Anxiety is a normal physical reaction to an internal or external demand that is placed on your system. The human body reacts to most stressful situations with the fight or flight response where it is flooded with stress hormones.
These hormones cause the following:
- heart pump faster,
- breathing rate increase,
- muscles tense up
This is the body's way of gearing up for imminent physical activity.
How to Tell if Someone Has an Anxiety Disorder
Diagnosis is best left to the professionals. But here are some symptoms that might point to the need for a diagnosis and treatment:
- A person who suffers from an anxiety disorder may experience chronic and recurrent episodes of anxiety that have no discernible cause.
- These episodes can last for days, weeks, or even months.
- Sometimes, an anxiety disorder may stem from a definite trigger such as childhood abuse or witnessing the event of war.
- But in other situations, hormonal or chemical changes in the brain or environmental factors cause anxiety symptoms to develop.
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty.
Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least six months and can get worse if they are not treated.
Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse.
In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.