Anxiety is not uncommon. Not a single person goes through life without being anxious from time to time. As a matter of fact, there are moments when a little anxiety or stress is a good thing. For many people, it produces positive effects- makes them work harder or perform better at jobs or schools. It is only when normal anxiety starts to cause physical problems that we consider it an Anxiety Disorder, and it is a biochemical issue and a serious medical problem.
In this article, we’ll go through the chemical reactions that our body experiences due to Anxiety Disorder, and how it affects our health and overall well-being. If you have questions, you can refer to our Anxiety FAQ article.
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
More and more, people and medical practitioners are becoming aware of Anxiety Disorders and stress-related issues. Once thought only to be a mental problem, it is now understood as a medical thing.
Do you not wonder why it feels bad in the entire body when you are simply angry with someone? Your heart rate increases, a rush of blood goes to your brain, there is an increase in energy (like you wanna hit the person you are angry at), and your muscles harden. A lot of us do not pay attention to these things, but in reality, a thousand things are going on in our body.
We are like that frog that was put in cold water and then slowly heated so it doesn’t realize that it’s being boiled alive. Anger, disappointment, fear, stress, sadness, and other negative emotions induce chemical reactions that are not necessarily good for the body, but our body does have mechanisms to cope with those mild incidents.
However, every now and then, the body loses its balance and secretes more chemicals than usual. You might call those episodes Anxiety Disorder, and in severe cases, Panic Attacks.
That is not the worst part though. Once our body gets used to it, the smallest triggers can open the floodgate of chemicals again and again, and you know that you have a serious medical condition.
Triggers may be mental, but the reactions are very physical.
Well, there are literally hundreds so we can’t talk about them all. However, we can talk about several major influencers.
Our brain requires information in order to function properly, and it depends on different chemicals (hormones) to provide it with the information it needs. For example, a chemical called Serotonin tells the brain when we are full. Without it, we would eat ourselves to death without even knowing it.
These chemicals are called Neurotransmitters as they transmit various signals to our brain. So if for some reason the level of Serotonin increases, we’d generally not feel hungry and can go on for days without eating. As a result, we’ll burn up all the stored energy in the body, get weaker by the day, and eventually die.
For Anxiety or Panic Disorder, the most responsible Neurotransmitter is called Norepinephrine (Epi) or Adrenalin.
This is the actual stress hormone. Based on the theory of evolution, almost all animals have it. It was originally designed for protection and self-preservation.
Nor(epi)nephrine tells the brain to prepare for a ‘fight or flight’ response. This is what causes elevated heart rates, an increase in energy levels, and the hardening of the muscles.
All these are good if you are under attack, but a frequent and high release of this chemical can cause muscle spasms, seizures, and heart attacks. The sweaty palms, the shivering, the chest pain, and the dry mouth are all indications that a massive amount of Norepinephrine is being released and it’s affecting your heart as well as the central nervous system. Pretty soon headaches and nausea will ensue.
The way we go about an average day is by having a balanced flow of these chemicals. If for some reason, one of them increases more than the normal level, we start to experience abnormalities.
We know for sure that a huge amount of Norepinephrine is released when we are under stress. What we don’t know is what other chemicals increase or decrease. It varies from person to person.
For example, for some people under stress, we notice an increase in Norepinephrine and Serotonin. If that happens, the person will have an elevated heart rate and will lose appetite.
The opposite is also possible- an increase in Norepinephrine and an increase in Insulin (the hunger hormone). That’s why some people eat a lot under stress and call it ‘Stress Eating‘.
So you see, these are biochemical reactions- not mental problems. Many of us learned to feel guilty about these things such as ‘Stress Eating‘, but it’s not your fault at all.
An increase in Norepinephrine can cause several other health issues
- It can weaken the heart. A faster than normal heart rate for a long time can weaken the heart muscle and cause it to fail.
- It can develop an aneurysm in the brain or other parts of the blood vessels due to continuous high-pressure blood flow. Together with blood thinners such as Aspirin, it can cause hemorrhage and become fatal.
- It can cause insomnia. Norepinephrine releases energy fast. It won’t let you sleep, and in turn, it’ll weaken the body further and susceptible to many more diseases.
- Norepinephrine can also cause lactic acidosis. Too much of it can cause our lungs to bleed from inside. (Watch the movie ‘A few Good Men‘).
How to Treat Anxiety Disorder
Well, we’re not going to talk about it in detail in this article. We have other articles for that. The first thing is to identify the type of Anxiety and then go from there. It is a good idea to see a professional for assessment.
Valium (Diazepam) is one of the most common medications for Anxiety. It almost instantly relaxed the body and can stop an attack. It is also easy to buy. Although a controlled substance in the USA, people can always buy Valium online.
If you want to order Valium online safely, you must first find an international online pharmacy, but be careful. There are lots of fake ones so you have an article on that.
Related: 5 Best Online Pharmacies