Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is a discomfort over a vague, imagined threat that does not involve physical harm.

It is a psychological and/or biological response to stress where you can feel anxious even if the stress isn’t present. You can understand what anxiety is by looking at what it is. It also helps to know what it is not.

Anxiety is not fear because fear is usually directed at some external object or situation. You might fear a meeting. You might fear failing an exam or being unable to pay your bills or being rejected by someone you admire.

When you experience anxiety you often can’t specify what it is you’re anxious about. The focus of anxiety is more internal than external. You might feel an unclear anxiety that something bad will happen.

Anxiety affects your whole being. It is a physiological, behavioral and psychological reaction all at once. It is a state of restlessness and agitation, often accompanied by a sense of oppression or tightness in the stomach.

Find information on anxiety disorder also at symptoms of anxiety, symptoms of social anxiety disorder, help for anxiety and panic attack. Also have a look at stop bullies if bullying is an issue.

For an excellent guide on the symptoms, causes, effects and treatment of anxiety disorder, see Anxiety Guide.

Four Factors Affecting Anxiety Disorder

1. Heredity

This disorder tends to run in families. The recovery process is the same, whether the cause is your genetic makeup or if it occurs spontaneously.

2. Childhood deprivation

Environmental conditions during your childhood could have created anxious attitudes in your life now. Here are some factors that might have affected your current anxiety:

Your parents and family might have:

  • expressed an overcautious view of the world.
  • could have been overly critical and set high expectations of perfection.
  • might have had strict religious beliefs.
  • suppressed your expression of feelings

You might have experienced separation from a significant person.

 3. Biochemistry

The research on some kind of chemical imbalance is incomplete. There are no facts to back this proposition. Even if there were an underlying physiological imbalance in your brain, there’s no need to assume you can’t correct it.

If you are willing to make lifestyle changes to reduce stress and upgrade you level of physical wellness, any physiological imbalances associated with panic, phobias, anxiety or obsession will tend to diminish and perhaps disappear altogether.

4. Personality traits

Your self-talk and personal belief system can cause anxiety disorder. The messages you give yourself and the script you have written for your own life drama affect your state of mind. If you are constantly giving your mind frightening scenarios, then you will be anxious and stressed out.

Check out this site for help with building life purpose.

For help with understanding the differences between fear and anxiety and for definitions of these emotions, have a look at the first few paragraphs of List of Fears. Go to What Causes Fear to discover its origins and to Overcoming Fear for the tools to deal with it.

The sources for this information on this condition are professionals in their fields. In some cases the material comes from people who have studied and developed successful and respected self help programs based upon their own personal challenges with these disorders and phobias.

For the signs to observe in anxiety disorder, check out Symptoms of Anxiety and for support with anxiety cures see Help for Anxiety

Also click for information on Panic Attack and Fear of Flying.

Click Here for the books consulted. 

Fear is conquered by action. When we challenge our fears, we defeat them. When we grapple with our difficulties, They lose their hold upon us. When we dare to face the things that scare us, we open the door to freedom.

Everyone has anxiety from time to time. It’s a normal part of life. But when it disrupts your relationships with a partner, with your friends or with your job, it becomes an anxiety disorder.

Worry is one of the greatest enemies of a good mood. It’s no wonder that Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living has been a hit over the years. Anxiety feeds upon itself and grows like bacteria.

The more we worry, the worse we feel; and the worse we feel the more our thinking changes to anxiety and worry about all aspects of our lives.

The French philosopher Montaigne said once, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” 

Anxiety disorders steal your dreams of happiness and success in the same ways that they made Montaigne’s life feel like many “terrible misfortunes.”

Anxiety Disorder is Bad for You

If you are afflicted with anxiety disorder — if you aren’t sure, check the link on symptoms above, — then you know how miserable you feel from time to time.

Worry affects your thinking. It:

  • keeps you looking for problems, difficulties or disasters.
  • interferes with concentration.
  • focuses your attention on yourself and your own concerns.
  • makes decision making difficult.
  • makes you notice some things at the expense of others.
  • makes you more pessimistic, expecting the worst.
  • makes you problem-focused so your mind leaps from one worry to another.

Worry affects your behavior. It:

  • makes you less efficient — either overly careful or careless.
  • interferes with your effectiveness.
  • makes you less self reliant.
  • makes you less confident.

Worry affects your feelings and emotions. It:

  • makes you feel confused.
  • increases apprehension and fear.
  • makes you feel out of control.
  • makes you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
  • increases self-doubt.

Worry affects your body. It:

  • affects your sleep.
  • makes you feel tired.
  • makes you feel tense.
  • gives you headaches.

Reasons For Worrying

1. Worry might alert you to something that is wrong. It might be a cough or a family member who is not home when he or she should be. This red light is a good thing. But only if you know when to turn it off.

2. Worry can make you take action. You might be worried about an exam. This is a good thing if it prods you into studying. But it’s not if you procrastinate.

3. Worry can be helpful if it gets you to ask the question, “What would happen if … ?” If you answer the question, then you are preparing yourself for future possible eventualities.

4. Worry, when it’s a vague unfocused thought is easier on you than having vivid images of a perceived illness. The things we can see in our mind’s eye can be horrible. In this way vague worrying is easier than vivid thoughts.

Useful worry prompts you into action. All other worry is pointless. It’s harmful to you and affects those around you.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has this condition, with some effort to make changes in lifestyle and thinking patterns, the disorder can be overcome or at least managed.

For the signs of anxiety disorder, check out Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder and for support with anxiety cures see Help for Anxiety.

Books on Anxiety Disorder





1. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.





2. Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide by Gillian Butler Ph.D. and Tony Hope Ph.D.





3. From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett. Bassett is a former sufferer of anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks and depression. She is president of The Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety.





4. Free Yourself From Fear: Self Hypnosis For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias by Valerie Austin. Austin is an internationally renowned English hypnotherapist, trainer, lecturer, author and journalist.






6. Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies by Charles H. Elliott Ph.D. and Laura L. Smith Ph.D.





5. 101 Exercises for the Soul: Simple Practices for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

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