summary anxiety

We all feel anxiety at some point in our lives, this is normal. But for some people this feeling is more frequent and intense, affecting their daily lives.
Anxiety disorder is a mental illness characterized by a feeling of insecurity, fear, and nervousness. Although common in every human being, anxiety becomes a disorder when it is present most days for 6 months or more, impairing the patient’s daily life and tasks.
Research indicates that anxiety disorders affect 18% of the American population, however, as anxiety is usually accompanied by other diseases, statistical data are not accurate with regard to incidence.
Anxiety can originate from intense traumas, conflicts, failures or be accompanied by other psychiatric illnesses such as depression , psychoses, neuroses, etc. It may also be associated with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases. The use of some medications can also trigger anxiety disorders, as in the case of amphetamines.

Symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on the severity. In the most intense cases, symptoms include: palpitations, fear, sweating, a feeling of powerlessness in the face of adversity, a feeling of constant danger, tremors, among others. Anxiety can lead to depression and other ailments, such as abusive use of drugs, alcohol, medications, among others. Also Read: Panic Disorder or Anxiety Attack

The diagnosis is made by specialists in the area according to the patient’s clinical history.

Therapy (psychotherapy) is a highly recommended treatment option, even for cases where medication is required. It is based on conversations with specialists (psychologists, psychiatrists, among others) about feelings, relationships, concerns. It can help to change the way of seeing certain situations, making the patient feel less anxious. In some cases, it is possible to learn techniques to reduce anxiety.

Drug treatments are based on the use of anxiolytics, typically benzodiazepines. If the disease is due to other factors, the doctor may prescribe nitroglycerin (in the case of cardiovascular causes) or bronchodilators (in the case of asthma ).

There is no need to feel self-conscious about seeking treatment for anxiety, this is a common problem that can affect all types of people.

Some plants act as tranquilizers, reducing the patient’s state of anxiety, such as  passionflower , valerian and lavender . But remember that medicinal plants generally should not be used for more than 6 consecutive months and some of them have adverse effects. Homeopathic remedies include aconite, Ambra grisea , Ignatia , among others.

An anxious person needs the support of friends and relatives and also a good doctor to accompany him. It’s important to always talk to people close to you to let them know about the problem. That way, the patient will have a healthy recovery.


Anxiety is an emotional disorder, a feeling of intense insecurity, of imminent danger.

Despite being present in all human beings, its intensity varies from one person to another. Fear is, above all, a tool of urgency, of alertness, and allows man to flee from dangerous situations. Anxiety becomes pathological as soon as its degree is disproportionate to a situation, external circumstances and if the anxious person no longer controls his anguish. We call it an anxiety disorder when anxiety or worry is present on most days for 6 months or more.

Anxiety can be a sign of a pathology of nervous origin ( depression ). It can also be the symptom of organic diseases (cardiovascular or respiratory).

There are numerous medicinal specialties that treat anxiety. For mild disorders, therapy and natural remedies (homeopathy, herbal medicine) may be sufficient. In the most serious cases, tranquilizers and even antidepressants should be used. Medical follow-up is strictly necessary and even psychiatric treatment may be recommended.


According to the American website , anxiety disorders affect 18% of the US population. In Europe, considering the number of requests for tranquilizers (benzodiazepine,…) the numbers are very similar.
In Brazil, approximately 12% of the population suffers from anxiety, according to the Institute of Psychiatry at HC (USP), which represents almost 24 million Brazilians with pathological anxiety (and not merely anxious).
Anxiety is the most frequent mental illness. However, it is important to know that in psychiatry, the “drawer theory”: in which a person is depressive, schizophrenic, anxious,… is sometimes criticized, it is almost always a set of pathologies (anxious and depressive, for example) and as such it is relatively difficult to obtain accurate statistical numbers.

Recent studies show that women have a higher risk of developing the disease throughout their lives when compared to men. The reasons for this difference have not yet been elucidated, but there are indications that genetic factors and female hormones are related.

In Germany, around 15% of people suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, according to a statement from the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg (in German Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg ) published in early 2017.


Anxiety can come from intense shocks, due to an accident, a conflict or a failure. Nowadays, due to the lifestyle surrounded by stress and prayers, more and more people suffer from anxiety.

Anxiety is a characteristic symptom of depressive states, neuroses (phobia, obsession), psychoses (delirium, schizophrenia).
Anxiety can also be caused by certain illnesses such as: heart disease or disorders (including angina pectoris), respiratory failure (eg asthma ) or diabetes. For these patients, anxiety attacks can occur, for example, during major physical exertion: brisk walking, climbing stairs, etc.

Abusive consumption of certain medications can also trigger anxiety attacks. This is the case of amphetamines, barbiturates, as well as anxiolytics (installation of a vicious circle).

Drugs (cocaine, cannabis) can lead to anxiety or panic attacks. Hormonal causes such as hyperthyroidism can also trigger anxiety.

Cannabis and anxiety
According to a study carried out in mice, exposure to cannabis and stress during adolescence can lead to long-term anxiety disorders, characterized by the presence of pathological fear. This is demonstrated by the results of a study published on January 8, 2019 in the journal Neuropharmacology(DOI: 10.1016 / j.neuropharm.2018.11.016). In adult mice, this exposure affects fear memory extinction and causes anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias or panic attacks. This study highlights the influence of environmental factors, such as stress, on the harmful effects of exposure to cannabis in early childhood, and hypothesizes that the consequences of early cannabis use largely depend on the environment in which it is used.

Genetics may also play a role in the development of anxiety and panic or anxiety attacks, according to a German study by the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg (in German Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg ) published in early 2017 in the specialized journal Molecular Psychiatry . The variants of the GLRB gene (glycine B receptor) are the origin for certain individuals who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, according to the conclusions of these German scientists.

Groups of risk

The people most likely to suffer from anxiety are:

– People who have experienced severe shocks: accidents, conflict, failure.

– Women, the risk of suffering from anxiety is higher than for men.

– People with family members who have the disease.

– People with a history of physical or emotional abuse during childhood.

– People who are depressive, neurotic or who suffer from illnesses such as schizophrenia , for example.

– People suffering from cardiovascular disease (with or without heart attack)

– People with fragile respiratory system (asthmatic)

– People who abuse drugs of an exciting type (amphetamines). Other drugs whose abuse can also cause anxiety attacks: barbiturates, anxiolytics.

– People who consume a lot of alcohol or drugs.

– People under stress in their daily life (work, private life).


Anxiety can have many symptoms, such as nervousness, a lack of hope, or a vague sense of impending danger.

Anxiety can also take the form of physical manifestations (palpitations with increased heart rate, sweating or perspiration, feeling of suffocation, rapid breathing with hyperventilation, dizziness, tremors, nausea, loss of voice, syncope).

Confronted with danger, the anxious person may become confusedly agitated (walking in all directions) or remain petrified, frozen.

Angina pectoris translates into anguish and chest pain can radiate to the shoulders and back.

The term anxiety is used to describe mental disorders. Anguish, on the contrary, is used to describe somatic disturbances. Thus, a person suffering from heart disease will experience anxiety (angina pectoris).

When do the first symptoms of anxiety appear?
Anxiety can start during childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood. Anxiety can also occur directly in adulthood.


The doctor or psychologist will first of all look for the origin of the anxiety attacks.
If the distress stems from cardiovascular disorders, he will refer the patient to a specialist who will perform an electrocardiogram.
For respiratory disorders, the physician will investigate the patient’s breathing capacity through peak flow measurement instruments.
For anxiety of psychic origin, the doctor will, through conversations with the patient, ask questions and check the patient’s history in order to identify the causes of anxiety attacks.

Some experts rely on the following symptoms as diagnostic criteria:

– excessive anxiety or worry, on most days for at least 6 months, about activities and/or events

– the worry is difficult to control and quite pervasive

– association with at least 3 of the following symptoms (these symptoms must be present most days in the last 6 months): restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or memory problems, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances.

– the anxiety, worry or physical symptoms cause distress or impairment in important functional areas (social, occupational,…), which are clinically significant .


Anxiety can lead to depression, which will itself provoke bouts of anguish.

A very anxious person may seek to eliminate their symptoms through substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, medication). These substances will give the impression of well-being at first, due to their relaxing effect. However, unfortunately, its abuse causes dependence and the amplification of anxiety.

A strong feeling of anxiety, which is not controlled, can lead the patient to commit acts of suicide.


There are basically 2 therapies for anxiety, medication and psychotherapy.


– In case of cardiovascular disorders, the doctor will prescribe nitroglycerin in chewable capsules or spray.

– In case of attacks due to asthma , it will be necessary to treat the patient with anti-asthmatics (broncho-dilators, corticosteroids to inhale and calm the inflammation of the bronchi).

In case of anxiety of psychic origin, there is a whole range of medicines, such as natural remedies or tranquilizers (benzodiazepine,…) and antidepressants. Caution: tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines should not be consumed for more than one month. In most patients, after two or three months of starting treatment based on benzodiazepines, serious dependence can occur.

Natural remedies are available without a prescription, but will only treat mild anxiety states.

In mild cases of anxiety, the doctor may prescribe tranquilizers (almost always benzodiazepines), beta-blockers, or mild neuroleptics.

Among antidepressants, buspirone is often used in cases of anxiety. However, it is necessary to wait several weeks after starting the treatment before being able to observe its efficiency. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs or SSRIs) as well as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs or SSRIs) are often indicated for anxiety, they generally have fewer side effects than benzodiazepines (which have a sedative effect).

-blockers Beta -blockers, such as atenolol, are drugs prescribed primarily for cardiovascular disorders. But some doctors prescribe them off-label (out of official indication) mainly in the United States in certain anxiety situations. Studies support the use of beta-blockers to alleviate the physical effects of anxiety, such as sweating, shakiness, or a racing heart. Beta-blockers act in particular by limiting the action of adrenaline, which is often the cause of stress.

Psychotherapy is an often effective method of fighting anxiety, especially cognitive behavioral therapy.
Psychotherapy makes it possible to work on the causes of anxiety, which are generally not covered by drug therapy. The patient, with a therapist (eg. psychiatrist) will work on his past, in order to heal his problems or psychological traumas. Several sessions are necessary to achieve a good result.

Herbal medicine

As we saw in the anti-anxiety medications section, the remedies mentioned below are indicated only for mild cases of anxiety. They can be obtained without a prescription, but should not be taken chronically for more than 6 months. Check the contraindications and adverse effects before ingesting them.

These are usually medications that can calm and boost mood.

– kava , in capsules or tablets.

– Passiflora , in capsules. Some small clinical trials suggest that passion flower may help ease anxiety, according to an April 2018 Mayo Clinic article.

– valerian , in capsules or tablets

– lavender , in infusion or capsules.

– hops , in capsules or tablets.

– ashwagandha , , in capsules or tablets.

– Chamomile , in the form of tea to reduce anxiety symptoms, especially in a short period. It is also possible to consume chamomile in the form of essential oil diffusion.

– melissa , in the form of tea or capsule. Preliminary research has shown that lemon balm can reduce some anxiety symptoms such as nervousness and excitability.


An anxious person will not heal on their own. Support from your surroundings is essential. The fact of speaking, of trusting oneself is a good prevention of the anxious state. One must not keep one’s evil within oneself.
If mild anxiety can be treated through natural remedies, without the need for a medical prescription, it is important that the patient is aware of the limitations of these medications and, if necessary, he should go to competent people: doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist .
Practice some type of exercise. Physical exercise helps many people feel less anxiety.

Decrease or stop consuming coffee and other sources of caffeine, such as black tea. Because this substance can increase the state of anxiety.

Don’t feel embarrassed about seeking treatment for anxiety, this is a common problem that can affect all types of people.

– Decrease your alcohol intake and, if possible, stop smoking. Two habits that favor anxiety.

– Try to sleep well. In fact, restful sleep helps us to be well rested and less stressed (a cause of anxiety).

– Maintain a healthy diet.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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