Anxiety is incredibly common in the United States. It affects nearly 20% of adults, to say nothing of all the kids and teens who are struggling with excessive worry and fear.
There are many different roads that can lead to anxiety and our team here at Complete Neurological Care wants to explore a fairly common one — health issues. The link between anxiety and your health is a two-way street, and we explain both directions below.
Anxiety as a result of a health issue
One of the leading causes of anxiety is trauma, and 70% of American adults have experienced trauma. When you think of trauma, you might think of violence, such as combat, but trauma very much includes health issues.
For example, if you’ve been through a health scare, such as a stroke, or you’ve been diagnosed with a serious and chronic illness, such as multiple sclerosis, this can be traumatic.
No matter what health issue you’re dealing with, your body is in a state of stress, which can lead to ongoing issues with anxiety as your body gets stuck in a fight-or-flight response.
Anxiety as a symptom of a health issue
While health issues can certainly lead to trauma and anxiety, anxiety can be among the symptoms of an underlying health issue.
If you’re dealing with anxiety and there has been no precipitating event, it might be signaling a health issue that isn’t yet identified.
For example, many people who have had heart attacks report a sudden increase in anxiety before the cardiac event, sometimes for hours or days beforehand.
Other health issues that count anxiety among its side effects include:
- Brain tumors
- Hormone issues, such as thyroid disease or menopause
- Infectious disease, such as Lyme disease or Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Vitamin B deficiency
These are just a few examples of illnesses that we know can create or heighten anxiety.
Aside from these illnesses, certain medications can also lead to anxiety, such as corticosteroids, asthma medications, and epilepsy drugs.
Anxiety about your health
A final way in which anxiety is closely tied to your health is if you have anxiety about your health.
Also called illness anxiety disorder or hypochondria, this is a form of anxiety in which you live in fear of serious and life-threatening diseases, and this fear isn’t assuaged after testing to the contrary.
Despite its use in our common vernacular, hypochondria is fairly rare — only affecting about 0.1% of Americans.
As you can see, there are many ways in which your health is tied to anxiety. Our goal is to look at the whole picture and make sure you get the help you need for every part of the equation.
For expert diagnosis and care of anxiety issues, we invite you to contact one of our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Margate, Florida, to schedule a consultation.