CNS

Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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What is an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety is defined as the extreme fear or worry of the future. Every living creature has it and has helped us and every other living stay alert and wary of our surroundings. However, sometimes the parts of the brain responsible for regulating anxiety go haywire and end up flaring up more often than needed. This is called an anxiety attack or panic attack and it affects a large portion of the population. 

Anxiety attacks can be very dangerous as it can make a person act illogically and end up doing more harm than good. This can also be the gateway to other mental disorders like depression and insomnia. The worst part is that anxiety attacks can seemingly come out of nowhere and easily hit you in the morning before going to work or even before you sleep and preventing you from getting any sleep.

What Anxiety Attacks Do To Your Body

Constant panic attacks over the years definitely can take its toll on someone’s body. If you or anyone you know suffers from constant anxiety attacks then they are at risk of many other disorders. Some of them include the following.

Higher Risk Of Depression and Social Isolation

As was said earlier, panic attacks are the gateway to many other mental disorders. Depression and anxiety attacks symptoms tend to come hand in hand because of how it affects people. It makes people affected worry about the smallest of things and it tends to push them to avoid or reject things they found pleasurable or fun.

This may also include distancing themselves from their friends and family.This combination of anxiety, depression and social isolation can easily send the person into a downward spiral and makes it self sustaining if it isn’t treated.

Anxiety Attacks Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

Anxiety attacks have the effect of making your body go into overdrive. Your brain is fooled into thinking that you are under attack so it releases a plethora of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to deal with the non-existent threat. If a person regularly experiences these releases of stress hormones into their bloodstream, their heart will have to go into overtime more often than it needs to. This puts their heart in constant stress making it easier for heart disease to take root. A person with an existing heart condition will be at higher risk of palpitations and even cardiac arrest should they continue to have anxiety attacks.

Weaker Immune System

Your heart isn’t the only thing that suffers from anxiety attacks. Your immune system is also at risk of weakening because of it. When it happens, adrenaline and cortisol not only boosts the respiratory system but also the immune system as there is a risk of the body getting injured or damaged and contracting a disease in a fight that will never happen. Just like the heart, your immune system will be damaged in the long run if these hormones are constantly running rampant in your bloodstream. Catching colds more frequently after experiencing a panic attack is a common occurrence. 

Insomnia

Anxiety attacks can easily affect a person’s ability to sleep. Once more this is an effect of adrenaline and cortisol running rampant in the body. Adrenaline makes a person more alert than normal. Cortisol plays a much larger role in causing insomnia however. Panic attacks mess with the chemical that manages the body’s internal clock: cortisol. This makes it hard for someone to get any rest at all.

The Silver Lining

Despite the doom and gloom that it can cause, there is still a silver lining to it. This disorder is easier to manage than many other mental disorders. It is even curable. If you find that someone  you care for is experiencing anxiety attack symptoms, don’t hesitate to find professional help

October 4th, 2019

Posted In: Uncategorized

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