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Anxiety and fear are a natural reaction to threatening danger and, like
pain, have an important function for our survival. In case of anxiety, defense
reactions are activated and the body’s preparedness is raised. The alarm
response is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which cannot normally
be controlled with the will. You may feel anxious and worried, have a
palpitation, sweat, feel bad and have difficulties breathing. Even though
anxiety is harmless, it may feel scary. Anxiety can sometimes grow so much that
instead of protecting us, we limit – and even paralyze ourselves – in our daily
lives. Causes of this type of anxiety can be an innate to vulnerability,
experiences during childhood or association-learning. For example, we could connect
an unpleasant experience, such as a panic attack, to a panic attack that occurred
on an aircraft for the first time. Included in the anxiety syndrome is: panic
syndrome, agoraphobia, social anxiety or social phobia, specific phobias and
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Nowadays, separation anxiety and selective
mutism (involuntary numbness) are included in the anxiety disorder, while
post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive syndrome (OCD)
are described under their own categories in the global psychiatric
classification system DSM-5. Severe stress situations in everyday life can lead
to anxiety, such as divorce or a life-threatening illness. Another thing that
can cause anxiety is to abuse alcohol or other drugs. But one can also get
anxiety without there being any real cause.

 

Depression is a common disease characterized by lowered mood, anxiety, psychomotor inhibition, sleep discomfort and decreased appetite. Life can feel meaningless and the “spark” of life is absent. Depression can come without any clear cause or be triggered by external events, such as major life changes, family problems or sadness. Difficult experiences earlier in life can make you more easily affected by depression in adulthood. Several different factors contribute to depression, such as biological vulnerability, heredity and stress. A depression can also be an early sign of another disease such as dementia, brain tumor, shortage of thyroid hormone or other hormones and anemia.

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