Anxiety is something that many people suffer from, and it is becoming increasingly more known and understood – at least in part. There is still a long way to go before we know exactly what causes anxiety and what can trigger it, as it is different for everyone. However, we do know that if you suffer from this condition, it can be debilitating. Anxiety creates huge health problems for those with it, so much so that it can even lead to other conditions.
Of course, it’s entirely natural to experience some form of anxiety once in a while. You might be worried about a job interview or nervous about a date. You might have a big event coming up that is making you anxious. It could be anything at all. However, this anxiety will pass in most cases and your life will return to normal. For those with chronic anxiety, this is not what happens. Instead, their anxiety remains with them for the long term, making life much more difficult for many different reasons.
If you are concerned that your anxiety is chronic and you are worried about the health implications of it, it’s crucial that you seek a doctor’s advice. In the meantime, read on to find out more about what chronic anxiety can do to your health so that you are fully armed with all the facts.
If you suffer from anxiety, you might also suffer from stress – or the stress you have might become worse. This is because your anxiety will trigger the production of more and more stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Although this is good in small doses (it makes you alert to danger and ready to handle it by fleeing or attacking), it is dangerous when it is chronic.
The more stressed you are due to these hormones, the higher your blood pressure will be and the harder your heart will have to work. This can have a negative effect on your health, leading to a stroke or a heart attack, or at least the weakening of your organs.
Plus, stress is a mental health disorder, meaning that if you suffer from anxiety, your mental health is already at risk, and when you add stress to the equation, it’s even more concerning.
Damage To The Nervous System
If you suffer from anxiety, your nervous system can be harmed. When your sympathetic nervous system is negatively impacted (as it will be when you have anxiety), your heart rate will increase, your breathing will become more rapid, and you’ll feel constantly alert. Not only can this cause you to develop heart conditions like stress can, but it can also cause panic attacks.
This problem by itself is an excellent reason to speak to your doctor for help as soon as possible, but any anxiety should be dealt with, and no matter what your symptoms are, it’s good to ask for help. They might suggest any number of treatments, but something that many people find works well is expert help from hypnotherapists in London who specialize in anxiety.
It might come as a surprise to hear that anxiety can cause cognitive impairment, especially when we have been discussing the physical symptoms above. However, the truth is that anxiety can negatively affect your ability to think clearly, make decisions, focus and concentrate, and even remember and retain information. It can also cause you to lose your problem-solving abilities and cause a creative block for some. When you are suffering from anxiety, you will find that your personal and professional goals will slow or even be stopped entirely.
Sleep is vital for your health. When you sleep, your body can use the needed elsewhere during the day to make repairs – this is why you tend to feel better after a good night’s sleep; you’ll have more energy and very often your mind will be clearer, not to mention the fact that your body’s immune system will have worked hard to protect you and fight off any bugs and germs.
When you are suffering from anxiety, your sleep will be disrupted. Your mind will be busy, so shutting off and relaxing enough to sleep will be hard. In fact, in some cases, your body won’t know it’s time to sleep and won’t produce enough melatonin (the hormone responsible for making you feel tired), meaning sleep becomes even harder. Not only might you find it hard to get to sleep, but you’ll also have difficulty staying asleep or you might not sleep deeply enough for your body to make those all-important repairs. This can lead to your immune system being affected, your mood being low, and your ability to concentrate being impacted, among other things.
Anxiety can even cause problems with the gastrointestinal region, resulting in stomachaches, diarrhea, nausea, and making conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) worse.
This is because the gut is closely linked to the brain; they’re connected through the central nervous system. This means that any problems with one area can cause problems in the other. When you are anxious, we’ve already seen how this can bring about mental health issues and cognitive impairment, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to discover that when you are chronically (or even acutely) anxious, your stomach becomes unwell too.
Anxiety can trigger a fear of social situations, perhaps because you feel embarrassed about your condition or because you’re concerned that you might have a panic attack. For those with specific social anxiety, the situation itself will be the trigger. Because of this, those with this condition might choose to become isolated in life to save from being judged or ashamed.
This is another health issue. Although it’s good to be alone now and then, it’s also crucial to be social when possible. Becoming lonely can cause depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, to name just a few health problems.
So, you can see just how much anxiety can affect your physical health and its further impact on your mental health. Finding treatments that work for you might take some time, but you should talk to others to see what has helped them and talk to your doctor about treatment options. Remember that the first step is to start talking to someone.