First job interview, a legal issue or an illness needing urgent surgery! Do you panic and get worried in such situations?
It’s normal to get anxious in stressful situations, because anxiety is body’s natural response to stress and danger. In mild degrees, anxiety is actually of benefit as it alerts us of potential danger and threat. However, extreme worry should not become a regular part of your routine life. When the frequency of fearful thoughts gets very severe and we worry too much, it starts impacting day-to-day activities and negatively affects personal relationships or ability to work. Eventually anxiety can affect mental and physical health. Here we have listed four health consequences of anxiety that should alert you to take anxiety seriously.
1. Anxiety Can Cause Chronic Chest Pain
Chest pain is a common symptom caused due by anxiety. As per research nearly 18 to 25 percent of people who visit emergency department with complaints of chest pain are found to have some kind of anxiety problems. Being under extreme tension or worry can lead to a condition called as coronary ischemia characterized by reduced blood supply to heart. This often causes symptoms such as tightness and pain in chest. Some scientists suggest that extreme anxiety also causes strain or spasm of chest wall muscles resulting in chest pain.
Stress and anxiety are also associated with some other pain conditions such as low back pain and severe headaches. Read some simple lifestyle changes that can prevent low back pain
2. Anxiety Can Lead to Heart Disease
People who worry too much about stressful situations tends to have a racing heart due to increased heart rate. Anxiety disorders have been associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart attack, and, possibly, sudden cardiac death. Research studies suggest that anxiety is associated with a 26 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease and a 48 percent increased risk of heart-related death.
3. Anxiety Increases Chances of Developing Depression
Anxiety often occurs together with depression. The underlying mechanism that causes depression is somewhat similar to that of anxiety. Therefore people with anxiety are at increased risk of developing depression. Depression is a clinical condition, which if left untreated can lead to some serious consequences including attempts of suicide. One study from India reported that nearly 93 percent of the suicide attempters suffer from mental disorder like depression. Since there is a strong association between anxiety and depression, it is important to be extremely cautious and prevent the progression of anxiety into more serious mental conditions such as depression.
4. Anxiety Can Lead to Sleep Problems
It is very likely you have disturbed sleep if you worry too much or have fearful thoughts crowding your mind all the time. Scientists report that sleep problems such as insomnia (lack of sleep) or nightmares are very prominent in people with anxiety. Research suggests that about 24 to 36 percent of people, who complain of lack of sleep, actually suffer from anxiety. Since anxiety is caused due to dysfunction of brain chemical systems that also partly regulate our sleep mechanism, sleep alterations during anxiety are very likely to happen.
Anxiety is commonly triggered by stress in our day to day life. The causes may vary as every individual reacts to stressful situations differently. However, it can cause some serious physical and mental symptoms as listed above. When we worry too much, it can also impair occupational and social functioning, reduce work productivity, and affect overall quality of life. It is therefore, recommended to manage your anxiety before it starts managing you
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