What Are Some Results of Untreated Anxiety?
For people that experience anxiety and panic attacks on a regular basis, it’s not uncommon for these issues to go untreated for various reasons. Panic attack and anxiety sufferers may be so embarrassed, paranoid, and fearful that others may think they are “crazy” that they just do everything in their power to avoid situations that cause them to become anxious. Over time, many of these people start to lose hope that they will ever stop feeling anxious, and they may lock themselves away from the life and others that they once enjoyed, a mental disorder that’s referred to as agoraphobia. When this happens, there can be some serious long-term consequences that the anxiety sufferer will end up with.
Many of the results of untreated anxiety and panic attacks cannot only be devastating psychologically; they can be life threatening as well. A person who continually experiences the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as heart palpitations, stomach and digestive ailments or insomnia, can become physically ill as a result. The anxiety sufferer may become homebound out of fear of having a panic attack in front of peers at a job or in public. The person may decide to avoid the things that cause anxiety, such as driving or performing routine life activities like grocery shopping or spending time with friends and family. Worse yet, the anxiety sufferer may stop getting regular medical care for existing health issues they may have out of fear of being labeled as unstable.
In addition, anxiety can cause other health problems to become worrisome or increase in occurrence. In fact, the health problems may be at the root of their worrisome tendency – it’s a vicious cycle that has no end. For example, a person who is anxious about their stomach pains may go on to develop ulcers, which are life threatening. The more they worry about dying from their stomach pain, the worse their physical condition becomes. Or the person may become so depressed from not wanting to leave the house may be so worried that they develop social phobias and then even suicidal tendencies.
Anxiety left untreated over time can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to premature heart failure. Anxiety can cause hormonal imbalances in both men and women, which is detrimental to health and well-being. This hormonal imbalance can contribute to thyroid function issues, diabetes, immune deficiencies, and other illnesses that can cause serious consequences. More often than not, people become anxious due to a seemingly small issue, but because they worry so much and can’t control the anxiety, the build-up of endorphins causes their body to work overtime. This causes strain on the body as a whole.
Left untreated, anxiety is also a leading cause of obesity. People often eat out of emotional needs and stress. Being tense as a result of having anxiety is one reason that people may overeat and don’t get enough exercise. Then the heavier that a person gets, the harder it is to leave the house to exercise, and the worse the anxiety symptoms become. The irony is that exercise has been shown to improve the symptoms of anxiety, and so it’s actually beneficial for a person who has anxiety to exercise on a regular basis. Yet, without proper care from a health care professional, many fail to realize they need this regular exercise in order to combat their anxiety.
There are ways that the effects of anxiety can be reduced and in many cases eliminated. Living a healthy lifestyle that includes regular medical care, whole foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients, supplementing with natural products, and a good balance of exercise and rest is the best treatment for anyone experiencing anxiety.