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Effects of Anxiety on the Body

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Overview of Anxiety effects:

Everyone has anxiety sometimes, but chronic anxiety will affect your quality of life. Although it may be most known for behavioral changes, depression can also seriously affect your physical health.

Learn more about the main effects of depression on your body.

Anxiety’s effects on the skin 

Fear is an ordinary part of life. For example, before addressing a group or in a job interview, you may have felt anxiety.

In the short term, fear increases your pulse and heart rate, restricting blood flow to your brain. This very physical response prepares you for a situation that is serious.

However, if it gets too intense, you may feel lit and nauseous. Severe or persistent anxiety can harm your physical and mental health.

At any stage in life, anxiety disorders can occur but usually start at the middle ages. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports women are more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder than men.

Stressful life experiences can also increase your risk of anxiety. Symptoms can start right away or years later. A serious health problem or illness with the use of a drug can also lead to an anxiety disorder.

Many types of anxiety disorders exist. They contain:

General anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is no logical reason for extreme anxiety. The United States Association for Anxiety and Depression (ADAA) estimates that GAD affects approximately 6.8 million American adults per year.

GAD is diagnosed if the extreme concern is six months or longer. You will probably be able to follow your usual day-to-day tasks if you have a mild case. More serious cases can have a major effect on your life.

Disorder in social anxiety 

The condition includes a paralyzing fear that people are judged or embarrassed by social situations. A serious social phobia will leave you embarrassed and alone.

Approximately 15 million American adults have a social anxiety disorder, the ADAA says. The typical age at the beginning is about 13. More than 1/3 of people with social anxiety disorder wait a decade or more to seek help.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder upon seeing or experiencing something upsetting, PTSD develops. Symptoms can begin or be delayed for years immediately. Fighting, natural disasters or a physical attack are common causes. Upon warning, PTSD symptoms can be caused.

Obsessive-compulsive (OCD) disorder

OCD individuals may feel overwhelmed by the desire to perform such tasks (compulsions) repeatedly or encounter repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions).

Common compulsions include hand washing, counting or checking. Growing obsessions include cleanliness problems, violent tendencies and symmetry specifications.

Phobias

These include fear of tight spaces, fear of heights (acrophobia) and many others. You may have a strong urge to avoid the object or situation you are concerned about.

Panic disorder 

It triggers panic attacks, fear, terror and impending destruction. Physical symptoms include heart palpitation, chest pain, and breathability.

These attacks can take place at any time. You may also have a different type of anxiety and panic disorder.

Central nervous system

Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can lead to stress hormones being released regularly by your brain. This can increase symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and depression.

If you feel anxious and stressed, your brain is flooded with hormones and chemicals to help you react to a threat. Two examples are adrenaline and cortisol.

While helpful for the occasional high-stress event, your physical health can be harmful in the long term with long-term exposure to stress hormones. Long-term cortisol exposure, for instance, may contribute to weight gain.

Cardiovascular system

Disorders of anxiety can lead to high heart rate, palpitations, and chest pain. You can also be at an increased risk of hypertension and heart disease. Anxiety disorders can increase the risk of cardiovascular incidents if you already have heart disease.

Excretory and digestive systems

Your excretion and digestive systems also suffer from anxiety. Stomach problems, nausea, diarrhea and other digestive problems may be present. Appetite loss may also occur.

There can be a link between anxiety disorders and the development of bowel syndrome (IBS) following a bowel infection. IBS may be responsible for nausea, diarrhea and constipation.

Immune system

Fear will trigger your flight or battle stress reaction and release into your bloodstream a flood of chemicals and hormones, including adrenaline.

This increases your pulse and respiratory rate in the short term so that your brain gets more oxygen. This will train you to react to an intense situation appropriately. Your immune system might even get a brief boost. When stress passes by, your body returns to normal functioning.

But if you feel anxious and stressed repeatedly or it lasts for a long time, your body will never get a signal to go back into normal workings. This can weaken your immune system, which makes you more susceptible to viral infections and frequent diseases. Sometimes, if you have depression, the daily vaccinations may not work as well.

Respiratory system

Light, rapid breathing causes anxiety. You may be at increased risk of hospitalization from anxiety-related complications if you have the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma symptoms can also be compounded by anxiety.

Other effects Anxiety disorder may lead to additional symptoms, including:

  • headaches
  • muscle tension
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • social isolation

You will have hallucinations and witness a traumatic experience again and again if you have PTSD. You may become angry or dismayed, and maybe emotionally withdrawn. Nightmares, anxiety and depression are other symptoms.

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