Clinical Perspective on Anxiety, Mood and Stress. Essay Example

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Clinical Perspective on Anxiety, Mood and Stress.

What causes anxiety, and what it the best approach to counteract it?

Anxiety can be described as the feeling of worry, fear or tension. It is bad feeling of dread over things which might not happen (Alfano and Beidel 2011). For example, a feel of imminent death, failure in class or anything unpleasant. Anxiety is caused by a number of factors. It manifest in different ways. These maybe: through sweating, feeling sick, dry mouth, shaking, headache, chest pain and fast heart rate among others. One cause of anxiety is the environment surrounding a person. For instance, a person who has lived in a war-stricken area and has lost some his or her loved ones because of war will have anxiety as a result of the deaths. Such people will live in fear that death could still occur even long after peace is restored.

Children who are being brought up in families where their parents constantly fight may develop anxiety (Biedel and Turner, 2007). They will live each day in fear of seeing their parents fighting. People who have fallen victims of rape or who their loved ones have been victim in the past may also develop anxiety. They are worried of such a dreadful act happening to them in future. Therefore, hostile environment may cause anxiety to the people exposed to it. In addition, people who live in environment that are full of stress are also at risk of developing anxiety too (Barlow and Craske 2000). For example, in families where one partner is too nagging or too demanding, the victim of the nagging actions is always prone to anxiety. More often, these people even find it hard to be with their partners due to fear of embarrassments.

Secondly, anxiety can be caused by medical factors or one’s medical history (Craske and O’Leary, 1992). Medical factors such as anemia, asthma and some infections could lead to anxiety in an individual’s life. Serious infections such as HIV/AIDS is most likely to cause stress to the infected person. Some of these people fail to accept their new status thereby living life full of stress and regret. Certain medicines are also known to cause anxiety due to response of a person’s system to the given medication. For instance, medicine like albuterol and salmeterol for asthma; methyldopa for blood pressure and some contraceptive drugs are known to cause anxiety. Further, symptoms of medical illness such as heart attack and heart stroke are also a contributing factors to anxiety.

Another causative agent of anxiety is illicit drugs or substance of abuse. Intoxication of an illicit drug such as cocaine has the side effect of anxiety to it users. Normally, those who consume cocaine suffer from anxiety. Interestingly, withdrawal from some illicit drugs also results to anxiety. Drug like heroine is an example of drugs under this category. Research shows that a large number of people who withdraw from using heroine always experience anxiety. In addition to drug abuse, the genetic makeup of an individual has been proposed as another lead cause of anxiety. Researchers have suggested that a family history of anxiety increases the chances of his members to suffer from anxiety disorders (Bourne 2005). These people are predisposed to certain genetic factors which make it likely for them to suffer from anxiety disorders. Brain chemistry is also a factor of what causes anxiety. Research shows that persons with brain having abnormal level of neurotransmitter are predisposed to high risks of anxiety disorder. The research explains that brain internal communication may break down leading to anxiety if the neurotransmitters are not working properly (Bourne 2005).

Anxiety, just like any other form of human disorder, requires appropriate measures to counteract it. Different working methods are there to manage anxiety and subsequentlyconquer it. One way to combat anxiety is through proper body management. This begins with a good diet. Eating healthfully and avoiding consumption of foodstuffs which contain too much caffeine is a good dietary practice (Antony and Swinson 2008). For example, avoid too much coffee, sodas and chocolates. Get plenty of exercise daily to allow for cardiovascular exercise for well-conditioned flow of blood in your system. In terms of body management, it is also vital that an individual gets enough sleep and rest each day. This is essential in providing enough room for brain rest.

Another non-medical way to release anxiety is through controlled breathing. When someone is having anxiety, their heart rate always goes up. They breathe rapidly but shallowly. One can simply relax, close their eye and breathe from their abdomen to ease the panic attack of being anxious. It is recommended to perform this exercise slowly for about five minutes. Besides from breathing exercise, relaxing technique is also an important natural way to ease anxiety. When someone is anxious, it is appropriate to seek a quiet and peaceful place to relax. Finding a quiet place, or optionally listening to relaxation songs, brings in focus and enable one to gather sense.

Moreover, it is possible to integrate the self-talk therapy when relaxing. Self-talk therapy is mostly important when the levels of anxiety seem to have risen beyond control levels (Antony and Swinson, 2008). Reaffirm yourself. Encourage yourself by telling yourself things like: “it is part of life”; “this things happen and they are not permanent. They come and go”. This tactic is helpful in building confidence within oneself. Besides, do not listen when your worries seems to call. In a situation where you find yourself to focus majorly on your worries, it is crucial to engage in a form of activity that will take away the thought. For instance, you can go out and have fun, socialize with your friends or involve in a kind of sporting that you like such as soccer or tennis.

Another way to conquer anxiety is through exposure (Biedel and Turner, 2007). In this case, exposure can be looked to in two perspectives. The first case is through gradual exposure to what factors that cause anxiety. For example, people who are anxious about leaving their parents’ homes and going to relocate elsewhere on their own; may start by first learning to be away from their homes or exposing themselves to a similar environment of away from home. On the other hand, one can avoid situations that expose them to anxiety such as meeting an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. One can avoid places which are frequented by people who meeting causes anxiety.


Alfano, C. A., and Beidel, D. C. 2011, Social anxiety in adolescents and young adults:

Translating developmental science into practice, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Antony, M. M., and Swinson, R. P.2008, The shyness & social anxiety workbook: Proven, step-

by-step techniques for overcoming your fear, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.

Antony, M. M., Craske, M. G., and Barlow, D. H. 1995, Mastery of your specific phobia,

The Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, TX.

Barlow, D. H., and Craske, M. G. 2000, Mastery of your anxiety and panic, 3rd ed. The

Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, TX.

Beidel, D. C., & Turner, S. M. 2007, Shy children, phobic adults: Nature and treatment of social

anxiety disorder, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC

Bourne, E. 2005, The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th ed., New Harbinger Publications,

Oakland, CA.

Craske, M. G., Barlow, D. H., and O’Leary, T. A. 1992, Mastery of your anxiety and worry, The

Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, TX.