Getting anxious is normal but if this feeling of anxiousness is getting in your way of normal functioning then it needs attention.
Anxiety disorders have different categories. Some are:
Panic disorder – During this, there is occurrence of tremendous agitation and fear, shortness of breath, uneasiness in the stomach, dizziness, increase in the heart rate, chest pain. These signs and symptoms can be mistaken for a heart attack and or can be linked with the cardiac ailment.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – This is a condition, which occurs after a shocking or a terrifying incident or a sudden life-threatening disease or accident or a violent crime. A person affected by this condition always has difficulty handling a situation that may have a connection with the incident that has led to the development of PTSD. These patients often experience jitteriness and detachment from the world and people around them.
Obsessive-Compulsive disorder – People with this condition will handle unreasonable beliefs and worries by doing the same actions over and over again. For example, a person suffering from OCD, who is obsessed with having cardiovascular issues but has been checked by a Cardiac specialist may find new physicians and get themselves checked again and again or keep researching on this endlessly.
Why anxiety increases the risk of heart disease?
When a person is suffering from an Anxiety disorder, that person’ body reacts or gets worked up in way that can put a lot of excess strain and pressure on the heart. The signs and symptoms of the same can have disastrous results on people already having heart diseases.
Anxiety can be linked with the below mentioned heart diseases and cardiac risk issues:
• Rapid heart rate (Tachycardia) – In serious cases, Anxiety disorders can get in the way with normal heart functions and also increase the peril of a sudden heart attack.
• Increased blood pressure – Anxiety disorder, if chronic, then can lead to Coronary disease, the heart muscles may get weaker ultimately leading to a heart failure.
• Decreased heart rate variability – A person who has had an acute heart attack, Anxiety ailments ca make them all the more vulnerable and can have fatal results.
The negative impact of anxiety on cardiovascular disease recovery
Anxiety disorders bring along a high level of fear, hesitation and insecurity. The problem aggravates when this fear stops the heart patients from following the advice and recommendations of the Cardiologist, for their speedy recovery. All this can be a huge hindrance for the recovery like:
- The patient may not take timely medication
- May not follow the exercise regimes
- Not taking a healthy diet
- Not able to or may not get sufficient hours of sleep
- Many avoid connecting with family and friends
- May not be able to resume with career and family responsibilities
It is very important that anxiety disorders are nipped in the bud that is should be given immediate medical attention as and when the initial signs are visible. Depending on the span of time that the person has been suffering, the severity level, and the type of anxiety ailment, there are available treatments that include therapy, medication, or a blend of both. But a very common and effective mode of treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which has three primary components:
• Anxiety management – The aim of this is to keep the patient away from putting too much focus on worries and anxieties related to things like future, which is beyond his or her control. Also, this component helps the patients to focus on the present time through usage of relaxation techniques like exercises, sensory focusing, and yoga methods.
• Cognitive restructuring – People suffering from anxiety disorders have a habit of thinking too much about the possibility of occurrence of any disastrous or apocalyptic incidents. This component that is done through patient-therapist give and take method has a series of logical steps that target on making the patient understand and shifting his focus on thinking about more healthy things.
• Exposure therapy – This methods works by exposing the patients more often to the same activity or ambience that has the caused the anxiety disorder. This is done slowly but repeatedly till the success level is reached, when the patients can easily handle the exposure to such circumstances. For example, travelling to the same place or location which some accident or crime is associated.