Anxiety: Emotional Disturbances Responsible for Inflating Physical Diseases


The interrelationship between the mind and the body has amassed a significant recognition in the 21st century. To ensure a fine symmetry between the mind and the body, many medical practitioners these days have an approach that encompasses a wide range of lifestyle and behavioral interventions along with the traditional medical interventions.

Although it is considered quite normal to witness increased stress and tension due to the diagnosis of a medical problem, it is essential to note that an underlying psychological problem also has the potential to inflict physical problems. However, the proclarity of the doctors to check external symptoms while diagnosing a disease can cause confusion in terms of treatment and delay recovery.

The above revelation underscores the fact that all health complications, whether physical or emotional in nature, are interconnected and interdependent. With a person's feelings, beliefs, attitude, psychological stressors and physical health being closely entwined, many health care practitioners have embroidered a holistic approach to help patients achieve mental, physical and emotional well-being.

Due to the lack of awareness and strict demarcation of power within the medical profession that reduces the ability of a doctor in recognizing the emotional symptoms of a physical disease, the risk of delivering an incorrect prognosis looms large. For instance, doctors who treat cardiac, endocrine or intestinal complications have a higher risk of not recognizing psychological psychological reasons behind the surge of physical symptoms, such as palpitations, tiredness or light-headedness.

Some of the dangers posed by the above problem include that of misdiagnosis, administration of improper intervention and unnecessary elongation of the length of recovery. Considering the unavoidable role of anxiety, it has been closely observed that some of the medical illnesses, such as cardiac arrhythmias, respiratory conditions (eg asthma, sleep apnea or pulmonary embolism) and pancreatic cancer, tend to initially present with the symptom of anxiety. Moreover, some of the medications, such as antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cause anxiety.

Awareness lessens misdiagnosis

When a person faces the problem of chronic anxiety, it can physically manifest as nausea, dirrhea and frequent urination. In addition to these symptoms, children trying to cope with excessive anxiety experience other recurring symptoms, such as stomachaches, sleep disorders, frequent nightmares and bruxism.

In the case of adults with an anxiety disorder, above symptoms are likely to be more pronounced and other acute problems, such as muscle pain, headaches and shortness of breath, are likely to disrupt their daily life. These problems have the potential to thwart the diagnosis of the undering cause.

As mentioned earlier, anxiety may also surface as a symptom of a chronic physical condition that can mislead diagnosis. Since so widespread and hazardous in nature, anxiety disorders are highly treatable conditions. Ironically, only a third of those battling anxiety seek specialty care.

If persistent or severe anxiety comes out of nowhere and the person does not have a history of experiencing the frequent bouts of anxiety, it could suggest an underlying physical condition. The following conditions suggest that a physical disorder may be liable for triggering anxiety in a person:

  • The person's family members and relatives do not have an anxiety disorder.
  • The person did not have an anxiety disorder as a child.
  • The person started experiencing anxiety out of the blue.
  • The person never avoided certain things or situations in the past due to anxiety.

The risk of misdiagnosing or underdiagnosing some conditions can be attributed to the fact that most physicians are not exposed to enough psychiatric cases, while psychiatrists are not much familiar with the complexities of physical conditions. Therefore, both psychiatrists and doctors should be alert while diagnosing a physical or psychiatric condition.

Many a time, a patient's mood disorder, anxiety or irritability may cause due to a medical condition or vice versa. The above measures will allow for the greater chances of delivering accurate diagnosis. In addition, it would significantly increase the likelihood of administering the correct treatment model, as well as ensuring an optimum recovery exit.

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body

Experiencing acute anxiety following the diagnosis of serious illness is more common than one may believe. Even medications that address a specific medical condition may give rise to certain psychiatric symptoms. Therefore, it is always advisable to proceed screening for any kind of emotional fluctuations experienced while grappling a chronic physical ailment to improve the rate of recovery and to receive the right care.