Every man knows fear. It usually occurs when we see, hear, feel danger. That is, with fear, it is usually clear where the danger comes from, and what should be feared (and avoided). However, there is a feeling, and a rather unpleasant one, when fear is, as it were, dispersed in the air: in fact, there is nothing to be afraid of, there is no danger, but all the same it is somehow not at ease, as if you are watching a thriller with the appropriate music. This non-specific fear is called anxiety, and the tendency to it is called anxiety.
Signs of anxiety, anxiety and depression
You can get anxious for a variety of reasons. For example, a child has become worse at school. The husband went out into the darkness and ice for bread and never returned. You can be afraid of negative events, for example, an increase in prices for air travel or a denial of a visa. But sometimes anxiety arises, it would seem, out of the blue. If this happens often and is distressing, we are talking about increased anxiety. Sometimes it is impossible to determine what was the root cause of anxiety, but the unpleasant feeling remains and gradually drains the nerves.
Worse, increased anxiety can take bodily forms, when a person, it seems, does not feel any anxiety (more precisely, he is used to not noticing it), but he is tormented by various sensations, for example, excessive sweating, especially of the feet and palms, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, like as if they took a coin in their mouth, dizziness, pain in the legs, as if exercising fitness, aching pain in the arms, as if dragging heavy bags, nausea, pain in the side and other places may appear. If the pain causes the fear of getting sick with something difficult, this is a hypochondriacal type of anxiety. Often, anxiety is combined with depression, or depression occurs with prolonged anxiety. Sudden, acute attacks of anxiety are called panic attacks.
What causes increased anxiety
The predisposition to anxiety can be genetically inherent. Then a person can lead a normal life, but at some point – usually against a background of stress – anxiety will make itself felt. Psychologists believe that increased anxiety originates in our childhood and develops in people whose parents were too protective and worried about their children, or, on the contrary, did not pay attention to them at all. Sometimes it is associated with the peculiarities of self-esteem, with the transferred negative experience.
Anxiety may not manifest itself in any way from childhood, but it materializes suddenly in an adult already human against the background of prolonged stress, worries, and troubles. It can manifest itself as a panic attack that goes away as quickly as it occurs. It can develop imperceptibly, gradually increasing. It can occur when hitting certain conditions, for example, when traveling on the subway.
The harm of anxiety: quality of life, obsessive compulsive disorder
Why is anxiety dangerous? It significantly impairs the quality of life. Can take away work and normal life. It is especially difficult for those whose anxiety goes hand in hand with depression. A person gradually loses the will to live, thinks only about his illness and how to get rid of it, listens to his body for pain, loses sleep and appetite, he is no longer interested in those things and entertainment that he liked before. He can give up hobbies, lose the curiosity and liveliness of character that he had before. Those who have not seen the victim for a long time simply do not recognize him.
In addition to depression, obsessive-compulsive neurosis can be combined with increased anxiety . It seems to the patient that when performing certain rituals, anxiety decreases. So, when walking, he can step on every second tile, take a certain subway train and in a certain place in the carriage, walk the same road. And if repairs begin on this road, a normal person will simply switch to another, but for a person with anxiety and obsessions, this becomes a local tragedy .
Some patients with anxiety are fixed on the state of health, but not their own, but those of their loved ones. Such unfortunate people wear down relatives with endless questions about their well-being, especially if the relatives are not distinguished by good health. The slightest deterioration in their condition increases anxiety. Patients can ask questions many times, the answers to which are obvious, for example, at 10 pm they ask a person who always goes to bed at 1 am if he goes to bed.
There are several tests or scales for determining the presence and level of anxiety in a person. They usually consist of a series of multiple choice questions, followed by an interpretation of the result. But you cannot fully rely on such tests – after all, the authors do not know all the life circumstances of the subject. If you feel signs of anxiety, it’s best to see a specialist right away.
Reducing anxiety: medications and psychotherapy
Anxiety is treated by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist (not to be confused with a psychologist!). A psychiatrist can also be found in a regular clinic, but most often they are found in neuropsychiatric dispensaries (PND). There is no need to be afraid of visiting a psychiatrist. They do not bite or lash out on a patient with a straitjacket, a diagnosis of severe schizophrenia and packing in a hospital ward with the same unfortunate.
At the first appointment, there will be just a conversation. The doctor will want to know how your illness began, how you live, who you work, whether you have a lot of stress in your life, whether you are allergic to anything and other diseases. Sometimes, if the doctor has time, or you come to a private clinic, the question will expand to information about the patient’s childhood and adolescence, studies, relatives. All this information is necessary to get to know the patient better, his character, temperament, living conditions and features of the course of the disease. It will help your doctor choose the most appropriate medication for your anxiety.
It is important to remember two things. First, drugs are not always selected the first time. You may need to visit the doctor more than once. However, even then, when the medications are selected, it is recommended to show yourself to a specialist at least once every couple of months, or when he says. Second point. The pills prescribed for this group of diseases (depressive-hypochondriacal, alarming) often do not work immediately. It happens that you have to endure the illness for a couple of weeks before the effect becomes clear and noticeable.
However, the patient will then be able to lead an almost normal life. “Practically” – because you have to remember about the daily medication. It is hardly possible to achieve a complete cure for anxiety, especially if it was not a one-time panic attack, and the roots of the problem stretch back to childhood. But you can achieve a stable and long-term remission, after which the doctor can allow you to stop taking the pills. In the end, in the event of an exacerbation, you can always return to them.
I would like to say a few words about private psychotherapists and psychiatrists. If they work officially, under license, then, as a rule, they can prescribe the necessary drugs. However, among the drugs for increased anxiety, there are drugs from a special list. Prescriptions for these drugs are issued after passing a medical commission, and these prescriptions are valid for only a few days. Such drugs, most likely, can only be obtained in PND, but often they are the most effective.
With increased anxiety, not only drug treatment is used. Anxiety reduction can also be obtained as a result of the use of different types of psychotherapy, including group therapy. True, psychotherapy does not help everyone. It may be that by nature the patient is more attuned to taking pills and believes in them. But if the doctor insists on conducting psychotherapy instead of or together with drug treatment, you should not refuse. Ultimately, the doctor sees many such patients even in one day of admission, and his opinion can be trusted.