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One person among five Americans has suffered some kind of anxiety disorder in his or her lifespan. It ranges from obsessive compulsive to post traumatic disorders. There are also people who have been affected with social phobia and panic attacks. All the symptoms which appear in everyday life can be countered by antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Presently, these drugs have turned out to make huge money. It is evident from the fact that prescriptions up to 48 million were filled by Americans for benzodiazepine drug called alprazolam or Xanax. Another anti-depressant drug called Setraline or Zoloft were also demanded by patients through 27 million prescriptions.
Many people suffering from anxiety disorder benefit from these drugs but they hardly work on everyone. Benzodiazepine has the capacity to interfere with the normal thought process and incites drowsiness. Doctors never refer them to all those people with any history of some form of substance abuse as they tend to be increasingly addictive. Everyone cannot benefit from Zoloft and specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors aggravated as SSRIs. It can give rise to insomnia, libido loss, suicidal thoughts, jitters, nausea, etc.
Neuroscientist Gray points out that if people target specific enzymes, the side effects can be minimized. Researcher team has carried an investigation to understand the clash between a brain chemical which keeps the stress levels in control and another one associated with flight or flight responses of body. They have also shared their recent findings during a neuroscience conference at Washington, DC.
Endocannabinoids are molecules assisting in regulation of mood, stress response and appetite. Their supply in ample amount ensures a controllable level of anxiety. Human and few animal brains synthesize it naturally and Gray along with his team desires to boost it. New Drug is aimed at boosting endocannabinoids levels to counter the anxiety disorder action of corticotrophin releasing hormone. After degrading these endocannabinoids, the hormone is known to accelerate anxiety.
According to a new research outcome, different people have varying concentrations of endocannabinoids. People with more endocannabinoids can manage their stress better than those with less. Researchers point out that some kids are fine after going through stressful events during early life. There are also some kids who are prone to anxiety disorder even after undergoing minor disturbing events.
Rats were experimented with varying levels of endocannabinoids to note the outcomes. Those with high levels were less anxious in handling stress. The fearful rats avoided tainted areas of maze for seven days after laying down the scent.
Two different research groups in Colorado and Ohio worked independently to monitor the manipulated corticotropin releasing hormone levels. Neuroscientist Gilman blocked these hormone receptors inside mice allowing them to face unfamiliar mice. Lowery, another neuroscientist inserted a male rat inside a cage with another male partner. In the outcome, rats producing extra CHR every time facing social defeat were fast immobilized with fear in later encounters.
Both Gilman and Lim observed that pause on anxiety were for greater duration in some animals. A probe has been made to find out about the different manifestations inside the brain. Many people are born as prone to anxiety disorder more than others.
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Eating the right food has opened up doors to better research and studies. Latest studies reveal that your mind works according to what you eat. Different food gives out different chemicals and bacteria that are taken up by the brain to generate various feelings and emotions.
The mood and temperament in a person seems changed under the influence of a certain variety of food that emit natural bacteria. This has opened up doors to many scientific researches and new horizons of treating with brain development and issues. Taking the right amount of food in proportions can also lead to subsequent weight loss as known from previous records. Obesity is a major worry as it increases the risk of many serious health issues. Doctors and researchers have worked extensively in developing the right fundamentals that can result in weight loss and proper diet.
Diet uplifts the mood systems as reports suggest and the change can be brought about by various bacteria naturally infused food like yoghurt or spices. The diet control in an individual should be checked under immense control to maintain a proportionate weight loss program. It is always advised to eat the right food at the right time to stand guard against obesity. It is very to gain weight but losing it can be a tough procedure. Excess weight problems are being faced by the recent generation of students and professionals as they tend to drift away way too much towards artificial food. It also leads to unwanted thoughts and irrelevant brain process.
The diet control in a person should be kept under strict control to keep the brain free from loose variations that happens after the brain extracts the bacterial parts from the food that we intake. Keeping a healthy food diet has many reasons that can make up for a healthier body and food regimen. Reports suggest that people who eat healthy have a brighter brain and their mood sways by it as compared to fat overweight people. Research also reveals that slim people think faster and in a swifter way as compared to fat people. Their brain gets clogged too easily and they are emotionally more weal and insecure.
Weight loss can be considered as a boon as it not only makes up for a lighter and beautiful body but it also makes it to lead a healthy more smooth life. The personality and working capacity also increases as it does to the confidence value and self esteem. The right food intake is the route to a healthier lifestyle and less mental complications. As the mind associates the mood through the food intake it gets essential points for choosing and eating the right food. Doctors always mention to intake the right food before jotting down a weight loss program for any individual. Following a strict food regimen will make it possible to have a change in the mindset as well help the body to avail a better shape in life.
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Worries often take away the sleep from eyes at night. Be it the mortgage payment or health issues, worrying can haunt you anytime. It is ingrained in the DNAs and could motivate you to make savings for long term future which is good. However, excessive worrying is not good for the health and becomes toxic at times. Dr. Oz suggests a series of anxiety natural remedy that could relieve your worries and stress.
Get rid of worries by starting with the brain
Amygdala is the structure inside the brain which is the centre of anxiety and fear. It sends warning alerts to the cortex whenever you experience a worry. This is the brain’s rational part which assesses the nature of the worry. More and more alerting signals result in increased anxiety and fear. Take out 15 minutes every day to list down your worries and settle them one by one.
Profound belly breathing helps in dealing with irrational thoughts. You can practice it in yoga classes, office, or personal couch. Blow up a balloon as it requires taking long and slower breaths from your diaphragm. It slows down the heart rate and reduces your blood pressure. Thus, your body uses the available oxygen more effectively giving a calming feel.
Deal with stomach issues and gastro intestinal tract
During a worrisome experience, many receptors embedded inside your gastrointestinal tract have reactions to fear. It accelerates or slows down the digestion process which may result in diarrhea, heartburn and nausea. Mentioned below are two step process of anxiety natural remedy related to stomach.
Lemon balm is a calming herb which is used from the middle age period. It is found in most of the drugstores. Consume up to 400 milligrams twice regularly to stop the stomach from reactions to worried thoughts. Iberogast is made from the mixture of herbs and plants. It also contains caraway, milk thistle, peppermint, licorice, and chamomile. Adding up to 20 drops in water soothes the stomach receptors during anxiety.
Consider a combined approach aiming mind and body functioning
Conventional medicine takes care on the physiological front. The integrative medication evaluates the connection of mind, body and soul taking care of energy imbalances. You can also try out the below mentioned approach for better results:
Prepare an anti anxiety potion by combining a single tsp of lemon juice, ginger and honey. Consume it for at least three times a day. It is known to balance our body by raising the energy levels of our digestive system. Some studies reveal that lemon juices can lower down the blood pressure via powering the capillaries. Ginger provides a calming effect to the stomach and honey maintains a blood sugar levels associated with worrying.
There is also the Escents Stress Relief Aromatherapy Inhaler which helps you to calm down. The aroma made from lavender, petitgrain, eucalyptus, jojoba and bergamot which go directly into amydgala. It gives away a sense of calmness and lowers your blood pressure levels. Thus, getting rid of worries and anxiety is quite easy.
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The scientists in the United Kingdom have conducted a study as a module of a consortium of research on public health. They say that the relationship that they discovered between depression-risk and exercise indicates to the ways through which both physical and mental health can be improved simultaneously.
Physical activities performed during leisure time have a protective impact against depression and anxiety, according to Snehal Pareira of Institute of Child Health in University College London. The study was led by him. If adults, who are aged between 20 and 40 years and are not physically active, started to working-out thrice a week, the risk of depression-development can get reduced by 16% in approximation.
Depression is considered among the most common mental illness in human beings. The number of people affected by it exceeds 15 million people throughout the world. WHO has ranked it as a leading cause of disorder globally.
Psychotherapy or medication or both are usually adopted as the method of treatment of depression and anxiety patients. Yet, the condition of many sufferers does not improve and they continue to experience recurring spells of illness.
The research-team that was led by Pareira observed 11,135 people, who were born in 1958. They were observed until they completed 50 years of age. Their physical activity-levels and the depressive symptoms in them as adults were recorded at regular interim.
When the subjects were of age 23 years, 33 years, 42 years and 50 years, their responses to the questionnaire that has been designed for the measurement of psychological distress – Malaise Inventory, were captured for observation. The participants were asked about the frequency of exercise too.
The results inferred after the study revealed that those who increasingly engaged in weekly physical activities reported fewer symptoms of depression. Similarly, those who experienced depressive symptoms more than the other research-subjects were physically active too, especially at their younger ages. Moreover, each additional session of physical workout per week resulted in 6% reduction in symptoms of depression.
The researchers pointed out that the connection between symptoms of depression and workout was alike throughout the population rather than being in only those who were are at higher risk of developing clinical depression.
The report also revealed that subjects who reported depressive symptoms more than others did at 23 years of age tended to engage in less physical activity. However, this link diminished with growing age.
The findings are important towards designing policies for making people more physically active, since it indicates that symptoms of depression become a barrier towards physical activities during young adulthood-phase. Besides, it reinforced the current evidence regarding the benefits of exercise towards improvement of physical health and treatment of depression and anxiety.
If all patients of depression and anxiety engage in physical activity three times a week at the least, the chances of depression-development can be expected to reduce almost certainly.
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Mental disorders are critical and vastly understudied. People who suffer from OCD, anxiety, MPD/DID, depression, ADHD, etc. need others close to them to be sensitive. There are certain things that should not be said to people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
“You act and look very calm”
Some sufferers of depression and/or anxiety may consider it compliment while others may find such statements invalidating and slightly offensive. In either case, the sufferers do get more frustrated since they only pretend to be fine and people’s acknowledgement may seem like advice to continue with the effort.
“You should try to reduce stress”
To ask someone who suffers from anxiety to reduce stress is like asking a paralysed person to try to walk. One of the major causes of anxiety is failure to control stress.
“Try to calm down yourself”
Anyone who can calm down himself is no considered to be going through anxiety. The statement is at par with the previous one. Most anxiety-stricken people feel embarrassed about their behaviour and are determined not to panic the next time. However, panic-attack just overcomes their determination.
“Consume more vegetables and fruits, and start taking vitamin D supplement”
Most suffers of mental health issue know something is not normal with them before others notice it. So, they must have tried the common techniques even before others notice their condition. Mental disorders are too complex to be labelled as just deficiency of certain nutrients or treatable by specific diets. Besides, diets range from simple and lenient to complex and strict, depending upon the person to whom it is prescribed. It is the work of qualified dieticians rather laymen. Else, it may adversely affect and cause fitness issues. Moreover, such statements seem like blame that the sufferer is responsible for his condition as he did not take enough vegetables and fruits daily. The fact that there are many people whose lifestyle is completely haywire but they do not suffer from depression or other issues may compound the frustration in the patient.
“Exercise more, you’ll feel better”
Indeed, exercise is known to elevate the spirit in humans. However, the difference between sadness, boredom, etc. and mental disorders is significant. Exercise may not be helpful for patients of mental disorders, who may get further anxious about why something that works for everyone has no effect on them.
“It is not the end; try looking at the world differently”
Looking at the world differently one of the most viable choices the mental patients have, and they try hard to do that. But, if the same advice is repeated by every second person, the commitment to it does not become easier.
“I’ve felt so too, but I got over it”
Comparing stress with anxiety and sadness with depression is just cruel indiscrimination towards mental patients. However, if a person knows that his condition was a mental issue, sharing the entire experience may be helpful for the sufferer.
“You’re sad, it’s not depression. You’ll get out of it soon”
It is judgemental and signifies that depressed person is just unable to get through a phase of regular sadness.
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Food soothes stress for many. Sweet, fatty and salty food-items typically trigger those brain-parts that respond to rewards. Thus, gorging on any food without consideration during stress is the stealthiest way of weight gain. There are some food-items that can be healthful replacement to some other dishes and drinks that only contribute to weight gain.
Avoid: Glazed doughnut, because confections are poor in fibre, which slows digestion. Rise of glucose-level in the body due to quick absorption of sweeteners and raises hydrocortisone.
Have: Oatmeal with honey and cinnamon. Carbohydrate-experience provided by oats raise serotonin-level. Honey satisfies the craving for sweet and strengthens immunity. Cinnamon eases frustration.
Avoid: Pretzels, which are simple carbohydrates that improve mood only temporarily.
Have: Dark chocolate-coated almonds. Dark chocolate is proven to reduce stress hormone-level and reduce blood pressure. Almonds boost energy and have mono-saturated fat.
Avoid: Potato chips, which are rich in trans-fat that causes weight gain.
Have: Homemade kale chips, which mainly provide kale and olive oil to the body. Kale is rich in Carotenoid, which is an antioxidant that makes people optimistic. Olive sates and raises serotonin-level.
Avoid: Mochaccino stimulates activity of dopamine in human-brain and lowers the chances of depression, but a single drink can supply enough sugar for the week. Thus, it is an agent of weight gain.
Have: Smoothie made of java, ripe banana, unsweetened cocoa powder and soy milk, which respectively contain blood-pressure-reducing Potassium, dopamine and serotonin-boosting folate.
Avoid: Granola bar, because most are disguised candy bars.
Have: Pumpkin-seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios, which help serotonin production, reduce blood-pressure, lower depression and elevate mood.
Avoid: French-fries, which contain trans-fat, carbohydrates and greasy fat that increase chances of depression and cause weight gain.
Have: Sweet potato, which is delicious and rich in fibre and carotenoid yet.
Avoid: Ice-creams, which raise glucose-level can adversely affect those with lactose-sensitivity.
Have: Berries with yoghurt. It satisfies desire for creaminess and provides energising calcium and protein, which stimulate neurotransmitters. Vitamin C in berries boos immune and antioxidants reduce stress.
Avoid: Veggie lo-mein. It is carbohydrate-laden and greasy. It can kick-start weight gain even in fit consumers.
Have: Vegetable curry. Spicy Indian curry stimulates endorphins that calm the mind and protect major brain-parts against stress. Spinach curry provides magnesium, which eases tension-headache.
Avoid: Soda. Even diet soda has been found to stimulate gut-bacteria that hinder weight-loss.
Have: Green tea. L-theanine, which is an amino acid, and caffeine provided by green tea cool down under-pressure consumer and provide focused calmness.
Avoid: Nachos. They only provide fat and simple carbohydrates.
Have: Carrots with guacamole. Creamy avocado provides potassium and mono-unsaturated fat that lower keep brain-receptors sensitive to serotonin and blood-pressure. Carrots reduce stress.
Avoid: Pina colada, mai tai, margarita and mudslide raise cortisol and glucose-level.
Have: Wine. It releases the mind from tension by lowering blood-pressure. It contains antioxidants and provides healthful flavonoid. However, excessive alcohol causes insanity, and may not be productive against weight gain either.
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The mental condition in which a person feels dread and fear excessively and irrationally is known as Anxiety. it appears in various forms such as obsessive compulsive conduct, phobia of specific things, panic attack and state of constant worry. Feeling anxious to a certain degree is normal for people when they face ant challenge. But, anxiety is considered a problem when its symptoms interfere with the person’s ability to function properly in everyday-life or sleep. Steps for the treatment of the condition can be taken only when the sufferer understands the cause of anxiety. Sometimes, issues related to the brain can be the cause of anxiety too.
Neurotransmitters are brain-chemicals that transmit messages from one brain cell to another in order to regulate feelings and thoughts in people. Anxiety may be caused by the breakdown of the network of communication inside the brain due to abnormal level of neurotransmitters in the human-brain. According to the explanation provided by The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the degree of anxiety that a person experiences is influenced by 3 different kinds of neurotransmitters – Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), norepinephrine and serotonin. Serotonin regulates pain, body-temperature, appetite, sleep, impulses, aggression and mood. People may experience anxiety when they have low level of serotonin. Norepinephirne affects blood-pressure, mood, sleep and the response of the body in flight-or-fight situations. People can experience anxiety when the level of norepinephrine in their brain is imbalanced. GABA is helpful towards prevention against over-excitement. It helps people relax and sleeping. People become vulnerable to anxiety when the level GABA is not sufficiently high to perform its functions.
Anxiety is also caused by the changes that occur in the activity of the brain, according to the CAMH. Abnormalities in the metabolism and in the flow of blood are some of the examples of the changes that the centre referred to. Change in the manner of interaction between neurotransmitters in different regions of the brain is also an example of the change mentioned in the report generated by the centre.
Anxiety can be caused by the issues with the structure of the brain of a person, according to the report released by the CAMH. When a person is struck by anxiety-attack, several significant parts of the brain of that person get affected by it. Amygdala is one of those critical parts of a human-brain. The function of amygdale is to co-ordinate the body as it responds to a scenario that involves fear. Another critical region in the human-brain that gets affected is cerebral cortex, which is the part that evaluates the data that is receives about any threat and subsequently makes judgement to deal with it. Hippocampus is another area of the brain that gets affected due to anxiety. It plays a significant role in processing long-term memory and emotion. Locus Ceruleus is a brainstem-part that responds to anxiety and also helps in determination of brain-stimuli that are worthy of attention. It gets affected too. Increase in activity of these brain-parts cause anxiety to grow.
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Anything that goes inside the mouth as food has a direct or indirect influence on the health of the consumer. Given below is a short analysis of foods to avoid and foods to prefer to stay away from anxiety.
Bring down the consumption of caffeine
There are some food items like chocolate, coffee, energy drinks and soda which can be hard on the brain. They raise the heart rate deteriorating the condition of jangled nerves. Some of the signs high caffeine intake is sweaty palms, restlessness, jittery feeling and racing heart. Caffeine interferes with the adenosine, a tranquilizing neurotransmitter chemical present inside the brain. As a reaction it may cause anxiety, depression and stress. Caffeine may become a stimulant triggering adrenal gland for excreting adrenaline. It speeds up the heart rate leaving the sufferer anxiety stuck.
Have a supplement ready
The intake of anxiety fighting herbs like passion flower and Kava can be effective, as per Nutrition Journal. A research study notes valerian as anti-anxiety. However, consult a doctor if you are planning to consume them for longer periods of time. Select any one periodically for a trial and go as per instructions mentioned on the label. These can be purchased online or from nearby healthy food stores.
According to a research study, individuals suffering from chronic anxiety could have a way out. These people are known to have less than normal proportions of omega thee fatty acids. Balancing such a deficit could be helpful in relieving the symptoms, say studies. It requires having additional omega 3s in the diet. This can be achieved by consumption of multiple servings of the fatty fish weekly. It includes mackerel, salmon and sardines. Freshly obtained flaxseeds and walnuts are also the source of omega 3s. The fish oil supplements are also an option here. Every day intake of up to 3 gm with meals should be fine. However, it is advisable to consult with the doctor initially if the sufferer also consumes aspirin, Coumadin or relevant blood weakening drugs. These can have interactions with the fish oil.
Drink green tea
The uncommon green tea flavor is hailed by the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid. There are also certain calming properties of L-theanine. Research studies revealed that alpha brain waves are increased by the amino acid. It is connected to increased relaxation. Someone who enjoys having green should drink as many cups as possible for the whole day. Not to worry, green tea has low amounts of caffeine compared to black. At the same time, L-theanine seemingly neutralizes its effect. Consumption of decaff green tea should be also fine in this regard. For the non-tea drinkers, 200 milligrams of supplement L-theanine every day for an entire month could be the right way to go.
Catching up with enough sleep, cycle ridding and meditation are certain exercises to fight anxiety. However, the above mentioned foods are also major altering factors and shouldn’t be underestimated in this regard.
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People are known to eat more due to stress. Most of the stressed people seek the comfort of fatty food to curb the mental condition. Thus, prolonged stress can make an individual overweight and even obese. However, according to a new study, stress does not only contribute to weight gain but also prevent successful weight loss.
Researchers have studied stress to find its impact on metabolism for the first time. The study was conducted on 2 groups of women – those who were stressed in the last 24 hours and those who were not. There were 58 women in total aged 53 years on average. Both the groups of women were given 3 standardised on the first day and were asked to fat for the next 12 hours. On the day they reported after 12 hours fast, they were given highly fatty food, which included gravy, biscuits, turkey sausage and eggs. The meal contained 60% fat in total.
After the meal, the ladies were asked to rest on partially reclined beds while the researchers observed their metabolism for the next 7 hours. Their rate of metabolism was monitored prior to the meal too. The normal rate of metabolism while at rest is the 65% – 75% of the body calories burned in 1 day period. Additionally, digestion causes 10% of calories to burn. Besides, the participants also went through DISE test to allow researchers measure their level of stress. Disagreement with spouse, work pressure and troubling children were the dominant stressful issues.
The test result showed that 31 women faced stress before the 1st round of experiment while 21 of them experienced stress before both the rounds. Ladies who faced at least 1 stressful factor burned 104 calories lesser than their counterparts. In other words, it is equivalent to gaining nearly 10 lb annually. Their bodies also produced higher level of insulin after the meal. Thus, this experiment reveals one of the mechanisms how depression and stress promote resistance towards insulin, as suggested by previous research.
The potential of stress generating factors towards negatively affecting weight loss is quite significant. It has tremendous impact on the ability of the body burn fat, as it was clear from the test conducted on the women. It can be significant even in those people who do not feel an equal degree of stress. Those who experience even one-third of the stress can have to bear extra 2 – 2 lb, which is considerable in terms of weight loss.
The effect of a highly fatty meal on metabolism was also analysed by the researchers during the experiment. The meal was prepared using saturated fat, and it was compared with the one that was rich in monounsaturated fat since the latter was prepared using sunflower oil. However, little difference was observed between the metabolic functions of the consumers of the 2 different kinds of fat. Thus, researchers conclusively stated that the result of the research should motivate people to keep healthy food items handy such as stored in the refrigerator and in the office draw.
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Anxiety and fear occur daily and are part of life for a normal human being. However, these emotions become debilitating for many people and significantly affect the quality and standard of their lives. Basically, it develops in the form either of the 3 main disorders, namely:
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
Moreover, there are 3 varieties of phobia too. They are:
- Social phobia
- Specific phobia
All the kinds are characterised by unique contributing factors and symptoms involving experiences of anxiety and fear that extends beyond usual response to stressful events.
Who are at risk?
Investigation on the exact causes of these disorders is still underway and there is no solid proof to pinpoint a specific cause for the disorder. However, studies have raised the speculation that the parts of the brain that generate fear responses in people who have developed any of the disorder varieties are considerably different from that of a regular person. People who belong to families in which one or more members have or have had any disorder face greater risk of developing one of these disorders. Thus, it indicates that there genes may have a role to play in development of the anxiety disorders in a person too.
Anxiety disorders symptoms
There are unique and separate sets of symptoms for the 3 anxiety disorder types. The acuteness of symptoms, the duration for which the symptoms persist (typically 6 months) and the degree of damage that they cause are taken into consideration for diagnosis of the disorder.
Types of disorders
Panic Disorder: Panic attack is the main symptom of panic disorder. Panic attack can be described as irrepressible experience of psychological and physical distress. A person in the state of a panic attack may experiences a combination of 2 or more of the following effect:
- Fear of death
- Fear of loss of control
- Feeling disconnected to unreal
- Hot flashes or chills
- Abdominal pain or nausea
- Choking sensation
- Short breath
- Racing or pounding heart
While in the state of panic attack, many people perceive that they are in some kind of life threatening situation such as heart attack. The symptoms and the perceived cause of the symptom can be strong and convincing enough to trigger second panic attack. Thus, most of the sufferers evade being in certain situations as an attempt of prevention.
Phobias: Phobia can be described as persistent and excessive fear of specific activities, situation and/or objects. Therefore, people tend to avoid those activities, situation and/or objects that they fear. Thus, it prevents its sufferers from engaging in regular activities.
General Anxiety Disorder: The continuous and simultaneous worry in a person about different facets of his life and its impact on the day-to-day function of that person is classified as general disorder. Lack of concentration, chronic headache, irritability and sleep issues are common symptoms.
What to do?
Proper diagnosis is essential for anxiety treatment, if any symptom occurs in anyone. Psychotherapy and medication have been found encouragingly effective against the disorders.
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