Anxiety

Anxiety

  • Anxiety can be triggered by environmental, biological, genetic and psychological aspects, and may be present along with depression. Some circumstances can lead to anxiety, such as: continued stress, traumatic experiences both in childhood and adulthood, substance intake (e.g., drugs, alcohol, and smoking) and personality traits (e.g., perfectionism and need for control).
  • Continued anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as immune deficiencies, herpes, psoriasis, digestive problems, among others. Other symptoms may include: increased heart rate, shrinkage of blood vessels, in order to transport blood faster; decreased bowel movements in order to store energy for other procedures; release of glucose into the blood in greater quantity, with the purpose of supplying energy to cells; release of cortisol, causing the growth of body fat and the suspension of gastric wall mucus, and distension of the pupils, aiming to improve vision.
  • Individuals suffering from anxiety attacks may experience intense restlessness, fear in simple periods of the day, and certain physical manifestations that complicate their daily tasks.
  • Anxiety problems can trigger panic attacks, with features such as death thoughts, uncontrolled feelings of irritability and panic, increased breathing and heart rate, gastrointestinal complications, dizziness and vertigo, among others.
  • Previous studies indicate that the diagnosis of depression exceeds anxiety in 2% of cases, and that prolonged anxiety situations become depression in 24% of cases.

How can psychological counseling help in anxiety?

  • Psychological support can help the individual understand the motives of anxiety, learn to deal with anxiety, and lessen symptoms.

Chapters in Scientific Books

  • Naz, H., Ilyas, N. & von Humboldt, S. (2021). Performance anxiety. In D. Gu & M. E. Dupre (Eds.), Encyclopedia of gerontology and population aging. (pp. 1-5). New York, NY: Springer, Cham. [E-pub ahead of print]. (View Details).