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In what different ways can anxiety affect us?

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Occasionally experiencing anxiety is not necessarily a negative thing.. It tells us that we value what gives us that feeling, prepares us to act and allows us to explore different options to solve what we are immersed in.

However, when these sensations occur continuously, for no apparent reason, and you begin to noticeably interfere with daily functioning, is when we must begin to analyze what is happening.

  • Related article: "Types of Anxiety Disorders and their characteristics"

How do anxiety problems affect us?

In general, with anxiety imbalances we can notice difficulties at a personal, work, family and / or social level. 7.6% of people in Spain report chronic anxiety. Within the age ranges, 8.75% correspond to people between 45 and 54 years old and 10.51% to individuals between 55 and 64 years old.

These feelings are disproportionate to the real danger and, far from helping us to react, they generally paralyze and make execution difficult.

It is possible that, to avoid that unpleasant and uncontrollable feeling, the person begins to avoid situations, encounters or isolates himself in a certain way. At the same time,

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perfectionism and unrealistic demands contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety. Furthermore, the spectrum of what we generally call anxiety is very broad.

What forms do anxiety problems take?

Anxiety can be generalized (without apparent stimulus or cause), to social situations, to separation, or take the form of specific phobias and agoraphobia, or through panic disorder, or due to a substance or disease, etc.

Also, anxiety It can begin as a result or consequence of another disease or occur together with other pathologies, like depression, for example. People who have some organic disease (recognized or not) may also be experiencing anxiety due to the interference that it produced or as a symptom of the disease; as occurs, for example, in oncological processes.

What can be done?

Investigating what issues may be causing this response will help us focus on the most appropriate treatment.

Although anxiety is sometimes overwhelming and requires complementary pharmacological treatments, it is not advisable to take medication without being acting at the root of the problem, since we fall into the risk of creating dependence on mediation without creating our own strategies that can help fight it. What's more, psychological therapy helps us prepare for anxiety situations, in a way that helps us to consolidate strategies and tools that help us to reduce or eliminate it.

How to recognize the existence of an anxiety problem?

As we have already commented, there are several subtypes within anxiety, although some symptomatological manifestations may be common. A) Yes, the main characteristics that can help us to recognize it are the following:

  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Feeling of danger or loss of control of the situation
  • Sweating, fast heartbeat
  • Sleeping problems
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Persistent headaches or migraines
  • Avoidance of situations that generate anxiety
  • Recurring concerns that interfere with daily functioning and are difficult to avoid
  • Others

The current health situation has considerably raised anxiety levels in the population. Recent studies indicate that one out of every five (19.6%) people residing in the Spanish State presents clinically significant symptoms of anxiety, being the most prevalent symptomatology in women (26,8%). Surprisingly, the age groups with the highest levels of anxiety correspond to the young population between 18 and 24 years old. In turn, researchers have concluded that those with psychological problems double the probability of experiencing anxiety.

For this reason, if you observe any of these symptoms, whether produced by the pandemic or by other factors, it is important that we can have professional help.

Bibliographic references:

  • Maté, J., Hollenstein, M. F., & Gil, F. (2004). Insomnia, anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Psychooncology, 1 (2-3), 211-30.
  • Valiente, C., Vázquez, C., Peinado, V., Contreras, A., Trucharte, A., Bentall, R., & Martínez, A. (2020). LIFE-COVID-19. National representative study of the responses of the citizens of Spain to the Covid-19 crisis: psychological responses. Preliminary results. Symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress before COVID-19: prevalence and predictors (Technical report 2.0. 02/05/2020). Complutense University of Madrid and University of Sheffield.
  • Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare (2018). National health survey. Spain 2017
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