What is anxiety? Basic types of anxiety. Typical somatic and cognitive symptoms.


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Every person in her/his life encountered manifestations of anxiety, felt the symptoms of anxiety, saw close ones suffering from it. And this is not surprising. According to the estimations of some experts almost everyone on the planet experienced neurosis of anxiety and each second suffers from anxiety at the present moment.

However what is an anxiety? The simplest definition of anxiety is a feeling of groundless internal uneasiness, agitation. If "anxiety" has a specific reason it is called fear or phobia. Literature describes huge set of fears and phobias like fear of closed spaces, sharp objects, height, darkness, solitude, public appearances, blood, thirteenth number, snakes, spiders, illness, etc. But only when agitation is not related to a specific subject doctors speak about anxiety disorder.

Depending on appearance and nature of manifestation doctors define three basic types of the anxiety: paroxysmal, constant and after-stress (reactive). Manifestations (symptoms) of anxiety can be subdivided into mental and somatic. Most frequently anxiety is recorded in women, especially older than 40 years. However, it can be developed also at the young age and in men. After happening once, anxiety has a tendency toward the prolonged, repetitive (relapsing) flow. Person usually cannot hold anxiety in control, and as a result her/his normal lifestyle is disrupted. Moreover, as a result of continuous fears and agitations, tension, fatigue and increased irritability relationship with close ones can suffer.

Together with the unjustified agitations, anxiety disorders are characterized with increased excitability or the timidity, which is accompanied by the excessive reactivity of the vegetative nervous system. The disturbances of sleep are noted very frequently (suddenly falling asleep or awakening during the night). It is also characterized by fussiness, retardation or awkwardness.

Diverse complaints of the physical health are typical for the anxiety: weakness, head and muscular pains, pain in the spin and the back (frequently treated as "osteochondrosis"), muscular twitching, etc. These symptoms are caused by a chronic increase in the muscular tone, which accompanies pathologic anxiety.

Anxiety is frequently accompanied by other somatic symptoms. Among them are heart palpitations, a feeling of pressure or compression in the breast, heart pain, sensation of air shortage, increase in the arterial pressure, trembling, sweating, "ant" or "goose" skin, nausea, diarrhea, spastic abdominal pains, dryness in the mouth. Other frequent symptoms are vertigo, palling or reddening, itch, hives, suffocation, disturbance of sexual functions.


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