Anxiety is a negative emotional state, expressed by a feeling of uncertainty, the expectation of bad events. It manifests itself internally as a feeling of anxiety, an experience of excitement, and an unpleasant foreboding of impending disaster. External signs of anxiety - absent-mindedness, restlessness, obsessive movements, a suffering facial expression. A survey, observation, and psychodiagnostic tests are used for diagnosis: questionnaires, and projective techniques. Symptomatic care includes psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and relaxation techniques.
Anxiety is expressed as a vague vague fear about possible future events. Often it occurs for no reason, that is, in situations where there is no real danger. A person anticipates trouble but does not know how to avoid or overcome it. Internal tension is partially reduced by motor activity, so restless people cannot sit still, walk around the room, bite their nails, aimlessly turn on the screen of a mobile phone several times, and perform other seemingly meaningless actions.
The expectation of trouble makes you concentrate on finding ways to solve or avoid future problems. There is a distraction, some detachment from reality. Thinking becomes selective: a person pays attention to events associated with a disturbing situation, ignoring all others. In this way, he confirms that his experiences are justified. Sometimes the feeling of anxiety intensifies to a state of anxiety, and disorders of perception of time, space, people, and actions develop.
Subjectively, anxiety is felt as anxiety - a combination of fear, sadness, shame, and guilt for no reason. During the most acute experiences, physiological changes begin to be realized: rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, nausea, dizziness, and headaches. If there is no understanding of the connection between anxiety and physical ailment, a person looks for the cause of discomfort by contacting somatic doctors - therapists, neurologists, and cardiologists.
The thinking of a restless person is directed from the past to the future - an unfavorable or dangerous event is extracted from memories, and then something similar is predicted. At the same time, previous experience can be old or just happened, personal or someone else's. For example, after reprimanding the boss, the discomfort increases every time you come to the workplace since there is a chance to meet the boss. Similarly, anxiety can develop before flying in an airplane if a movie about a plane crash has been watched before.
Speaking of anxiety for no reason, it is worth noting that, as a rule, there is a reason, but it is not recognized or is assessed by others as insignificant. The key function of anxiety is to encourage actions that increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome of events, preventing potentially dangerous behavior. The biological basis of this experience is the mobilization of psychophysiological processes to overcome a possible traumatic situation. The negative effect of anxiety is a feeling of fear that prevents effective activity.
Depending on the cause of anxiety, three types of it are distinguished: adaptive, primary, and secondary. In a situation of immediate danger, conflict, or acute stress, anxiety develops as a reaction to the mobilization of the body: all systems are activated, preparing for fight or flight. Primary true anxiety, developing into anxiety, is observed in neuroses, secondary - in some somatic and mental diseases, taking medications, narcotic drugs.
In contrast to pathological anxiety for no reason, with real danger, an adaptation reaction develops. It is manifested by the activation of physiological systems - increased breathing, increased heart rate, a rush of blood to the muscles, and mental readiness to escape or fight. Stress factors, a threat to life or health provoke a feeling of anxiety, and aggression, anxiety. Such adaptation reactions are triggered in the following cases:
Persistent anxiety for no reason contributes to the emergence of anxiety - the dominant symptom of neurotic disorders. The development of neurosis occurs when situational anxiety manifests itself frequently, begins to spread to an ever wider range of events, and is felt almost constantly. Often a person understands that there are no reasons for such experiences, but he cannot change his condition. The feeling of anxiety is characteristic of patients with the following neuroses:
The experience of anxiety without a cause is a symptom of mental disorders or somatic diseases, a side effect of drugs, and the result of taking psychoactive substances. In all these cases, the feeling of anxiety arises secondarily, not due to external events and their evaluation, but due to physiological changes. Anxiety develops when certain areas of the brain are affected, with biochemical changes with increased production of neurotransmitters and hormones. The symptom is characteristic of several diseases, such as:
A persistent feeling of anxiety can be a symptom of somatic or mental illness. Psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychologists are engaged in the diagnosis of this condition. When a patient contacts specialists, a clinical survey is initially conducted, during which the duration of the emotional disorder, the frequency and severity of anxiety states, and possible causes are specified. In addition to the conversation, the following diagnostic methods are informative:
If restless thoughts and experiences exist for no reason, the patient is referred for a consultation with a neurologist, or endocrinologist. Narrow specialists determine the presence or absence of endocrine and neurological diseases as a factor in the development of emotional disorders. A survey is performed with the specification of somatic complaints (pain, malaise), examination, laboratory blood tests for the content of hormones, instrumental studies of the brain, and the blood vessels that feed it.
The therapeutic process begins with a conversation with a doctor, during which the specialist talks about ways to treat the underlying disease and eliminate anxiety. Methods of symptomatic treatment are selected individually, taking into account the cause and severity of the emotional disturbance, and the patient's attitude towards it. For neurotic disorders, psychotherapy sessions are more appropriate, with secondary anxiety caused by a somatic disease, pharmacotherapy.
Relaxation techniques are effective in relieving anxiety
Feelings of anxiety are effectively corrected with a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. In the first stage - the stage of mental elaboration - the psychotherapist discusses with the patient the causes of anxiety, and situations that provoke emotional tension. He teaches to identify physical discomfort, and changes in thoughts when experiencing anxiety. At the stage of behavioral correction, the exposure method can be used, when the patient creates a vivid mental image of a dangerous situation, while simultaneously applying relaxation and deep breathing techniques, visualizing a successful outcome of the event.
Severe forms of anxiety disorders, accompanied by pronounced autonomic reactions and a sense of fear, require a slightly different sequence of psychotherapy. First, the patient is taught self-control: restoring normal breathing, distraction, and switching attention. When a person becomes able to independently avoid attacks of fear and panic, they move on to the stage of behavioral therapy.
Medications are prescribed for severe anxiety against the background of a mental disorder, neurological or endocrine disease. Drug correction allows you to control the symptom, even if it occurs without an obvious cause. Its advantage lies in its rapid action - improvement occurs before the patient feels the positive effects of psychotherapy or other main treatment. The use of tranquilizers - anti-anxiety drugs is widespread. Additionally, antidepressants and herbal remedies with a calming, sedative effect are prescribed.
Mild forms of anxiety are eliminated through the regular practice of physical and mental relaxation. Training in relaxation techniques is more successful in group classes that combine breathing exercises and auto-training. Patients develop muscle feeling and master progressive relaxation, abdominal breathing, and applied relaxation. Through the control of muscle tension and the breathing cycle, emotions and thoughts are correct. Breathing yoga can be considered an alternative to psychotherapeutic group methods.