All Quiet On The Western Front

1677 words - 7 pages

Common but Deadly: Living With Mild to Extreme Anxiety

Rebecca keeps experiencing situations where she feels like she is out of control. Whether it is at the grocery store, or driving to school, she will suddenly be overtaken by intense feelings and physiological reactions. Rebecca’s heart will start beating rapidly, and her palms become sweaty. Her lungs feel as if their constricting. The urge to escape becomes almost desperate as she thinks to herself, “I need out. Now!” These instances cause Rebecca to become more fearful. She is afraid of the repercussions these instances will have. Will her overwhelming emotions cause future problems for her health or for family? What are these ...view middle of the document...

Researchers have found a greater problem than just “nerves.”
Panic attacks may be a sign of a more serious problem than just a person unable to cope with their own stress. They are a sign of an anxiety disorder. For example, patients with social phobia will experience panic attacks and much more severe symptoms. “Recent nationwide surveys that [Epidemiologist Ronald Kessler] has directed, show that people with social phobia are at greater risk of developing severe depression, panic attacks and substance abuse problems. They are also more likely to commit suicide.”(Largest…) It is possible that a misfiring of the brain’s alarm centers causes these attacks (Hales, Hales 119). Social phobia is only one of several types of anxiety disorders. Some of these are Generalized Anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and all other phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. These disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses. The National Comorbidity survey reports that as many as 25% of Americans may experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime (Hales, Hales 117). Severity of these disorders can vary. Three factors determine the nature and severity of a disorder. They are biological, psychological (including stress), and behavioral factors. By examining these factors, patterns of symptoms are distinguishable and these symptoms are not limited to the mind.
The effects of anxiety do not just affect a person psychologically. Often times, there are serious effects on the physical well-being. Insomnia and somatic concerns are most frequently reported symptoms (Pary, Ray et al.). However, other physiologic symptoms include dizziness, urinary frequency, nausea, muscle tension, indigestion, neck and back pain, fatigue, and headaches. There are other more serious effects such as ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart circulation problems, and severe back problems. (Pary, Ray et al. and Maloney, Kranz 26) These symptoms may vary but anyone with extreme anxiety is at a higher risk for gastrointestinal disease and migraines in a recent study done between 40 million American adults (Barker, Nannan 32). Still, despite the obvious evidence for anxiety in physical symptoms, people still refuse to believe that anxiety is the case. “Because anxiety disorders so frequently involve physical symptoms, victims often believe that this time they really are having a heart attack, a brain tumor, or a stroke. ‘People with panic disorder come in and say, Doc, I feel this or that,’ says psychiatrist Barbara Milrod of Weill Medical College. So the doctor gives them a complete physical and perhaps even says that anxiety is the cause. But they don't believe it…” (Szegedy-Maszak) The risk for disease and other physiological issues are still only half of the problem, and the sufferer often ignores it. The emotional side effects of anxiety may be much more devastating and often times more apparent to the patient.
The emotional...

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