All of us have experienced it. Psychologists define it “as the fearful anticipation of an unpleasant event in the future”. According to this definition anxiety is similar to fear, but this fear is about something unknown in the future. Anxiety is almost always unpleasant and uncomfortable. Benzodiazepines is the best treatment for anxiety. You can order online in just few clicks.

Anxiety

Anxiety is caused by something intangible, while fear is usually due to something which is real and threatening. Similarly, anxiety largely arises because of our internal psychological interpretation of a threatening situation, while fear is usually caused by an external realistic danger. For this reason, different persons may have very different levels of anxiety when facing the same situation.

Anxiety is also the result of psychological stress. An imminent examination or interview, an anticipated rebuke by a senior at work, worries about financial problems, all of them produce anxiety.

Viewed this way, anxiety is a common but non-specific response to stress. It is a signal indicating that there is some threat to the person. In this respect anxiety in the mind is just like fever in the body. Fever can be caused by a number of illnesses and indicates non-specifically that something is going wrong in the body. Similarly, anxiety can be a response to any kind of psychological threat or stress.

Benzodiazepines and anxiety

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines should only be taken as directed by the doctor. Doctors advise the patient to start from an initial dose and gradually increase it if they are still observing symptoms. Don’t increase the dosage without consulting your doctor, and don’t leave-taking the medication suddenly; it can cause effects on your body.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

If anxiety becomes severe and sustained and affects one’s health, it needs to be treated. Medicines are now available which have a specific anti-anxiety action. These medicines can reduce anxiety to a level which is more compatible with optimal functioning of the person and have wide applicability.

Benzodiazepines group of drugs are mainly for anxiety cure like- alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), etc. However, their action is usually temporary. They may become ineffective over a longer period of time. Moreover, the person may become habituated to these medicines.

Several varieties of psychological therapies are available for reduction of anxiety. Some of them go deeper into the causes of anxiety while others attempt to ameliorate the manifestation of anxiety. These psychological treatments require a trained therapist and considerable time. Certain self-learning techniques for relaxation are also available which are easy but still quite effective.

Recently much research has been conducted on the usefulness of certain biofeedback techniques in the control of excessive anxiety. There is also a revival of interest in the efficacy of meditation and yoga for anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and Its Effects on Health

We all have different levels of baseline anxiety. Some of us have a low and others have a high level. This baseline level of anxiety is governed by our personality. In addition, different situations induce varying extents of increase in anxiety. While some increase of anxiety is adaptive, and helps us to recognise and respond to dangers, a persistently high level becomes maladaptive and interferes with our functioning. When anxiety remains high on a sustained basis and produces significant distress to a person and disability in his functioning, it is termed Anxiety Disorder. A persistently high level of anxiety can significantly endanger his mental and physical well-being.

The Psychological Manifestations of Anxiety is primarily a psychological experience. Besides the unpleasant fear which is central to anxiety, a number of other psychological symptoms accompany it. There is decreased concentration, excessive worries, tensions and brooding, and pause inability to take decisions. Interest in work and leisure activities may decrease. The person may become restless and he may not feel relaxed even while resting. Irritability is increased and even ordinary noise may upset an anxious person. If anxiety becomes severe, the person may temporarily lose control over himself. This state is called Panic Reaction. Prolonged anxiety can induce mental depression also.

The Physical Manifestations of Anxiety

Anxiety also induces a number of changes in the body. Quite often, people with high anxiety seek help from doctors primarily for these bodily symptoms. These include: Palpitationshest, discomfort and pain, increased blood pressure, sinking and an empty feeling in the chest and stomach. Breathing may become rapid, and the anxious person complains of choking and inability to catch his breath. Hyperacidity symptoms are quite common.

An anxious person has a desire to pass urine frequently and may have loose motions. Muscles become tense and stiff and this can result in aches and pain in various parts of the body.

Hands and feet may tremble and become cold. If anxiety becomes severe, the person may experience dizziness, unsteadiness and fainting. One of the most frequent early symptoms of anxiety is disturbed sleep. An anxious person takes a longer time to sleep and may wake up several times during the night. Sleep may also be full of dreams and nightmares, hence not refreshing.

The Vicious Cycle of Anxiety

Once anxiety sets in, it can perpetuate itself by a vicious cycle Anxiety gives rise to physical symptoms as described earlier. As these symptoms appear to indicate serious physical illnesses like heart or chest diseases to the person, he becomes more anxious. This way anxiety can reach a high level within a short time and can perpetuate itself even after the initial causal factor has disappeared.

Effects of Anxiety on Health

Sustained anxiety induces changes in the body, and can lead to a large number of diseases. These are sometimes grouped under the broad heading of psychosomatic diseases, as psychological factors, mainly anxiety, are responsible for somatic diseases. Foremost among these diseases are cardiac and vascular diseases like high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases and cardiac arrhythmias. Rise in blood pressure is a direct effect of anxiety and if it becomes chronic, hypertension can result. Similarly, anxiety is also an important risk factor for coronary artery disease which manifests as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and sudden death. These are some of the leading causes of death all over the world. Anxiety can result in irregular heart beats also, which is itself a serious diesase.

The role of anxiety in bronchial asthma and peptic ulcers is also well established. Asthma attacks are quite often precipitated by anxiety-provoking situations. Many diseases of the gastrointestinal organs, including irritable bowel syndrome, are caused at least partly by psychological anxiety. A special kind of skin disease called neurodermatitis is related to anxiety and nervous scratching.

In women, menstrual disturbances, sterility, frequent abortions and premature child-birth may be related to anxiety. Anxiety can also lead to disturbances in eating. In some individuals anxiety gives rise to decreased appetite and weight, while in some others it tends to make them eat more. The latter can result in the problem of obesity which can increase the risk of many other serious illnesses.

Since anxiety gets at least temporarily relieved with alcohol and some drugs, a chronically anxious person may start using them. Over a period of time this can grow into a habit and then an addiction.

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