ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Anxiety Causes and Treatment

Updated on July 14, 2010

Anxiety is a state of emotional and physical disturbance induced in a person by a real or imagined threat. In psychiatry the term refers to disturbances caused by threats that are only apparent to the patient and cause him to behave in a way that is not relevant to the true situation. Many psychiatric schools define anxiety more narrowly, based on the theories of its cause.

Anxiety may arise in a specific situation that the person seeks to avoid. Such a state is called a phobia. More often, however, the person experiences a persistent feeling of dread and is said to suffer from free-floating anxiety. A phobia is often an exaggerated form of free-floating anxiety.

Causes of Anxiety

Sigmund Freud developed the theory that anxiety arises when the memory of certain childhood experiences or emotions is so intolerable that it is repressed, or forced from the person's consciousness. The memory is kept in his unconscious by defense reactions (attitudes that are developed to continue repressing the anxiety) provoking thought. According to Freud, the unconscious memory, along with the resulting defense reactions, forms a complex, which can only be unraveled by psychoanalysis.

In contrast to Freud's theory, the behaviorists theory states that anxiety is a learned reaction that develops when the emotion evoked by a frightening event is generalized, or attached to surrounding circumstances. Sometimes generalization includes even remotely related circumstances. For example, a child bitten by a dog in a flower bed may thereafter be afraid of any flower bed.

Symptoms of Anxiety

One of the commonest emotional symptoms of anxiety is a feeling of constriction. The person may also feel far away from reality or other people, and he may become depressed, agitated, or unable to concentrate. Physiological symptoms include palpitations, pounding in the head, profuse sweating, and tightness of the chest. In addition, anxiety is almost always accompanied by increased muscle tension, which may cause headache, tiredness, overbreathing (hyperventilation), and various aches and pains.

Treatment of Anxiety

Anxiety may be cured spontaneously or by a change in the person's life circumstances. (It may be temporarily allayed by the excessive consumption of food, cigarettes, or alcohol.) Psychiatrists treat anxiety by physical or chemical means, such as tranquilizers or muscular relaxation, or through one of the many forms of psychotherapy.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • days leaper profile image

      days leaper 

      8 years ago from england

      Another symptom: hypertension with increased muscle tensions AKA. high b/p. Nicely written.

      I have an appointment soon with a doctor who no doubt will want to use the same proceedure as the one that nearly killed me last time!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)