Cope With Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety typically consists of emotions, which can be regarded as negative and therefore abnormal. Fear, a particular concern, and physical signs including nausea and body aches most often localized to the chest usually form part of anxiety. Thus, anxiety is quite complex; it consists of so many components. These can be classified as either somatic or cognitive. The body usually responds to anxiety by preparing itself to face an external menace thus anxiety is regarded by many as a self-defense mechanism.

During anxiety, the heart starts to beat faster and blood pressure is often increased. There is a surge in the amount of blood being delivered to the tissues, more specifically to the muscles. The blood supply to the abdominal organs usually decreases, and as a result there is decreased functioning of the digestive system. People suffering from anxiety usually fear something untoward might happen. Both voluntary and involuntary activities take place in the body. The impulse for those responses is usually the need of the body for security. This usually occurs in response to a lurking danger or due to the anticipation that something bad might happen soon. Anxiety therefore is a survival mechanism, intended to increase the survival of a species in a sense.

The hippocampus plays an important role in anxiety in human beings. It is believed that another part of the brain, the amygdala, is equally important. For example, when you smell or taste something, there is a sudden surge of blood in the amygdala. This shows the involvement of certain parts of the brain in anxiety. Studies have shown that anxiety is a defense mechanism, aimed at protecting humans and other forms of life from dangers present in their environment.

However, if a person expresses too much anxiety, it might be a problem. This is referred to as an anxiety disorder. In severe cases, the lives of those people can get really miserable. Occasionally, anxiety can lead to depression. Anxiety disorders may be classified into phobias, generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders.

A phobia may refer to a fear of a particular thing, person or condition. People suffering from such conditions tend to have extensive and irrational imaginations. Their fear is often not valid. Some individuals may experience extreme panic attacks. They may even have problems breathing and may feel dizzy. Such attacks typically peak in around 10 minutes.

Generalized anxiety disorders are much more common though. They tend to occur in both males and females. However, a less acceptable behaviour is related to the obsessive compulsive disorder. In such conditions, the individuals usually behave obsessively.

Those people need to go through a particular ‘ritual’ to cure their anxiety. For example, some people may start repeating the same things over and over again, or may have a tendency to eat things, that are not really safe to ingest. Other examples include washing their hands every now and then. Therapy may be required to cure those people. Occasionally, some medications may be prescribed and are quite helpful.

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