Anxiety is the feeling of fear, worry, or unease and can be termed as a sequel to stress. About 40 million U.S. adults suffer from anxiety, as the per reports of Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Almost all of us have experienced tension and restlessness at some point in our lives. However, if one suffers from constant worry, insomnia, difficulty in concentration and more, for more than six months, doctors diagnose it as symptoms of anxiety disorder.
In case you are suffering from this problem, do not panic, you are not alone!
There is no specific reason behind anxiety. Most often, it comes without warning and may not be something you can expect or control. The symptoms and intensity also differ from one case to another. Many people get very anxious at the thought of mingling in a party whereas for others the reason might be uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts.
A few people may even live in a constant state of tension, worrying about almost everything, even inane things. Rather than one symptom, there are a group of related conditions that doctors term as different anxiety disorders. Yet, despite the differences in forms, all anxiety disorders elicit an intense fear and panic.
What are the triggers for these feelings of panic and worry?
Mental health experts explain the difference between triggers and causes of anxiety. Upbringing and genetics can be causes of your anxiety while triggers are the issues that make your anxiety worse or more prevalent.
Stress, debilitating disease or terminal disease are few natural and understandable triggers of anxiety. A stressful job is as much a trigger as troubled relationships or social life. Long-term persistence of these stressors can make it very hard to cope with life.
Invisible Triggers of Anxiety
There are a host of invisible triggers of anxiety as well. Most of the time, invisible triggers are possibilities that oneself is unaware of. Here are a few of the most prominent ones:
1. Clutter and Dirty Household or Workspace
These trigger panic in many people. To them, this unruly space is akin to being not in control of the situation. For them cleanliness is directly associated with control.
2. Excessive Thinking
Although people do need some alone time, always being lonely is a health hazard. In fact, being alone always may create more anxiety. Excessive anxiety leads to negative thought processes and more stressful time. Some problems may not be as big as overthinking makes them. Ideally, doctors recommend help in the form of fun activities and mental distractions.
3. Lack of Goal Setting
Lack of a plan or target is akin to listless living. Without a concrete plan for the future, there is no looking forward to any accomplishment. Achievement is always positive, and mind and body need such positive triggers to remain sane.
4. Negative News
Many times, negative news are triggers for heightened anxiety. Young deaths, man-made/natural dangers, and lawsuits can affect the patients with increased anxiety levels.
Media in recent years has been instrumental in creating panic, worry and anxiety with their hyperbole. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), dubbed as a “superbug”, is one such case where too much media attention has really transformed it into a bigger nightmare than it really is. MRSA refers to a group of gram-positive bacteria. This bacterial infection is resistant to certain antibiotics, including penicillin, thus its treatment is a challenge for doctors. However, it is possible.
5. Coping Disability
Sometimes, people take recourse to drugs or alcohol as a cure to life stresses. As it grows into reckless behavior over time, there is loss of coping ability to deal with the situation successfully. Rather, one gets caught in the vicious circle, stress and anxiety increases.
6. Anxious Thoughts
Certain thoughts are vexed and nurture anxiety that can be uncontrollable many times. Most of the time, they remain invisible and untraceable as well, causing more trouble. They are complex in nature and distressing, too.
7. Previous Experiences
Human beings align certain behavior with childhood upbringing and life experiences. One tends to feel anxious and stressed when similar disturbing conditions appear later in time. Previous experiences are the triggers for the same.
8. Health Issues
A negative health diagnosis such as cancer or other chronic illness is upsetting and even traumatic. Concerns about health may trigger or worsen anxiety. Since this produces intense personal feelings, health triggers are very powerful in their impact. Taking proactive measures and therapy in consultation with your doctor can be useful to manage pangs of anxiety.
Sometimes, active ingredients in few medicines are anxiety triggers. Certain prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications may trigger these symptoms. Feelings of uneasiness can set off a series of events in your mind and body that may lead to additional symptoms of anxiety. Birth control pills, cough and congestion medications & weight loss medications are few examples of such prescription drugs. Consulting your physician for alternative composition is recommended to ward off worsening situation.
10. Skipping meals or excessive caffeine drinking
These are triggers for anxiety as well. People neglect proper meals while trying to cope with anxiety. Substituting it with beverages and drugs can be harmful to both mind and body.
11. Financial Problems
Financial concerns can sometimes be overwhelming and give lots of anxious moments. Debts, unexpected money bills or shaving off of life savings are instant triggers for almost every human being. Remaining calm and composed is a better way to deal with it rather than fretting over it.
12. Public Performance
This gives anxious moments to the artist, and even seasoned performers complain of stage fear and anxious moments. Public speaking or talking in front of the boss or even reading aloud are triggers of anxiety. Practicing to remain calm and composed is the only way to soothe ruffled nerves.
13. Conflict in relationships
Conflicts, both personal or professional, are triggers of anxiety. As experts explain, relationship problems, arguments, disagreements can all trigger or worsen anxiety. Conflict resolution strategies can help. Consulting a therapist or counselor is recommended.
14. Personal Triggers
These are bad memory or traumatic events in your life. A trained mental health expert is best suited to help identify these triggers as most of the times they are identified with difficulty if you are trying to go it alone. Personal triggers erupt from environmental triggers as well.
As per experts, there are many different types of anxiety disorders—as well as many effective treatments and self-help strategies. The triggers of obsessive-compulsive disorder are unwanted thoughts. The triggers of panic disorder are often physical sensations.
The difference between “normal” anxiety and anxiety disorders
Important to mention – experiencing anxiety and fear is also needed at ‘some’ points in our lives. They act as motivators.
For example, studying for that big test gives us anxious moments of thrill and purpose. In fact, it is normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation. Be it the first date, interview for the job or waiting for good news from the operation theatre.
But such moments should be in compatible proportion.
When these worries and fears dominate your thought process and obstruct your normal way of life, you may be suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are treatable
However, these disorders are absolutely treatable and it is important to know that you’re not alone.
Knowing your trigger is useful, but knowing more about your disorder is even better. Once, the type of anxiety disorder is identified, you can regain control of your life by taking steps towards resolving them.