There are many conditions and situations that can cause anxiety. It can be the result of an emotional disorder or a physical ailment. It can be due to certain drugs or it can be a mixture of all these causes.
A physician is charged with the responsibility of determining whether or not your anxiety is related to an underlying health condition like asthma, infection, anemia, drug intoxication, drug withdrawal, or several different heart ailments.
Kinds of Anxiety
1. Panic Disorder. The basic symptoms of a panic attack include nausea, increased heart rate, lightheadedness, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are similar to what is felt when a person takes too much caffeine, takes amphetamines or “speed,” has an overactive thyroid, suffers from heart arrhythmia, or has one of a number of other heart ailments like mitral valve prolapse. A person having a panic attack often feels as if he or she is losing his or her grip on reality. To be diagnosed with panic disorder, a person would have to have repetitive panic attacks.
2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. People who have this kind of anxiety disorder experience excessive worry that is out of proportion for the situation. This anxiety often gets in the way of sleeping or functioning normally.
3. Phobias. This kind of anxiety disorder is characterized by intense fear that can lead to panic attacks as a reaction to an object or event. There are many different kinds of phobias including the fear of spiders, the fear of open spaces, the fear of confined spaces, the fear of heights, the fear of flight, the fear of insects, and the fear of social situations (social anxiety disorder).
4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is described as having repetitive thoughts or doing repetitive actions to relieve anxiety. There are many different kinds of obsessions and compulsions including concerns about contamination, concerns about order, excessive counting, and avoidance of certain elements like cracks in the sidewalks.
5. Separation Anxiety Disorder. This anxiety disorder is often seen in kids who are unable to leave their parents for any length of time. This might occur when the child is attending school or going to bed for the night.
6. Stress Disorders
There are several outside elements that can lead to anxiety. These include:
1. Work-related stress
2. School-related stress
3. Stress related to personal situations like marriage
4. Stress related to finances
5. Stress related to a traumatic event like losing a family member, experiencing a natural disaster, being the victim of a crime, or being the victim of a crime of any kind. This is also known as post-traumatic stress disorder
6. Stress related to a severe health ailment
7. Stress as a side effect of a prescription drug
8. Stress related to illegal drug abuse
9. Stress related to illegal drug withdrawal or prescription drug withdrawal
10. Stress as a symptom of a medical condition
11. Stress that comes about due to an oxygen deficiency. This can occur with altitude sickness, pulmonary embolism, or emphysema
It is up to the physician to make sure the symptoms are related to anxiety and not a medical condition. Some research indicates that 43% of people who said they had chest pains turned out to have panic disorder and not heart disease.