Anxiety, or a feeling of nervousness about an event with an uncertain outcome, is becoming a prevalent concern for medical professionals. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety, in and of itself, is not necessarily life-threatening but the increase of the diagnosis in conjunction with other disorders has shown that anxiety is becoming a big threat to our national mental health.
Because of this, anxiety is also being associated with chronic pain in ways doctors had not seen in the past. Medical professionals are finding that symptoms of anxiety can lead to related pain.
There are several specific anxiety disorders including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive/compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
Many of these have related pain symptoms including headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. If these physical symptoms are left unaddressed they can progress into more serious chronic pain conditions.
Increasingly, doctors today understand that addressing mental and physical symptoms related to various disorders is important for a holistic approach to health and wellness. Individuals suffering from anxiety related symptoms such as fatigue or insomnia will begin to feel increased stress over these very things that their anxiety is causing.
If are experiencing pain related to anxiety, talk with your doctor about how you can treat the symptoms. You may also want to adopt some additional healthy choices such as a good diet, regular nighttime rituals for better sleep, and exercise. You may also wish to add medication to your routine to help you handle the effects of anxiety on your daily life. Don’t ignore physical symptoms that may be related to anxiety. Talk with your doctor about chronic or acute pain to determine the real cause and potential treatments.
Do you struggle with a panic disorder that manifests with physical symptoms?
Image by CarbonNYC via Flickr