Everyone experiences anxiety, even children. In fact, being unable to do so can be the sign of quite a serious problem. In our hazardous world, anxiety is a strategy that the body uses to help the mind recognize and keep well out of the way of danger. As with most mental illnesses, it’s not the presence of anxiety alone that creates problems. It is more about how severe it is and how much it gets in the way of life.

Most people feel anxious at some time in their lives. However, about five per cent of people experience severe anxiety but rarely seek professional help. Anxiety is a mixture of physical and mental symptoms. They are part of what psychologists call the “fight or flight” response. When the body is under threat, it automatically prepares either to defend itself or run.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can become a disabling disorder. Effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is yielding new and improved therapies that can help most people cope with anxiety disorders lead productive and fulfilling lives.

However, studies have shown that having a healthy diet may reduce signs and symptoms of anxiety. Although food can’t cure an anxiety disorder, consider some changes to your diet:

Avoid or limit caffeine intake as much as possible. Caffeine is present in many soft drinks, not just tea and coffee and it can set up its own vicious cycle. It can speed up heart rate and disrupts sleep which are signs of anxiety. Trying to overcome tiredness by drinking more caffeine only makes the long-term problems worse.

Avoid too much alcohol. Similarly, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and disrupt sleep. Many people reach for a drink to calm their nerves, but the consequences of overindulgence can outweigh the benefits of initial relaxation. For some, a hangover, insomnia and dehydration make one feel worse than before one had a drink, and the depressants in alcohol can make you feel sluggish and anxious. Alcohol, like a simple sugar, is rapidly absorbed by the body. Like other sugars, alcohol increases hypoglycemia symptoms; excessive use can increase anxiety and mood swings.

Eat complex carbohydrates. During anxious times, turn to comforting carbs. These foods act as a mild tranquilizer by increasing the amount of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter, in the brain. Complex carbs, such as potatoes, wholewheat bread and pasta, take longer to digest than sugary simple carbs like white bread, so one can stay fuller longer and blood sugar is likely to stay steady, eliminating stress and anxiety. Carbohydrate-rich meals and snacks are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, which has a calming effect.

Be sure to drink eight or more glasses of water a day. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and stress. One should be well hydrated and drinking lots of water a day can decrease symptoms of anxiety.

Take multivitamins and mineral supplement. B vitamins, whose role is to unlock the energy in food, are crucial, particularly B-6, which helps manufacture serotonin in the brain. Choose a daily supplement that supplies 100 per cent of the daily recommendation of all vitamins and minerals.

Although tension and daily stresses are unavoidable, one can relieve tension and manage stress and anxiety better by what a person do and don’t eat.

Depression and anxiety appear to be two different emotional responses humans are capable of having. We do not usually associate these two disorders with each other. But research has shown that depression and anxiety do in fact co-exist, much to the detriment of their sufferers.

When you picture someone with depression you think of all the normal symptoms associated with it: Despair, hopelessness, anger, fatigue, an unwillingness to be a part of society and a feeling of being overwhelmed by everyday life. A depressed person withdraws into themselves and seek to sever all ties with the outside world.

Anxiety attacks on the other hand seem to happen for no reason at all. Feelings of fear and panic happen in situations in which most people would be perfectly calm. These anxiety attacks come on suddenly with no warning and with no outright reason for them to happen. After awhile a sufferer of these attacks begins to live in fear of the attacks themselves, wondering when the next one is going to happen. Before long, and without treatment, both anxiety attacks and depression can begin to affect the sufferers lives in negative ways by not allowing them to hold a job, have a relationship, or even go out into society

What many sufferers of these two diseases do not realize is that either one can lead to the other. Being depressed can weigh heavily on the mind leading the depressed person through a maze of different emotions. This in itself can lead to anxiety and eventually panic attacks. Panic attacks signify a loss of control and when this happens more and more often the sufferer can become depressed with their situation of not knowing if and when the next attack will occur.

Why these two disorders seem to occur at the same time is still largely unknown. But many studies show that major depression is often accompanied by an anxiety disorder. Both are likely caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry, but exactly why the two seemingly opposite disorders can coexist in the same person is not completely understood. What is understood about anxiety disorder is that the fight-or-flight reaction in the brain does not work the way it is supposed to. It can go off at any time, even in seemingly peaceful situations. Those who have anxiety disorder always feel that they are in danger.

One thing that psychologist agree on is that having a combination depression and anxiety is much more debilitating than having just one or the other. It can take patients with both disorders a much longer amount of time to resolve their depression which makes treating them much harder. It has also been shown that people who suffer from anxiety and depression both have a much higher suicide rate.

While this sounds bad their are options for treating both these conditions. Anti-depressant medications can be used to treat both depression and anxiety. When these medications are used in conjunction with behavioral therapy there is a high success rate of treating depression accompanied by anxiety.

Worry, fear, and anxiety are a normal part of our life. Have you experienced feeling anxious before taking an exam and later find out that you got a higher result more than what you’ve expected? Or, feeling anxious for a job interview and ended up getting hired, or feeling frightened walking down an alley where bad things often happened? Normal anxiety helps us cope in any stressful situation, it also keeps us watchful.

Mental health professional are not concerned with normal anxiety. But, if your anxiety suddenly occur without apparent reason and lasts for weeks to months and happens in most days than not, that is another issue. If anxiety persists in most days than not, and takes longer than six months, it has become an immobilizing disorder.

An anxiety disorder is a recurring and excessive anxiety and worry about events or activities without logical reasons at all lasting for more than six moths and it is interfering with everyday activities, such as going to work, and socializing. A person experiencing anxiety condition finds it difficult to control the feelings of worry and fear. The thing about people with anxiety disorder is that they actually know that what they think of feel is not real and that they are just made-up.

The common anxiety disorders are Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Selective Mutism.

A person with anxiety condition may suffer different anxiety disorder symptoms. And because no two individuals are the same, the anxiety disorder symptoms may vary from one person to the other.

The physical symptoms of anxiety disorder are cause by brain sending messages to parts of the body to prepare for the flight-to-fight response. The lungs, heart, and other parts of the body work faster and the brain releases stress hormones, including adrenaline, and that explains that physical symptoms.

Anxiety disorder symptoms may experience physically can include but not limited to:
Abdominal discomfort
Dry mouth
Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
Tightness or pain in chest
Shortness of breath
Frequent urination
Difficulty swallowing

Anxiety disorder symptoms may experience psychologically can include:
Inability to concentrate
Fear of going crazy or dying
Feeling unreal and not in control of your behavior

There are several types of anxiety disorders and sometimes they are associated with physical problem such alcohol and drug abuse. Anxiety is the main symptoms of other mental illness called anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder symptoms may differ from the symptoms of other anxiety disorders, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread.

For people with anxiety condition, cheer up! Your world does not stop there because there is cure for anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are curable and there are two types of treatments available for anxiety disorder- medication and psychotherapy. But, it is said that the proven most effective way to treat anxiety sufferers is psychotherapy.

First of all, before we start to describe what the symptoms of anxiety are, let’s first establish what anxiety is and its purpose. Anxiety is a survival mechanism. It exists to remove any perceived danger from our environment by either fighting it or running away from it.

A few thousand years ago, when man was a hunter-gatherer searching for food in the great outdoors, anxiety played a very important role in preventing our ancestor from becoming some animal’s next meal. If and when confronted by some ferocious beast, anxiety would come into play and give our great, great, great etc. grandparent the wherewithal to either stand and fight the threat or to run away to some safe haven.

In order for this fight or flight mechanism to be effective, certain physiological and psychological changes are temporarily made. These are as follows:

1. Body hair stands on end to give an overall appearance of being bigger.

2. Sweating starts to occur in the hands and feet to enable a better grip whilst running and/or climbing.

3. Adrenalin is released into the bloodstream to give an all-important boost of energy.

4. The body’s normal functions of digestion and cell repair are put on hold and the resources are re-directed to the muscles to enhance strength.

5. Under extreme conditions, the body will excrete in order to reduce weight.

6. Normal breathing is replaced by much shallower breathing and the heart rate increases.

7. Both sight and hearing are heightened.

8. Psychologically, there will be a feeling of discomfort and agitation. This will increase as necessary in order to initialise some sort of action.

So, looking at the above example of our stone-age hunter, we can clearly see that anxiety was indeed a very necessary part of their day-to-day life and no doubt it was instrumental in saving quite a few lives at that stage in our evolution.

But, how on earth can such a mechanism be useful to us in our current society? In certain situations, such as when the job that you’re working on is quickly running out of time, anxiety will help you to focus better by increasing your sight and hearing perceptions and the adrenalin will give you more energy to complete the task. I seriously doubt, though, that such a low level of anxiety would cause involuntary excretion.

However, there are other situations where anxiety rears its head and it isn’t appropriate. Imagine that you’re late for work and that you’re stuck in traffic. No matter how anxious you feel the traffic won’t flow any quicker and as for running away from or fighting the perceived threat that would be impossible.

It’s situations similar to the latter that can bring about anxiety disorders in certain individuals. I know, I used to suffer from an anxiety disorder along with panic disorder and agoraphobia for many years. Until, after many years of searching, I found the cure.