Brazil is the country with the highest number of anxiety cases, according to the WHO; see symptoms health

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During a heart race test, before an important presentation of nervousness, the feeling of anxiety is a natural and temporary response of the human body to stressful situations that are out of the routine. However, these symptoms are not always transient and are proportional to the level of events that cause concern.

In these cases, experts have explained that it may not be just an occasional discomfort, but an anxiety disorder: a disease that requires follow-up and medical treatment.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, 18.6 million Brazilians, almost 10% of the population, were living with the disorder, the highest number of people with the disease in one country in the world.

Alexandre Valença, coordinator of the Center for Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB – UFRJ), explains Alexandre Valença when the symptoms do not indicate a common sensation and trigger an alert.

“The difference between normal anxiety and pathological anxiety is that we can all experience normal daily anxiety. Anxiety disorder is an anxiety that limits the person’s daily life. They may not be able to work or learn. necessarily related to a specific problem, ”explained the psychiatrist.

Look at the main symptoms of anxiety, the indicated treatments and ways to prevent the disorder.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Symptoms of anxiety disorder vary from person to person, but may be very similar to normal anxiety. However, in the case of pathological anxiety, the signs tend to be longer lasting and more intense. In addition, they may appear behind you for no apparent reason.

With normal anxiety, the symptoms usually last only a few hours and disappear when the stimulus that caused the discomfort is overcome. This is, for example, a difficult test, an important event, or something long awaited.

– Concerns, tensions or excessive fears;
– A constant feeling of disaster or something very bad happening;
– Excessive concerns about health, money, family or work;
– Lack of control over thoughts, images or attitudes;
– Fear after a very difficult situation;
– Loezina;
– Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat);
– Sweating;
– Tremors;
– Hot or cold waves;
– Decreased breathing.

There are also so-called anxiety attacks or panic attacks. These are episodes in which people may experience a set of anxiety-related symptoms at the same time, and with even greater intensity. A panic attack can be caused by a stressful event or can happen unexpectedly, linked to the disorder. It usually lasts 5 to 20 minutes, but can last up to a few hours.

In extreme cases, an anxiety attack can lead to health care. In fact, because the symptoms lead to tachycardia and respiratory distress, many patients say they are having a heart attack at the time of the panic attack, although this is not a diagnosis.

What causes anxiety?

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. These include genetic factors and psychosocial stresses – such as broken relationships, loss of a loved one, job loss – and events that can lead to trauma.

Biochemical factors such as changes in the nervous system and excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs are considered possible causes of the disorder.

What treatments are recommended for anxiety?

Ana Peuker, a PhD student in psychology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and founder of the Bee Touch mental health startup, emphasizes the importance of treating anxiety disorder.

“Psychological support may be needed, in fact, to prevent an increase in anxiety, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as depression,” the specialist explained.

Therapy may involve the use of combination medications (such as antidepressants and anxiolytics), psychotherapy sessions (with psychologists or psychiatrists), or both.

Valença reinforces that in the event of symptoms that may indicate anxiety disorder, it is necessary to seek medical attention from a specialist as soon as possible in order to receive a proper diagnosis and begin the most appropriate treatment for their condition.

“Specialists will assess in detail whether the person is actually having the disorder and, if so, what the best therapeutic intervention is. In mild cases, psychotherapy alone will often solve the problem. In moderate or severe cases, the person will generally need it. prescribed medication, ”says the IPUB-UFRJ coordinator.

The specialist emphasized that any medication should only be taken under medical supervision and added that physical exercise, especially aerobics, such as walking, running and swimming, and the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition can also help reduce symptoms. anxiety.

How to avoid anxiety?

Although there is no reliable way to predict what will cause a person to develop an anxiety disorder, it is possible to reduce the impact of their symptoms. To this end, experts point out that taking a self-care routine helps reduce the chances of developing a pathological state of anxiety. Activities that provide feelings of relaxation and satisfaction, cultivating affective bonds, and practicing physical activity are some of these guidelines.

Jairo Werner, a psychiatrist and professor at the Federal University of Medicine (UFF), said that avoiding alcohol, cigarettes or other psychoactive substances, maintaining a balanced diet and maintaining quality sleep can also improve mental health and help with illness. prevention.

“Other important factors that can cause anxiety are excessive competition, toxic relationships, intolerance to any stressful or unpleasant situation, excessive laziness and excessive display. Especially in a pandemic, it is very important not to lose contact with other people, avoiding isolation. Isolation,” added Werner. .

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