Causes Of Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms & Alternative Therapies

Experiencing intermittent episodes of anxiety is a normal aspect of life. On the other hand, if you have an anxiety disorder, you will experience anxiety attacks frequently with extreme, unnecessary and constant worry about daily situations.

These feelings of worry and apprehension hamper your day to day functioning, are hard to manage, out of proportion to the real danger and last for a prolonged period of time.

Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder

Common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Feeling apprehensive, edgy, and agitated.
  • A sense of approaching doom.
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Exhaustion
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upsets
  • Tries to avoid things which produce anxiety.
  • Cannot concentrate or think about anything other than the worry.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Anxiety Disorder

  • The cause for anxiety disorders isn’t quite understood.
  • Experiences such as traumatic events are known to cause anxiety disorders in people who are vulnerable to anxiety.
  • Inherited trait is an important factor.
  • Anxiety may be related to an underlying health issue. Medical problems linked to anxiety include:
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Cardiac diseases
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Asthma
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Chronic pains
  • Occasionally anxiety may be a side effect of certain drugs and medications.

Risk factors which are known to increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder:

  • Trauma: A child who has endured trauma / abuse or witnessed a traumatic incident is prone to anxiety at some point in his life.
    Adults who experience a traumatic event may also develop anxiety disorders.
  • A big turmoil or a build-up of small stresses set off undue anxiety like death in the family, worry about finances or work related stress.
  • Certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders are also known to run in families.
  • Drug or alcohol abuse or its sudden withdrawal sets off anxiety.

Alternative Therapies For Anxiety Disorders

The two important treatment regimens for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. Confer with your health care provider / counselor and see what works best for you.

  • Psychotherapy: It involves working with a therapist to diminish your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of psychotherapy. In this therapy you gradually encounter the situation / object which triggers your anxiety attack so that you build confidence and self esteem and can manage the situation and the symptoms successfully.
  • Medications: Anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics may be prescribed to manage your symptoms better.
  • A host of herbal remedies have been touted to be effective for the treatment of anxiety, however, before consuming any herbal remedy or dietary supplement, confer with your health care provider to ensure that they are safe for you and will not interact with any medicines you take.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile is an excellent natural remedy to ease anxiety – panic attacks. Clinical trials show that supplements taken for 8 weeks produce a noteworthy reduction in anxiety symptoms. You may choose to have chamomile tea every night before retiring to bed.
  • Valerian: Is another herbal remedy to battle anxiety related symptoms. You may choose to have valerian tablets or take homoeopathically potentized Valeriana.
  • Lemon balm: It has been used since the Middle Ages to cut down stress and help with calm, peaceful sleep.
  • Lavender: Is an ‘emotional’ anti-inflammatory. Use the essential oil as a ‘mood’ perfume; it proffers wonderful results.
  • Yoga: Probably the most effective remedy is Yoga and Pranayama. The free flowing, fluid movements of Yoga and deep breathing techniques of Pranayama can quiet your mind, soothe frayed nerves and extinguish anguish.