Anxiety could be disabling

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Anxiety is sometimes confused with stress, because the two overlap. The common thing is that we manifest the latter, which is habitual and implies adapting to a change, although if it is not handled properly it can lead to that concern and intense fears, highlighted the academic of the Faculty of Psychology (FP) of the UNAM, José Alfredo ContrerasValdez.

It is a feeling of fear and concern, by which people develop an exacerbated fear of what surrounds them: catastrophic thoughts, uncertainty, irritability, anger, worry and some physical symptoms such as sweating, accelerated breathing and heartbeat, embarrassment and shortness of breath, he said.

Similarly, anxiety causes alterations in what we think and promotes the activation and overload of various body systems, which generates physiological symptoms, he added when participating in a conference on the subject in the distance program Café Expreso, Humanities in Dialogue, of the FP.

Although not common, it can be disabling, especially when panic disorder develops, a type of anxiety in which people have sudden attacks – they come on quickly and sometimes last for several minutes – and repeated moments of intense fear without be apparent danger.

In the generalized type, individuals worry about common problems: health, money, work and family, but their worries are excessive and they have them almost every day for at least six months.

There are also phobias in which they develop an intense fear of something that poses little or no real danger. Your fear may be of flying, spiders, crowded places, or being in social situations (known as social anxiety).

Contreras Valdez stressed that sometimes anxiety attacks are confused with a heart attack, so individuals get scared and go to an emergency room. The specialist recommended assistance to psychological therapy to modify behavior patterns.

normal emotion

The FP has the project Dictionary of Emotions, through which it transmitted a capsule in which it was questioned: “Have you felt agitated before taking an exam or speaking in public? This feeling is known as anxiety, a occasional and brief response that prepares us for situations that are new to us, or when going through some problem”.

It was explained that the main nerve center responsible for its production and regulation is in the limbic system, which is the area of ​​the brain that regulates emotions. Anxiety can cause us difficulties to sleep or control worry, rapid heart rate and breathing, sweating, trembling in the hands, legs, among other symptoms.

To some extent it is a completely normal emotion, which we have experienced and helps us cope with certain demands of life. “But if you find yourself in a state of intense and persistent fear, believing that something terrible is going to happen to you, it may be an anxiety disorder. If this is your case, it is best to seek professional help.

To combat it, it was suggested: take care of your diet, sleep well, play sports, do breathing exercises, identify negative thoughts and question them, and interpret problems as a challenge and not a threat.

UNAM

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