Anxiety. Cause, treatment

Anxiety is an emotion associated with time. Anxiety is directed towards the future, the task of anxiety is to warn a person of danger (real or imaginary).

Anxiety is felt as a feeling of an undefined threat, “something is about to happen, something will happen.” The main difference from fear is the vagueness of this threat, vagueness, unconsciousness. Often accompanied by vegetative tension, in the form of difficulty breathing, internal tremors, chest tightness, stool disturbance, temperature fluctuations.

Anxiety refers to the basic emotion that comes with any kind of threat. Conventionally, anxiety can be divided into situational-normal, neurotic, psychotic and organic.

We highlight “normal anxiety” to separate psychologically understandable excitement and anxiety. For example, before an exam, interview, any important business. The function of such anxiety is to focus on the decision, on the preparation. The problem of situational anxiety is quantity.

Neurotic anxiety arises after a traumatic event and serves to prevent the recurrence of trauma.

Psychotic anxiety arises independently, autochthonously, by itself. In this case, it can precede psychosis, or it can proceed on its own in the form of essential anxiety.

Organic anxiety occurs when the brain or the body is damaged, for example, with atherosclerosis of the brain, endocrine system, etc.

Situational anxiety:

It occurs when a person focuses not on solving a problem, but on the consequences of a negative option. Anxiety is an emotion about the future. Accordingly, the more focus on the future, the higher the level of anxiety.

This does not mean that you need to become a careless vagabond, this is not the point, and even an anxious person will not be able to do this.

Fear of failure is often the reason for this focus. Such fear can be caused by negative internal beliefs, basic low self-esteem, deep trauma. In this case, any failure will be perceived as a personal loss (“I’m a loser, I’m a goof, I’m a sucker”).

In this case, a person really takes everything to heart, passes everything through himself.

The main difference from neurotic anxiety, these experiences do not cause a pronounced clinical picture, they are experienced relatively well. Rather, they cause general exhaustion and a decrease in the effectiveness of a person in a particular case, when all forces are spent on anxiety and its overcoming.

Mechanism of neurotic anxiety:

A person has a “core”, a basic inner conflict.

The person finds himself repeatedly in a traumatic situation.

A person experiences it emotionally.

After trauma, anxiety remains as a psychological defense mechanism, the mobilization of the body.

For example, a woman found out about her husband’s infidelity. At that moment, I experienced an acute feeling of guilt and shame, with an interesting logical picture of the situation: “since he cheated on me, it means that I am somehow not that bad.” These two feelings of guilt and shame – a trace of past traumas and entrenched deep-seated beliefs – float out (“trauma begs outward”). A person, as a rule, is not aware of these feelings, he only feels pain. The woman decided to forgive her husband. But, as soon as he lingers a little, he feels anxiety, and the woman herself, in that case, felt exactly the anxiety, not the fear of betrayal, “even knowing exactly where he is, even seeing him through the window, I feel anxiety until he enters the house “. Over time, anxiety began to arise in the presence of her husband, almost constantly during the day. The reason for the appeal was not even anxiety, but sleep disturbance in the form of difficulty falling asleep.

Thus, several points of anxiety are important:

Anxiety at first arises as situational, however, if in fact, anxiety is unconscious emotional experiences caused by trauma and deep-seated beliefs, then over time, anxiety tends not to decrease, but to grow in depth and breadth.

A person unconsciously wants not only to resolve the situation, but to work out the trauma within himself, and real internal needs are often illogical, irrational (in particular, a woman could feel good only if her husband was not just at home, but close, like a caring father).

Working through such anxiety is real only when working through deep traumas and deep inner convictions, and not just by changing the situation (it just won’t work out here). Behind anxiety lies the entire spectrum of emotional experiences: fear, guilt, resentment, shame, boredom, loneliness, anger, frustration.

Taking tranquilizers is often justified, especially with severe anxiety, prolonged sleep disturbances, or a severe autonomic reaction.

Psychotic anxiety:

Two subspecies: anxiety before psychosis and anxiety as an independent emotional disorder (“essential” anxiety).

The main difference between essential anxiety is in the absence of a pronounced connection of such anxiety with psychotrauma, with conflicts, some internal course of it (“she came herself, she left herself”), often certain biorhythms. This is an infrequent type of anxiety, however, it requires rather intensive psychopharmacotherapy. Many consider this type of anxiety to be a form of bipolar disorder.

Organic anxiety:

It arises as a reaction of the brain to a disease of the body or as a direct effect of the disease on the brain.

The most common causes: endocrine diseases, cerebral atherosclerosis, systemic connective tissue diseases.

Treatment for anxiety:

How does the homeland of treatment begin? With diagnostics. It is important to exclude organic reasons, since usually a person turns to a psychotherapist after having passed therapists and other internists.

Rest mode: no matter how trite it may sound, anxiety is often just a way to keep yourself occupied. Therefore, work can serve not only as a way to distract oneself, but to do something here and now, to help focus on the present.

Since anxiety is often accompanied by severe physical tension, up to muscle spasms and tightness, it is important to pay attention to relaxation practices. It can be massage, SPA, aromatherapy. Of the independent practices, the Jacobson muscle relaxation is of the greatest practical interest.

Special attention should be paid to meditative practices, self-hypnosis, auto-training, mindfulness practice. These techniques allow you not only to relax, but also to concentrate on the present moment (remember, anxiety is an emotion about the future).

Drug treatment: with mild situational anxiety, herbal sedatives (valerian, motherwort), light anti-anxiety drugs (afobazol, adaptol) can help. For neurotic anxiety, such remedies are ineffective. The most pronounced effect is exerted by benzodiazepine tranquilizers, GABA derivatives (pregabalin), atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants with anti-anxiety effects (amitriptyline). IMPORTANT: take medications only under the supervision and prescription of a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy refers to a causal technique for situational and neurotic anxiety. The study of psychotraumas, deep beliefs or other psychological mechanisms is carried out by a psychotherapist using special techniques and techniques. I use regressive hypnosis, deep study of psychotraumas according to Makulov, suggestive hypnotherapy, cognitive therapy.

event_note November 8, 2021

account_box Winona Tse MD

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