Anxiety

By Patrick Seward

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a condition that causes people to worry or freak out about small things that aren't really threatening.

Body Systems Affected by Anxiety

The nervous, cardiovascular and the immune system are all affected by anxiety disorders.

Normal Body Versus Body with Anxiety.

The nervous system is affected by anxiety; instead of having normal levels of certain neurons and hormones, they will have unusual high levels of stress inducing and low levels of stress relieving chemicals.



The cardiovascular system is negatively affected by anxiety as well. People with an anxiety disorder have a much faster heartbeat and take in less oxygen than a person with a healthy body.



Also, a weaker immune system is another common characteristic of an anxiety disorder. This is due to the amount of T cells that the immune system creates to fight infections. When someone has anxiety, it's not unusual for them to have a low amount of T cells, making them more vulnerable to become sick than a person who doesn't have anxiety.

Target Population; Who is affected?

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Onset- How does Anxiety Arise?

People get anxiety from a few different ways. One of the most common is to get an anxiety disorder genetically. A parent with an anxiety disorder is much more likely to have a child with same issue. Another way that many people become anxious is their living conditions. For example, Somebody who has personal issues at home or school is more likely to get anxiety. Some people get anxiety after they experience a traumatic event.

Diagnosis

Doctors can diagnose anxiety in a few different ways. The most common way that anxiety is diagnosed is through a series of psychological (and physical if needed) examinations. During a psychological exam, a doctor/psychologist might talk to you for a while in order to recognize psychological symptoms. When a doctor has to do a physical exam, they would be able to recognize multiple physical signs/symptoms of anxiety and inform the patient, allowing them to get help sooner.


A less common but possibly more efficient way to diagnose anxiety is to get a brain scan. Doctors can then see whether your brain is functioning normally or if there is e.i. an unusually low level of serotonin in the brain.

Signs and Symptoms

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Psychological Symptoms

An anxiety disorder's psychological effect on humans is the easiest thing to notice, and there are a few symptoms that will be found in nearly all (if not every) person who has an anxiety disorder. The most common symptoms are excess worrying and panic outbursts. Other normal symptoms include obsessive thoughts about specific things, restlessness, impatience and troubles with concentrating.

Physical Symptoms

Anxiety disorders have many physical symptoms. A few of these symptoms are headaches, increased blood pressure and heartbeat, sweating, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping. Other physical symptoms include nausea, chest pains, fatigue, a dry mouth and shortness of breath.

Treatment For Anxiety

There are many ways to reduce the severity of a person's anxiety. One easy treatment is yoga. It helps sooth the body from its muscle tension and increases the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, a type of chemical in the brain that helps reduce stress and is commonly found in lower levels when people have anxiety disorders. Just plain exercise like jogging has also proven to help relieve stress by allowing people with anxiety disorders to take their minds off of problems.



Massages are another treatment that works very similarly to yoga, also helping to release muscle tension and a stress hormone called cortisol.


Speaking with a psychologist and meditation are also simple treatments for anxiety, allowing the person to think about their fears and reducing stress or to talk about them with someone that can help. Sleeping for 7-9 hours at night will also help reduce stress.


Also, there are medications that are mostly prescribed to people with a more severe chronic anxiety disorders. These medications increase the level of serotonin neurons in the brain, helping to reduce stress levels.

Life Expectancy with Anxiety

Anxiety is not fatal. However, some anxiety disorders (like depression) can cause people to have suicidal thoughts. Also, anxiety can be a prime reason for getting a cardiovascular disease, which can cause a persons life to be considerably shorter. The weakened immune system is also less likely to be able to fight off infection, causing more people who have anxiety to die of an illness.
Social Anxiety Disorder: How the brain works on anxiety and stress

Best information:

1:39 (How it works in the brain)

4:44 (Facts)

Connections

I chose anxiety as the topic of my health project because I have anxiety issues when it comes to school.

Bibliography

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MILLMAN, CHRISTIAN. "Brain Scans May Lead To Better Diagnoses." Discover 37.1 (2016): 28. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.


Scholten, Amy. "Anxiety Disorders: Chronic Free-Floating Anxiety."Consumer Health Complete. MPH, 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.


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"Suicide: Facts at a Glance." PsycEXTRA Dataset (n.d.): n. pag. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC, 2015. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.


Glorioso, Chris. "Social Anxiety Disorder: How the Brain Works on Anxiety and Stress." Youtube. N.p., 2 July 2014. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.