Anxiety and restlessness

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to experiences that are perceived as threatening. Morbid anxiety is when the anxiety is excessive and unreasonable. Typical symptoms of anxiety are tremor, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness and difficulty breathing.

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to experiences that are perceived as threatening. Morbid anxiety is when the anxiety is excessive and unreasonable. Typical symptoms of anxiety are tremor, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness and difficulty breathing.

  • Symptoms

    It is important to distinguish between normal anxiety and morbid anxiety. Fear, anxiety and morbid anxiety can be normal reactions to external and internal events that are perceived as threatening or dangerous. In addition to the mental anxiety experience, such events cause parts of the autonomic nervous system to react and can trigger a wide range of bodily symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, dizziness, stomach upset and others.

    Morbid anxiety is characterized by the fact that the anxiety symptoms are triggered more easily than usual, and it is often clear that the anxiety is excessive and unreasonable. Trembling, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness and difficulty breathing are typical. Also a fear that you are about to go crazy or die, or that you will have new seizures. Anxiety is a widespread disorder, and in Norwegian general practice, anxiety is registered as often as in three to five percent of patient contacts. It is estimated that at least one in ten suffers from a morbid anxiety disorder once in a lifetime.

  • There are several types of anxiety

    Panic attacks are seizures with a feeling of intense fear or discomfort. They occur completely unexpectedly and are not related to any typical situation.

    Phobias are characterized by experiencing anxiety in specific situations, and avoiding these situations to reduce anxiety. The phobias are for specific and clearly defined phenomena - reacting to different animals, spiders, heights, cramped spaces, blood, and social situations.

    Generalized anxiety disorder is present all the time, regardless of the situation. It is common for the patient to feel tense and nervous.

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is based on a specific very upsetting event such as a natural disaster, a rape or an accident. After this event, one relives the frightening event, either in dreams or in the waking state. One wants to avoid things or situations that are reminiscent of the event.

    It is not possible to single out one thing that causes anxiety, and the causes vary a lot depending on the type of anxiety you have. Central, however, is that the patient interprets harmless bodily sensations as dangerous and that they trigger anxiety.

    Phobias can occur in people who have experienced something unpleasant in a particular context. Just being exposed to the same situation again (for example, feeling trapped in a cramped room) is enough to trigger anxiety.

    Should one from childhood have been severely punished for having certain emotions, one will in adulthood be able to experience anxiety in connection with similar emotions or urges.

  • What can I do myself

    The purpose of the treatment is for you to gain control over your anxiety by learning techniques that reduce anxiety.

    Contact mental health care where you live.

    There is a lot of good self-help literature and good self-help programs on the internet, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which help patients to cope with anxiety without the use of medication.

    Avoid social isolation

    Talk to friends and family.

    Create good habits for sleep, diet and exercise.

  • What can Eyr help with?

    Our psychologists can assist you in raising awareness of negative thought patterns, defense mechanisms and assumptions as well as help you change these.

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Reference: Norwegian Medical Handbook, NELEdited and medically quality assured by Dr. Theresa Franck, specialist in general medicine.