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Anxiety Essay

1222 words - 5 pages

Anxiety.What is it?Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. These vary from person to person, but can include feeling restless or worried and having trouble concentrating or sleeping.Read about the symptoms of GAD.When to see your GPAlthough feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, you should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and your worries, fears and emotions to try to find out if you could have GAD.Read more about diagnosing GAD.What causes GAD?The exact cause of GAD is not fully understood, although it's likely that a combination of several factors plays a role. Research has suggested these may include:overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviouran imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which are involved in the control and regulation of moodthe genes you inherit from your parents - you're estimated to be five times more likely to develop GAD if you have a close relative with the conditionhaving a history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse or bullyinghaving a painful long-term health condition, such as arthritishaving a history of drug or alcohol misuseHowever, many people develop GAD for no apparent reason.Who is affected?GAD is a common condition estimated to affect about 1 in every 25 people in the UK. Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is more common in people between the ages of 35 and 55.Social phobia.Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is a persistent fear about social situations and being around people. It's one of the most common anxiety disorders.Much more than just "shyness", social anxiety disorder causes intense, overwhelming fear over what may just be an everyday activity like shopping or speaking on the phone. People affected by it may fear doing or saying something they think will be humiliating.Social anxiety disorder disrupts normal life, interfering with social relationships and quality of life, and impairing performance at work or school.It's generally more common in women than men and often starts in adolescence, or sometimes as early as childhood.If you think you may have social anxiety disorder, don't be afraid to see your GP. It is a recognised condition that can be effectively treated.What are the signs of social anxiety disorder?A child with social anxiety disorder may cry a lot, freeze, or have tantrums. They may fear going to school and...

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