Anxiety in the Mind and Body


(DoctorFarrah)- With all the fuss and buzz that is happening in the Philippines and around the world, most of the population may be frightened for their lives and some can be even traumatized. Drug trafficking, extrajudicial killings, war on drugs, typhoons, terrorism, and other political issues are only some of the concerns that many would even dream at night. Every day, we fight the demons within us – emotions and our responses, our “fight or flight” reaction … anxiety, in short. This is good to protect us from harm, but in the absence of the “need” to fight or flee, this may mean something bad; something that is disorderly in nature.

Anxiety per se is your response to stress that has both psychological and physical impact to the body. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, put you to a greater risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. They may also lead to severe symptoms and will increase the risk of death. Anxiety disorders are not loners; they affect both emotions and physical functioning of the human body, thus, when combined with other chronic diseases, everything will be worse.

In Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal disorders don’t produce lesions like ulcers or tumors, they aren’t considered as life-threatening too, but their symptoms can be chronic and difficult to tolerate. These include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation in IBS, nausea, and vomiting in functional dyspepsia. A 2007 study in New Zealand with gastroenteritis as their subject, they found an association between high anxiety levels and the development of IBS following a bowel infection.

In Chronic Respiratory Disorders

Although anxiety doesn’t affect the progress of disease, it takes a significant toll on quality of life for those who have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Most studies have found that patients, who have chronic respiratory diseases, with women at greater risk than men, have high rate of anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. Patients with COPD have frequently been hospitalized because of severe distress.

In Heart Diseases

Studies have shown that among men and women with recognized heart diseases who also suffer from anxiety disorders, their chances to have heart attack is twice as those with no history of anxiety disorders.

Treating anxiety has several benefits for you. It helps you enjoy life to the fullest, but it also eases the symptoms of the mentioned chronic diseases. If you happen to suffer from anxiety, here are some therapies that may help you get through with it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you identify and avoid thoughts that generate anxiety. It will also help you react properly to different anxiety-provoking situations.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps you explore and resolve deep-seated emotional conflict or traumatic experience that often triggers anxiety.

You may think that being anxious is normal, but if you feel a little more anxious than you ever did, you might want to consider going for therapy. Everything can get worse before you even know them, so better check in advance to avoid further complications. Talk to your clinician, they will always listen.

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