An imbalance of naturally occurring brain chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, are often seen in people with GAD and could be an indicator of a propensity to develop the disorder. An imbalance of these chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can impact emotional stability and mental well-being. [ Related: Nervous System: Facts, Function & Diseases ] Enduring a trauma, especially during childhood, can have a link to GAD. Those who experienced abuse or trauma, including witnessing a traumatic event, as a child are at higher risk of developing generalized anxiety disorder. Connection to addiction Many GAD sufferers will use alcohol, tranquilizers or other drugs to calm their nerves and provide them some relief. The fact that so few people with GAD receive treatment suggests that many are self-medicating. While there is a high rate of comorbidity (GAD and substance abuse occurring together) typically the GAD was present before the addiction. There is very little evidence of GAD being induced by substance abuse. Typically those suffering from GAD and other anxiety disorders have low self-esteem, which is a factor in substance abuse. There is a high level among GAD sufferers to abuse prescription drugs. Many build up a tolerance to some of the drugs they have been given to treat the physical symptoms, leading them to visit multiple doctors for prescriptions. GAD sufferers are also cautioned to avoid caffeine and some over-the-counter cold medications can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Treatment GAD can be difficult to diagnose, because it is the symptoms, such as sleeplessness or headache, that cause someone to seek medical attention.
More: Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | LiveScience
Symptoms of panic disorder Many people who suffer from panic disorder use similar phrases when describing an incident it feels as if you are out of control and having a heart attack. Other physical signs include profuse sweating, heavy or labored breathing, pounding or racing heart that can cause chest pain, weakness or dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands or other extremities, a feeling hot or a cold chill, tingly or numb hands and stomach pain. While some people can identify their triggers for a panic attack, they often come on suddenly. One of the biggest sources of panic is the fear of having another attack. Connection to addiction Drugs and alcohol are often used by those with panic disorder as a way to calming themselves or numb their fear of a looming attack.A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that 10 percent to 20 percent of individuals with panic disorder struggle with substance abuse and that alcoholism occurs in 10 percent to 40 percent of those who have panic disorder. However, since alcohol and drug abuse can trigger panic attacks, this attempt at self-medication often exacerbates the problem. The symptoms of panic disorder often precede substance abuse or alcoholism. Treatment While some people with very limited triggers can manage to avoid certain situations, those with frequent, full-fledged panic attacks can become very disabled by their condition. [ Related: To Stave Off Panic, Don’t Take a Deep Breath ] Sufferers can generally receive successful treatment before they start to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. Unchecked, panic disorder can be disabling and evolve into agoraphobia the sufferer prefers to remain housebound or only goes out on a limited basis with a small circle of trusted people. Early treatment can often prevent panic disorder from developing into agoraphobia, but it can sometimes be a tough condition to diagnose. However, once a diagnosis is in place, it is one of the most treatable of all of the anxiety disorders.
Full story: Panic Disorder: Causes & Treatment for Panic Attacks | LiveScience
An active spleen. Anxiety doesn’t just engage the obvious organs like our brains and our hearts, but it even affects internal functions like our spleens and blood cells. In order to distribute more oxygen to the body that may have been depleted during the stressful situation, the spleen discharges extra red and white blood cells . Your blood flow also increases by 300 to 400 percent during this process in order to prep the rest of the body for added demands. Tense muscles. When you start to feel anxious, the body naturally tightens up, creating strain on large muscle groups. Chronic stress and anxiety can exacerbate this tension, which can result in headaches , stiff shoulders , neck pain and even migraines . People in a constant state of stress also are at a higher risk for chronic musculoskeletal disorders . After a while, chronic anxiety can have an effect on…
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What are the symptoms of panic disorder? The most significant symptoms of this disorder are the symptoms of panic attack – and the fear of those attacks. Panic attack symptoms are similar to our body’s normal responses to dangers and threats, like increased heart rate, sweating, or shortness of breath. But in panic attacks, there is no actual threat to justify the response. Learn more about common panic attack symptoms . What are the causes and risk factors of panic disorder? A cause of panic disorder has not been conclusively proven, though genetics may affect your risk. Women and those in their 20s or 30s may be at higher risk, but panic disorder can happen to anyone at any age and can come out of nowhere or following a traumatic or stressful life event. How is panic disorder diagnosed? If you’re worried that you might have panic disorder, talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’ve experienced.
Source: Panic disorder – Mental Health – C-Health