Can Anxiety Kill You? Discover How To Control Your Anxiety
While anxiety can cause some uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as headaches and heart palpitations, there is generally no evidence to suggest that it could end someone's life. It can be possible to manage anxiety symptoms through breathing techniques, mindfulness exercises, cognitive restructuring strategies, progressive muscle relaxation, regular exercise, and professional help. One way to get the help you deserve may be to match with a licensed therapist through an online therapy platform.
Anxiety usually does not cause physical damage
Though anxiety cannot usually cause physical damage, it can make underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, worsen. Anxiety can cause rapid heart rate and chest pain, potentially making symptoms of underlying conditions more pronounced. It can be essential to speak with a doctor to properly diagnose any underlying health issues and get the right kind of treatment.
Why anxiety sometimes feels like it can kill
Fear can be an instinctual response to danger or perceived danger. It typically triggers the body's fight-or-flight response, which can help us safeguard ourselves in dangerous situations by preparing us to either fight or flee from a potential threat. Fear is usually short-lived and tends to pass once the perceived danger has been eliminated.
Panic can be an intense fear response that is usually unexpected and overwhelming. In a panic situation, we may feel out of control and unable to think straight or make rational decisions. Panic attacks often occur suddenly and without warning, often leaving us scared and disoriented until they pass.
Unlike fear or panic, anxiety is not always linked with a specific threat or event. Instead, it can be a more general feeling of unease or worry that may persist even when no immediate danger is present. While occasional feelings of anxiety can be normal and healthy, chronic anxiety can have lingering effects on our lives if left untreated.
The physical symptoms of anxiety can be so extreme they may often seem like they could kill you - but this isn't usually true! It can be important to remember that while severe anxiety may seem like it could do damage, it likely won't cause any lasting physical harm in reality.
No matter how intense the sensations are at the time, your body is most likely to eventually return to its normal state once the episode passes.
Common symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health disorder that can affect anyone at any age and takes many forms. While its exact causes may be unknown, experiences of extreme or frequent worry, restlessness, fearfulness, or intense anticipation of the unknown can indicate underlying anxiety symptoms.
If any of these experiences become long-term and interfere with a person's daily life, then an accurate diagnosis from a professional may be required to help one better understand their condition and develop coping strategies for managing it effectively.
Anxiety can have many physical side effects, some of which can be easy to spot and others that may be more nuanced. For example, those who live with anxiety may experience an increased heart rate, trembling, and sometimes even sweating. They may also feel lightheaded or experience the sensation of butterflies in their stomach.
Anxiety can lead to difficulty concentrating. This often happens when a person's racing thoughts or feelings of overwhelm cause them to become easily distracted and unable to stay focused on the task at hand. Not only can this make it hard to accomplish daily tasks, but it can also affect work, studies, and relationships.
Common cognitive distortions related to anxiety can include:
- Catastrophizing, or assuming the worst will happen
- Black-and-white thinking, in which things can be judged as either good or bad with no middle ground
- Drawing conclusions with limited evidence
Anxiety can cause a person to become more withdrawn than usual and make it difficult to engage in tasks they could previously. Behavioral changes may include avoidance of specific people or situations that could cause anxiety and difficulty in making decisions due to a lack of confidence in one's ability to handle stressful events.
Strategies for managing anxiety
Anxiety can be managed with various coping strategies, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, physical activity, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Identifying what triggers your anxiety can help you better understand how to manage it and prepare yourself for difficult situations. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your anxiety, seeking help from a mental health professional who can guide you to develop a management plan can be vital.
Modern science has generally come a long way in providing the understanding and effective treatments for individuals living with anxiety-related concerns.
Deep breathing can be a foundational tool for managing anxiety in the body and mind. Research has shown that focusing on and controlling your breath can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to promote feelings of calmness. For example, slowing your breathing rate and lengthening exhalations can assist in calming or quieting racing thoughts.
Specific techniques, such as Box Breathing, 4-7-8 Breathing, and Diaphragmatic Breathing, may enable people to tune into their physiological state more effectively and respond more adaptively to difficult situations.
Science shows that by engaging in these intentional practices, one may become better equipped to manage symptoms of anxiety in both the short term and with recurrent episodes.
Deep breathing or yoga can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety by providing a moment of calm throughout the day where you can focus on your breath rather than your anxious thoughts.
Cognitive restructuring techniques
Cognitive restructuring techniques can also be effective in combating anxiety by teaching individuals how to challenge negative thoughts that can lead to anxious feelings and replace them with more helpful ones instead. It can be beneficial to get a therapist’s help when using cognitive restructuring techniques.
Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation techniques can be another excellent way to combat anxiety. These techniques usually involve tensing and relaxing different muscle groups while focusing on your breath, which can reduce physical tension associated with anxious feelings and promote a sense of relaxation throughout the body.
Regular aerobic exercise can also be helpful in managing anxiety since it often releases endorphins that can act as natural mood boosters. Exercise can improve psychological well-being over time with consistent practice for at least 20 minutes a day, three times per week.
Reaching out for help from friends or mental health professionals can be a great way to combat feelings of anxiety. Having someone else listen, provide emotional support, and offer an objective outlook on your worries may give you a better perspective on the situation.
Online therapy for anxiety disorders
While in-person therapy may always be an option, online therapy can offer additional flexibility when it comes to scheduling. Fitting an online session into your schedule may be much easier than attending a traditional in-person session.
The convenience of connecting with a therapist from anywhere in the world can make it easier for individuals who lack quality mental health services locally or have difficulty finding time away from work or family obligations.
Online therapy has likely revolutionized the treatment of anxiety disorders, with significant scientific evidence supporting its efficacy. Many studies report that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy, and some studies suggest that online therapy may be particularly helpful in treating anxiety and the effects of stress.
Can social anxiety completely go away?
Social anxiety can occur as a result of its own related condition (social anxiety disorder) or it may co-occur with other conditions—such as generalized anxiety disorder. Left unchecked, it can lead to a range of uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms, including panic attack symptoms, a weakened immune system, higher-than-average blood pressure, and chest pain—like you may associate with a heart attack.
While slightly different from panic disorder, this anxiety disorder can mimic many of the same symptoms—and can bring on a panic attack in its own right. Since most panic attacks mimic heart attack symptoms, this can lead to lasting fear and aversion to social situations for many. That being said, social anxiety can completely go away—as can panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and other types of mental health conditions (known previously as mental disorders). The healing process can be expedited with close support from one’s therapist and physician.
What are five coping skills for anxiety?
Panic disorder and anxiety disorders of all types can feel overwhelming—mimicking chronic stress-related symptoms or symptoms one might expect to see with heart attacks or cardiovascular disease.
Coping skills can help many to find freedom from overwhelming anxiety disorder-related symptoms. Some of these include:
Can social anxiety be cured naturally?
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder (and panic attacks associated with the condition) can be alleviated naturally in some. Sometimes, cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes can be enough to help those living with the condition find relief. If you’re experiencing panic attacks or untreated anxiety disorder symptoms, you may consider speaking with your healthcare practitioner. They can offer you tailored medical advice that can help.
What triggers social anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder symptoms aren’t like heart attacks or stable coronary heart disease that come out of the blue or form over time. Instead, symptoms can be a part of co-occurring anxiety disorders that can be successfully addressed with ongoing therapy and support from your healthcare team.
Understanding your triggers is often the first step to successful management. Many may feel that being overwhelmed and stressed can trigger them, while others might find that caffeine or dietary choices can make symptoms more pronounced. Tracking your experiences in a journal can be a great place to start as you work to determine your specific triggers. For example: Each time you have a social anxiety disorder-related panic attack, write down the time, date, and what you were doing at the time. Doing this over an extended period of time can help your healthcare provider get to the root of your panic attacks and social anxiety disorder symptoms.
What calms anxiety?
Anxiety disorders can lead to an increased risk of blood pressure disorders or coronary events if left untreated. Many want to get to the root cause of their panic attack symptoms and anxiety disorder-related manifestations as a result.
Some of the best ways to soothe anxiety disorder-related symptoms or panic attacks include meditation, therapeutic support, medication, mindfulness, and breathing exercises.
What famous person has social anxiety?
Panic attacks and social anxiety disorder symptoms aren’t always obvious. Many famous people live with the condition(s). Some of these notable names include Shailene Woodley, Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, just to name a few.
Do I have social anxiety or am I just shy?
Wondering if you have social anxiety disorder or intermittent shyness? Try asking yourself the questions below:
- Do you experience severe social anxiety disorder symptoms or panic attacks at the thought of seeing people?
- Do you actively avoid social situations where you might see people?
- Do you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of doing things or attending events that many would consider normal?
If you said “yes” to any of the questions above, you may benefit from speaking with a licensed therapist or health care practitioner.
Should I tell people I have social anxiety?
Telling people that you live with social anxiety disorder or related panic attacks can be a good choice if you want additional help and support. Living with a mental health condition is nothing to be ashamed of!
Can you tell if someone has social anxiety?
While social anxiety disorder (and anxiety in general) can put you at an increased risk of developing cortisol concerns and cardiac conditions, it’s not like a heart attack, where it’s exceedingly obvious in many. Instead, it can go undetected—especially if a person is good at masking behaviors and symptoms.
- Previous Article
- Next Article