When anguish invades us: emotional uncertainty

When anguish invades us: emotional uncertainty

Anxiety is a paralyzing emotional state.It contains several things: anxiety, fear, the feeling of danger, the existential void and an indefinable weight that prevents us from breathing. This psychological state is very common in the news. Although it is often associated with panic disorder, it has other triggers that are worth knowing.

We may have already said"I feel anxious"This word is extremely familiar to us and others can relate to us when we pronounce it out loud. However,From a clinical point of view, this psychological experience is quite complex, even diffuse.

"Anxiety, like other psychic states that produce pain – sadness, guilt feelings – is a normative struggle for the human being."

-Mario Benedetti-

What is the exact origin of the anxiety? Are we just talking about anxiety or is it something bigger?There is always a lot of confusion and lack of consensus when it comes to defining it in the field of psychology. Philosophers, on the other hand, have always agreed on the meaning of this term. The word anxiety comes from German"angst"which defines something narrow, which produces malaise.

For Søren Kierkegaard, for example,this emotion is the acceptance that people are limited. We would therefore face something that makes us dizzy, in addition to a fear,when we think of the (limited) future possibilities that we have before us. Jean-Paul Sartre, in turn, explained that the feeling of anxiety arises when one is aware that everything that happens to us is due to our decisions.We are the real ones responsible for our happiness or our misfortune.

What is anxiety and how is it characterized?

Anxiety and anxiety share the same "guest": fear.In the case of anxiety, we find a series of traits that give shape to this sufferingso common in humans at certain times in their lives.

  • Anxiety is the fear of something indefinable.
  • The anguished mind anticipates irrational things. He thinks only of future dangers.
  • The present is a void in which the person feels immersed and paralyzed. Her gaze is fixed only on the future, on this tomorrow, which bothers her and frightens her.
  • This psychological experience is also accompanied by physical symptoms.There is a feeling of asphyxia, chest pain, palpitations …

As we can see, at first glance, it is quite difficult to differentiate between anxiety and anxiety. In fact, most of the time, the main symptom of panic disorders is the sensation of anxiety.It is therefore usual that they go hand in hand and that the anguished spirit is the trigger for a panic attack.These are very complex clinical realities that are only defined when evaluating each patient individually.

Why do we feel anguish?

Philosophers have explained to us that anguish occurs when we become aware of our existence as such. Because we are not eternal, our decisions mark us, time passes … This uncertainty is very present in the news. And it is for a very simple reason.If there is one thing that characterizes modern society, it is not knowing what will be done tomorrow.Work, the economy, relationships … Everything can change from one day to another. And this causes anxiety.

"The real man smiles at problems, gets his strength from anxiety and grows up with reflection."

-Thomas Paine-

So we have to understand one thing:to feel anguish is absolutely normal.There is nothing pathological in this fact if this anxiety is adaptive. If it allows us to think about our situation and make a decision about our future. This is what Sigmund Freud defined as a"realistic anxiety".

Non-adaptive anxiety

On the other side, we would find the non-adaptive anxiety. It is the one that we described previously and which would have the following origins:

  • Personal crises that have not been adequately managed.These are states that become chronic and can be combined with other disorders such as depression.
  • A feeling of blockage and inability to handle certain situations. Factors such as unemployment, separation, a change about to occur can determine its occurrence.
  • Problems in our social relations, conflicts, disillusions …
  • It is important to talk about the genetic factor.Very often, anguish settles in us for no apparent reason.It is known, for example, that some people are predisposed to experiencing adrenaline rush or suffering from decreases in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). All these neurochemical alterations will promote the appearance of anxiety.

To conclude, we will note that generally,anxiety attacks are properly treated through therapy.Cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and engagement therapy and different approaches like mindfulness are strategies that will provide us with excellent results. In the most serious cases, one will also opt for a pharmacological treatment.

The anatomy of fear: the physiological and psychological bases

Fear can be uncomfortable and crippling, we know it. However, eliminating it completely would be a mistake. Learn more
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