Anxiety – causes, treatment


Anxiety or a feeling of anxiety can be forms of anxiety. The state of anxiety can therefore be described as follows: A deep-seated feeling of faint cramping within the abdomen and around the lungs and heart. It weakens the limbs, the feeling of imminent fainting arises and can lead to shortness of breath and even fear of death. Accompanied by nausea, sweating, tremors and tachycardia, anxiety is part of a state of anxiety. Often the person concerned can no longer think clearly and panics.

What is anxiety?

The state of anxiety can therefore be described as follows: A deep-seated feeling of faint cramping within the abdomen and around the lungs and heart.

First of all, anxiety expresses fear in the form of oppressive and constricting feelings. Anxiety can manifest itself in the form of cramps in the abdomen, heart, or chest.

Weakness in the limbs or feelings of fainting , shortness of breath , or fear of death may also be experienced.

Anxiety can manifest itself in sweating or tachycardia , nausea or tremors . Those who experience the feeling of anxiety often cannot think clearly and panic or experience symptoms of suffocation .


Anxiety can be caused by many influences, most of which are of a psychological nature. Anxiety usually arises from fears that can no longer be controlled. Originally, fear is a protective mechanism of the body against lurking danger.

An increased output of adrenaline puts the body in a position to immediately react to danger and, if necessary, to flee. Today, fears and the associated preliminary stage of anxiety often arise at the beginning of thought processes, inner values ​​or external distress. The cause can be, for example, the fear of narrow spaces ( fear of claustrophobia (claustrophobia) ) or fear of flying .

Often, however, the anxieties are due to the combination of several fears, everyday worries and fears that are compressed and balled up in a large volume ball. The ensuing panic attacks within an oppression lead to the inevitable fear phobia, a disease that is curable once recognized. However, anxiety can also occur as part of heart diseases such as angina pectoris and then requires urgent medical help.

There are other various physical and psychological causes that can trigger anxiety. Therapy can help in the case of psychological backgrounds for anxiety, and medical help is necessary for symptoms of anxiety due to organic causes.

Possible diseases that could be behind the symptom of anxiety include angina pectoris, coronary heart disease , anxiety disorders , pulmonary embolism , heart attack , heart failure or arteriosclerosis . However, there are countless backgrounds that make a diagnosis quite difficult.

Anxiety and diffuse states of anxiety are increasing more and more, more and more people are suffering from stress , everyday worries and fears. In our society there are many influences of a psychological nature, mental structures and our own values ​​or external influences that give rise to uncontrolled fears. Claustrophobia, fear of heights or flying and panic attacks are among them. The range of causes behind the symptom of anxiety is not clear. The processes that reveal the symptom of anxiety are insidious processes that are not immediately noticed.

anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are generally classified as psychosomatic illnesses. Anxiety is a common side effect. The causes are not fully understood. Various factors and influences interact or combine to trigger anxiety disorders and anxiety.

Various symptoms often arise, which, even with a thorough examination, do not immediately indicate anxiety disorders. Since people who suffer from anxiety disorders often no longer know how to deal with the phenomenon of fear, recognizing it is not easy. Especially not when the fears show up as physical symptoms.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

Anxiety usually sets in emotionally on the chest , but is usually caused by psychological stress. In this respect, the doctor should also ask questions about stressful situations or conflicts in addition to the examination.

In order to rule out physical causes, the heart and lungs are examined. Tension can worsen the symptoms, because a tense, anxious person literally doubles over and causes additional muscle tension.

In addition to massages , physiotherapy , a light sports program and relaxation techniques of all kinds, a psychotherapist can also be consulted, depending on the severity of the anxiety . It clarifies the root cause, because all other measures work on the symptoms, but rarely eliminate the cause of the anxiety.


Anxiety occurs as a result of anxiety disorders , phobias , and emotional distress and can lead to numerous health complications. Anxiety primarily leads to symptoms such as tremors , nausea and sweating through to heart palpitations and shortness of breath . Other symptoms include muscle tension , chest pain and typical diseases of the gastrointestinal tract .

Permanent anxiety, often triggered by stress and fears in everyday life, leads to mental illnesses such as depression and burn-out if left untreated , and also to more extensive phobias. In extreme cases, the anxiety grows into a fear of death over time. There is a feeling of suffocation, severe anxiety and other complications. Since the mental and physical well-being decreases sharply in the case of feelings of anxiety, a large number of secondary symptoms and illnesses can occur over time. Physical consequences of persistent anxiety are heart attack , circulatory collapse , pleurisy , and pulmonary embolismand other cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

The same applies to coronary heart disease and inflammation in the area of ​​the pleura . The limbs are also heavily strained by feelings of oppression; there are attacks of weakness up to fainting . In the further course of the symptoms, further slight complaints up to a psychosis can occur. Early therapy, which depending on the cause can vary from simple diet to drug treatment, is therefore essential if you are feeling anxious.

When should you go to the doctor?

Anxiety has many faces. Common to all states of anxiety is a feeling of fear. This feeling of anxiety ranges from diffuse to panicky. It starts with a sinking feeling in the stomach, which spreads further in the body as the anxiety increases. The anxiety also affects heart and lung function. Extreme anxiety becomes fear of death. Even before this peak of anxiety, fear can lead to fainting.

Anxiety is always a symptom that has various physical or psychological causes. The primary physical illnesses to be mentioned here are angina pectoris and other heart diseases. However, psychological causes of anxiety are more common than physical illnesses. In addition to claustrophobia, fear of heights or fear of flying as situation-related triggers of anxiety, it is primarily psychosomatic and mental illnesses that express themselves through feelings of anxiety. Anxiety caused by everyday problems and stress can develop into anxiety disorders that require treatment.

Diagnosis is often difficult. In addition to the general practitioner , cardiologists , pulmonologists , neurologists , psychologists , psychotherapists and psychiatrists can also be used for diagnosis and therapy. Once the trigger for the anxiety has been found, there are good chances of resolving the condition, especially in the case of psychological causes.

Treatment & Therapy

Anxiety can be relieved through calm breathing and body movement, as well as spartan distraction. Autogenic training can also be very helpful and preventive. As a rule, this oppressive state subsides after a short time. However, if in doubt, a doctor should always be consulted.

If anxiety is one of the symptoms and various other symptoms have already become known, it is obvious that medical treatment should be supplemented with psychotherapeutic treatment. Because only profound work inside the psyche helps against anxiety disorders and anxiety. Healing only occurs when you become aware of the symptoms. There are various therapeutic approaches that can offer valuable help with the anxiety caused by underlying anxiety disorders. What is certain is that it will be a longer therapeutic process. In the case of anxiety, cognitive therapy is often used as psychotherapy.

Drugs are also used to treat anxiety disorders, aiming for immediate success in acute cases. Drug therapies use antidepressants and benzodiazepines , but these carry the risk of becoming addictive over the long term.

It is often not easy to recognize the diseases whose partial symptoms are anxiety, because the affected person apparently sees no reason for such anxiety. With psychological treatment, however, anxiety can be treated well so that the person concerned can counteract it before the anxiety breaks out. If all medical causes such as angina pectoris are ruled out, the disease is based on a mostly psychosomatic source.

Outlook & Forecast

The prospects of anxiety are usually related to the severity of the symptom. In most cases, the patients experience a feeling of tightness and fear and are therefore no longer able to go about their everyday lives. The anxiety reduces the quality of life considerably. Depression and other mental health problems are common. These must be treated by

Although anxiety is a psychological problem, it is not uncommon for physical symptoms to occur as well. These include shortness of breath, spasms in the chest area or tachycardia. The anxiety often also leads to fainting or fear of death and can thus also initiate a heart attack in some cases.

If left untreated, anxiety can lead to severe circulatory problems and heart problems. Stress only intensifies the anxiety. Treatment usually takes place through discussions with a psychologist and through relaxation techniques. In most cases, however, it takes several months before the anxiety can be completely contained.


Autogenic training and other relaxation methods help with anxiety disorders and anxiety . Herbs such as valerian , St. John’s wort or lemon balm , acupuncture , homeopathy , Bach flowers or Schuessler salts have a supporting effect . Just like preventing anxiety from the above conditions, lifestyle is an important factor. This includes a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fat and regular exercise. Both measures also help to reduce excess weight and generally feel better. Consistency in lifestyle counteracts anxiety.

You can do that yourself

In many cases, anxiety can be relieved simply by physical exercise and calm breathing. Exercise in the fresh air reduces the feeling of tightness and distracts from the discomfort. A warm bath with lavender oil and similar herbal remedies can help to release blockages and relax the body and mind. A massage often relieves feelings of anxiety. Home remedies that are just as effective include milk, valerian , hops , or catnip .

Those affected should also keep a diary to find out what triggers the anxiety and what measures actually reduce the feeling of tightness. A change in the environment is often enough to release psychological blockages and reduce anxiety in the long term. In principle, the cause of the anxiety must first be determined before effective self-help is possible, which is why a therapist must always be consulted for the initial clarification.

Autogenic training can reduce feelings of anxiety in the long term and thus increase general well-being. Prolonged symptoms should be discussed with the family doctor or a psychiatrist , depending on the suspected cause and the severity of the anxiety.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.