Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More.


The truth about anxiety

Apart from the feelings of anxiety being normal, they are also a necessity for a person’s survival.

From the initial days of humankind, the approach of predators and incoming peril sparks fear in the body allowing an elusive action. These forms of fear are physically noticed in the form of increased blood pressure (heartbeat), sweating and becoming very sensible to the environment. These forms of hazard trigger adrenaline (a hormone and chemical messenger in the brain) that causes anxious reactions in the name of “fight-or-flight response”. However, this alerts a person to leave a potentially dangerous place/thing to safety.

In the modern society anxiety now arise from work, family issues, financial constraints, health conditions and other important matters that may require a person to be aware without application of the “fight-or-flight” reaction.

Feeling anxious before or during a harmful event/situation is a natural mimic of the “flight-or-flight” reaction. It can still be essential to survival, for example being anxious about an upcoming exam or failing an exam, this will force a person will have to prepare well for the exam to avoid failing.

Classes of Anxiety Disorders:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Selective mutism
  • Social phobia
  • Separation disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

These are severe anxious feelings with a long duration that are out of proportion to the original stressor or trigger. GAD is the commonly known type of anxiety and individuals with this type of anxiety often are unable to identify the cause of it. An individual with anxiety disorder usually has repetitive thoughts that are unwanted and concerns leading to interference of daily functions.

The physical symptoms include high blood pressure and nausea.

Symptoms of (GAD)

  • Excessive worrying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Restlessness

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a condition characterized by a brief and sudden attacks of acute terror and worry that results to shaking, confusion, breathing difficulty and some dizziness. This may last for hours.

Panic attacks not only need a stressor but usually occur after a traumatizing event and prolonged stress. Most of the times, people misinterpret it as a life-threatening illness and may make efforts to change their behaviors to avoid future experiences.


This is an unreasonable fear and extreme avoidance of a particular event of harmful nature. An individual with phobia may acknowledge a fear but fail to control anxiety feelings around a trigger.

Selective mutism

It is a common form of anxiety among kids whereby they are unable to talk in certain settings like schools despite them having a well communication skill around the people they are familiar with.

Social phobia

This is being afraid of people judging you negatively especially in social events and a fear of public embarrassments like being afraid falling in love and feeling anxious around humiliations and rejections. Social phobia makes people lose interest in social events and normal socializing habits affecting daily living very difficult.

Separation disorder

Anxious feelings after separating from a loved one or place that comforts or a sense of security.

General Causes of Anxiety

Though anxiety causes are very complex, a lot of them occur at once, some leading to others and others not leading to an anxiety disorder unless there is a presence of another cause.

Causes of anxiety include:

  • Genetic factors like a person having a family member with an anxiety disorder may likely develop one in their lifetime
  • Environmental and social crises like financial constraints, work, relationship and family issues
  • Behavioral factors like withdrawal from illicit substances may trigger other possible causes
  • Medical factors like effects of certain medication, prolonged recovery and symptoms of other illnesses


Feelings of anxiety are an essential factor in one’s daily wellbeing and their experience does not necessarily indicate the existence of a mental illness, though you need to take steps to reduce its risks.

This includes:

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet
  2. Keeping regular sleep pattern
  3. Reduce intake of tea, cola, caffeine and chocolate
  4. Avoid the use of unprescribed drugs that may consist chemicals that may worsen anxiety symptoms
  5. Avoid alcohol, cannabis and other social drugs


Treating anxiety will need a combination of therapies both psychological and behavioral and other form of medication.


Individuals with mild and shorter-term anxiety disorder may opt to have home management and treatment of anxiety without being supervised by a physician.

  • Various exercises and actions that help an individual overcome mild anxiety disorder include:
  • Support network: having a supportive talk with familiar people like a friend, a member from the family or a support group forum.
  • Exercise: workouts can have a positive impact on self-esteem and also releases happy hormones that triggers a positive feeling.
  • Relaxation techniques: simple activities such as meditation, long baths, deep breathing exercise that soothes the signs of anxiety both mentally and physically.
  • Stress management techniques: learning on how to keep up with stress like organizing upcoming stressors and deadlines to manage them earlier. 


Psychological counseling is one of the usual ways of treating anxiety and includes various therapies - psychological, cognitive, and behavioral therapies.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): aims to identify and reverse harmful thought that leads to anxiety. CBT practitioners aim to stop intrusive thinking and change the manner in which people react to events that cause anxiety.


Example of medicines that treat anxiety: beta-blockers, tricyclic, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines.


Commonly used in anxiety but also help in depression and other mental illnesses.

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) is the mostly used antidepressant because it has minimal side effects although they are likely to trigger, low sexual performance, nausea and jitters at the beginning of medication.

Citalopram and Prozac are other types of antidepressants.


This is a type of drug that is very beneficial to those experiencing anxiety. Upon its intake one may experience, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and weight gain.

Forms of tricyclic include: imipramine and clomipramine. Other medicines that might be useful in anxiety treatment include:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Buspirone
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

NOTE: Always seek medical advice if the adverse effects of prescribed medication become severe.

Sum up!!

Anxiety is an emotional condition that is very essential for survival and not a medical problem in case you get yourself experiencing a dangerous event.

You only feel anxiety if your reactions against a specific stressor becomes severe that you are unable to control. The most known forms of anxiety are panic, phobias/fear, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder.

Treatment includes a combination of therapies, medication and counseling. Having an active lifestyle along with a proper diet may help keeping anxious feelings within a healthy living.