יום שלישי, 26 בנובמבר 2013

The Wear and Tear of Anxiety, Panic, and Nervous Breakdown

People often hear of a type of energy that has little to do with muscles and work, an energy without focus or function — “nervous energy.” And most often than not, people recognize it by any other names such as anxiety, stress, panic, nervous breakdown, or feeling uptight.

Older people have no monopoly on this sense of malaise. Each year, Americans of all ages spend more than $300 million on tranquilizers and sedatives to soothe their fraying nerves.

In reality, stress is a 20th-century phenomenon, the price people pay for a living in our high-powered, fast-paced world. In the short tern, most people pay the price in headaches, heartburn, sleepless nights, and stiff, aching muscles.

In the end, the price gets higher. Stress has been implicated as a contributing factor in conditions that range from alcoholism to hypertension, from arthritis to impotence. 

Its effects are cumulative. Whereas, episodes of intense stress affect our immediate well-being, decades of life under pressure affect how long and how well people will continue to live.

Stress is not always negative. Some of life’s happiest moments—births, weddings, reunions, retirements—are enormously stressful. Stress is a spice of life, a motivating force for growth and adaptation. But the human body cannot simply differentiate between positive and negative stresses, between genuine threats and vague anxieties.

When stress becomes a problem, it can lead to one devastating mental disorder known as nervous breakdown. Experts do not consider this as a clinical term but more of a popular term because it is commonly used by people to avoid the shame of a particular clinical finding.

Nervous breakdown could also be caused by many factors such as anxiety and panic disorder. Even if they seem to mean the same, each has its own unique characteristic. 

People, who were diagnosed with anxiety disorder, generally pertain to those who have “mood disorders” such as “bipolar disorder” or “depressions.”

On the other hand, panic disorder refers to the repeated occurrence of unforeseen “panic attacks.” Panic happens when your body instantly reacts to whatever kind of stressor that is available as of the moment. 

There are times when some people were brought up negatively, with pressures more than what they can handle. These things usually happen when parents tend to demand more items from their kids. What happens next is that their children get anxious of always doing things right according to what their parents have told them. Otherwise, they are bound for numerous punishments.

Yet, despite constant and chaotic stresses, anxieties, and nervous breakdowns, people can actually cope. And most of the time, people cope very well. 

Physiologists explain these day-to-day, person-to-person differences in terms of the all-or-none law. Every nerve cell, or neuron, responds either to maximum capacity or not at all. Like a rifle, a neuron either fires or does not. 

An overestimated neuron is like a rifle with the safety switch off. Even a slight stimulus can startle it from a quiet to an active state. 

The point here is that the more active the nervous system, the more active it is likely to become. This cycle of reactions is caused by the feedback mechanisms of the sensory receptors in the muscles.

With that in mind, it can be concluded that many people nowadays are strolling around with intense nervous breakdowns, anxieties, or panic disorders that frequently transform to physical sensation feeling. 

Whatever the meanings are, these things all pertains to one basic truth — there is an increasing behavioral and environmental attack. All of these things highly recommend that people, whether young or old, must not take their health undervalued. 

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