Heart anxiety

Feeling of anxiety and restlessness for no reason

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Anxiety is a negatively colored mood with feelings of anxiety, tension and fear. In moderate amounts, such emotions are useful: they help to mobilize strength and find a way out of extreme situations. But there must be a reason for anxiety, and it normally lasts a limited period.

If a person constantly experiences anxiety and restlessness for no reason, it may indicate the presence of a mental disorder. If there is no help, constant tension wears down the nervous system and the body as a whole, which leads to a breakdown of adaptation mechanisms and the development of chronic diseases.

If you notice that you cannot relax for a long time, you should think about visiting a specialist.

In pathological cases, the state of anxiety and restlessness for no reason is manifested by both mental and physical signs.

  • Constant feelings of fear and anxiety for no reason,
  • poor concentration and attention span,
  • sleep disturbances,
  • emotional lability, irritability, tearfulness,
  • Inability to relax and fully engage in daily activities or communication,
  • the need for reassurance from others that everything is all right. Words of support do not bring relief.
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat,
  • headaches, abdominal and heart pain,
  • increased sweating,
  • eating disorders: increased appetite or loss of appetite,
  • weakness,
  • shivering, chills,
  • stool abnormalities: rapid urge, constipation,
  • shortness of breath,
  • nausea,
  • muscle cramps and pains.

Unreasonable anxiety and restlessness occasionally increase or subside. Exacerbations often accompany stress: conflicts, important events, illness. Normally, a person recovers quickly after the situation is resolved, but in the case of a disorder, the negative emotions do not go away.

The intensity of anxiety varies from mild to severe. The extreme degree is panic. If the anxiety state is ignored for a long time without cause, panic attacks can join it. They occur unexpectedly and sometimes for no good reason, but after this episode, the person begins to avoid situations similar to the one in which it happened: public transportation, elevators, or just a crowd of people. This greatly reduces the quality of life and can lead to social withdrawal.

Causes of Unreasonable Anxiety and Disturbance

Heredity influences the emergence of anxiety disorder. Certain brain structures and biological processes have been found to play an important role in the emergence of fear and anxiety. Personality traits, somatic health problems, lifestyle and different types of addictions are also important. Sometimes unreasonable anxiety and worry have no cause. Negative feelings usually have a trigger – an event or thought that triggers an anxious response. However, most people are not aware of their triggers, and believe that their emotions are groundless. In this case, only a specialist can help understand why anxiety arises for no reason.

There are a number of diseases, the symptoms of which are constant anxiety. With unreasonable fear and anxiety, the reasons may be the following:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: constant nervousness and anxiety over little things that are usually visible to others and last for 6 months or more. Starts in adolescence and increases with age.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: obsessive thoughts and fears that are accompanied by compulsive actions that bring no relief. There is an obsessive-compulsive neurosis – the person is indefatigably haunted by memories that replicate the traumatic situation.
  • Phobias: irrational fear of any, even mundane things. Accompanied by uncontrollable panic and physical manifestations.
  • Panic attack: excruciating and sudden panic attack, which is accompanied by fear of death and vivid somatic symptoms. The regular occurrence of panic attacks means the development of a panic disorder.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: occurs after a severe psychotraumatic situation and is accompanied by high levels of anxiety, avoidance and flashbacks.

These are the most common examples, but pathological anxiety can be a symptom of other disorders or a consequence of a failed struggle with stress. If you want to understand why anxiety arises for no reason, you should see a doctor. Without finding out the underlying factor and working on it, it is impossible to restore health and mental balance.

What to do with unreasonable anxiety and worry

It is difficult to live in constant stress. If you are experiencing unreasonable anxiety and fear what to do you will prompt the following list:

  1. Talk to someone you trust. This could be a relative, a close friend, a therapist or a member of the helpline. Humans are social creatures, so communication is good for relieving inner tension.
  2. Find a way to calm down quickly. You don’t always have someone close by with whom you can share. Therefore, it is important to find a suitable method to help you relax: breathing techniques, soothing music, aromatherapy, self-massage and more. If you can not find your own technique that quickly helps with anxiety without a reason what to do you will prompt a specialist.
  3. Add physical activity to your life. This is a natural and effective remedy for anxiety. Moderate sport relieves stress, lowers stress hormones and strengthens the nervous system. Take at least 30 minutes a day to exercise.
  4. Normalize your lifestyle. Get enough sleep, eat a nutritious diet, and give up unhealthy habits. This stabilizes physical performance and neurotransmitter levels, which helps maintain emotional balance.
  5. Start keeping a journal. Notes help you identify patterns of anxiety exacerbations, understand the causes, and notice the early signs of their occurrence. Also, thanks to this, you will become more focused on positive events that you might not have noticed before.

With anxiety for no reason what to do everyone who regularly encounters it wants to know. There is no universal method, but the 5 steps that are listed above are recommended for every person with increased anxiety. These may be enough to alleviate the symptoms. But if the self-help techniques do not give the desired effect, then when regularly occurring feelings of anxiety without reason, what to do should be found out from a specialist.

Treatment of gratuitous feelings of anxiety and restlessness

Regardless of the cause of pathological anxiety, professional help is the only complete method of eliminating the problem. If you have constant agitation and anxiety without reason how to get rid of this condition quickly and effectively you will learn from a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

Due to the variety of anxiety disorders, their therapy must be adapted to the individual clinical picture and diagnosis. Therefore, from the anxiety condition without cause how to get rid of you can tell only a highly qualified specialist who has experience working with different types of anxiety conditions. For example, the therapy algorithm for a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) differs from help with panic attacks.

For conditions of anxiety and restlessness without cause, treatment includes the following approaches:

    Psychotherapy . The most promising area that doesn’t just eliminate the symptom, but identifies the cause and combats it. Therapy teaches how to get rid of acute anxiety attacks, to relax, and to look at life situations differently when feeling anxious for no reason. The therapist will help uncover the root causes of your fears and work through them. The patient is given the tools to overcome anxiety and uses them successfully. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is usually used: during treatment, the patient faces the object of anxiety and gradually gains confidence that he or she can manage the situation.

Medication therapy . Depending on the type of anxiety condition and the presence of concomitant mental or physical health problems, antidepressants, sedatives, sleeping pills and other medications may be prescribed. When feeling anxiety without a cause, treatment with medication will alleviate the symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life while he or she works psychotherapeutically on the underlying cause. Uncontrolled taking of medications leads to dangerous side effects and withdrawal syndrome, so they can be used only according to the individual course prescribed by the doctor.

It is recommended to use a combination of psychotherapeutic and medical treatment, but sometimes only the former is enough.

You should not put off going to the doctor if you feel that anxiety is interfering with your life. Over time, symptoms worsen and other severe mental illnesses join: depression, neurotic disorders and others. If the normalization of lifestyle does not help, then you will understand how to get rid of gratuitous anxiety only a psychotherapist. With timely referral to a competent specialist, just a few sessions of psychotherapy may be enough for recovery.

Thanks to modern psychotherapeutic approaches, hundreds of people make great strides every day in the fight against anxiety disorders. There is no need to endure the excruciating burden of fear and anxiety, because timely help allows for excellent results: the patient will fully recover and return to a full life, and improvement will be felt after the first session.

Cardioneurosis (vegetative vascular dystonia, neurocirculatory dystonia)

Cardioneurosis – this is a psychosomatic disease that arose on the background of the failure of the vegetative nervous system under the influence of external factors. It is manifested by abnormalities of the cardiovascular system in the absence of organic changes. Patients complain about cardiac pain, palpitations, irritability, sleep disorders. Cardioneurosis is diagnosed on the basis of the clinical picture after instrumental and laboratory investigations, which exclude other pathologies. Treatment includes a complex of measures aimed at correcting the psychological state and eliminating provoking factors. Medication therapy is prescribed when indicated.

ICD-10

General information

Cardioneurosis is a chronic illness, accompanied by disorders of the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems, a decrease in the body’s resistance to physical exertion and stressful situations. In medical practice the condition occurs in 30-40% of patients with symptoms characteristic of cardiac disorders, in 70% of patients admitted to emergency departments with suspected myocardial infarction and other life-threatening conditions with a similar clinical picture. Despite the significant prevalence of the disease, accurate statistics regarding the incidence are lacking because patients are often mistakenly treated for other neurological or cardiac pathologies. Patients under the age of 40, predominantly female, suffer more often.

Causes of cardoneurosis

The pathology refers to polyetiological diseases, so the determination of the leading cause causes sufficient complexity. Two groups of factors are distinguished: predisposing and directly causing the condition. A favorable background for the development of the disease in young people is the lability of the nervous system, hypersensitivity, a tendency to hysterical or depressive reactions, while the elderly have CNS diseases which provoke instability of psycho-emotional reactions. The role of hereditary predisposition, functional and morphological features of the organism: insufficiency of functions of some parts of the brain, individual differences in metabolism are not excluded. If there is a background, the cause of the disease may be:

  • Psychogenic factors. Conditions or events with a pronounced negative emotional coloring contribute to the development of the pathology. These include some mental disorders of the neurotic level (neurosis, phobias), experienced severe shocks (natural disasters, catastrophes, loss of loved ones), acute and chronic stresses, unfavorable socio-economic conditions of life.
  • Unstable hormonal background. Women are more often affected because of an imbalance of sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone. The probability of symptoms increases during puberty, menopause, pregnancy and childbirth, the use of hormonal drugs (mainly oral contraceptives), the formation of hormone-producing tumors. In men, cardioneurosis may be diagnosed during puberty, in the presence of endocrine disorders.
  • Physical, chemical influences. The disease develops as a result of chronic fatigue, including people of intellectual work against the background of hypodynamia. Constant exposure to vibration, noise, direct sunlight, temperature fluctuations, as well as chronic intoxication by household poisons, salts of heavy metals, drugs and some groups of drugs, abuse of alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks are provoking factors.
  • Infectious processes. Focal infections of the upper respiratory tract and nervous system mainly lead to cardioneurosis: chronic tonsillitis, sinusitis, rhinosinusitis, pharyngitis, tracheitis, acute respiratory diseases, meningitis, encephalitis, neurosyphilis, neuritis of different localization. The causative agents of infections can be viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa.

Pathogenesis

Constant complex influence of exogenous and endogenous factors causes misbalance in a complicated mechanism of heart and vascular regulation. Hypothalamus plays a coordinating role, therefore, the mismatch between signals of hypothalamic zone and cerebral cortex becomes the initial link in pathology. Disturbance of regulation provokes increase in activity of sympathoadrenal and cholinergic systems, increased sensitivity of peripheral receptors. All this leads to excessive reaction of the organs to the CNS signals, metabolic disorders, which is manifested by reactions inadequate to the situation: tachycardia, tachypnea at rest, ineffective heart contractions, vascular tone disorders up to peripheral spasm, increased arterial pressure. Malfunctions of neurohumoral regulation are more often manifested against the background of physical or emotional stress.

Classification

There is no generally accepted classification of cardioneurosis. Clinical practice uses division of the course of the disease according to severity, taking into account several criteria: heart rate, presence and frequency of autonomic-vascular crises, localization and intensity of pain syndrome, dependence of symptom severity on physical exertion. There are three degrees of severity of the pathology:

  • Mild course. The patient’s ability to work and social activity are fully preserved, a slight decrease in the ability to perform heavy work is noted. Pain behind the sternum is moderate, appears after psycho-emotional or physical exertion, paroxysms are absent. Respiratory disorders practically do not affect the patient’s condition, ECG abnormalities are not detected. Drug therapy is usually not required.
  • A moderate course. Symptoms are absent or mild for most of the time, during exacerbation the ability to work is reduced up to its temporary loss. The pain syndrome is expressed, it has no clear connection with workload, vascular crises are possible. Tachycardia appears suddenly, pulse rate is more than 100 beats per minute. Drug therapy is recommended.
  • Severe course. Persistent manifold symptoms affecting several organs and systems are characteristic. Work capacity is critically reduced or absent, permanent tachycardia, rhythm disturbances, high blood pressure are revealed. Significant dyspnea, edema of lower extremities, insomnia are observed. Systematic use of medications is necessary.

Symptoms of cardioneurosis

Symptomatology is variable, varying significantly in severity. Manifestations of the disease are nonspecific, which significantly complicates diagnosis. The onset is sudden, with a large number of symptoms, the intensity of which depends on the causative factor, the general condition of the patient. After severe stress, cardioneurosis develops acutely, and against the background of infection or overexertion – gradually. Patients complain of chest pains of different nature (stabbing, burning, crushing, aching), the duration of which varies from several seconds to hours or days.

Pain is not clearly localized and can migrate to the scapula, neck, epigastrium, lower back, and perineal organs. The pain syndrome usually occurs against the background of physical exertion, fatigue, emotional distress, intake of alcohol, premenstrual period in women. Intense pain is accompanied by anxiety, fear, shortness of breath, sweating, and it is not relieved by nitroglycerin. Patients may note the increased frequency of breathing, its shallow nature, a feeling of incomplete inhalation, a feeling of a lump in the throat. There is a need for fresh air, due to which, being indoors, patients try to open windows. Against the background of respiratory disorders often there is a feeling of increased palpitations, interruptions in the work of the organ, a pulsation of blood vessels in the neck is detected.

Work capacity decreases, chronic weakness and fatigue increase. Disorders in the regulation of peripheral vascular tone manifest themselves in the form of headaches, dizziness, a feeling of coldness in the extremities. Temporary increase of blood pressure up to 160/90 mm Hg, increase of body temperature up to 37.5° С may occur. The picture of vegetative crisis consists of chills, dizziness, sweating, feeling of lack of air, fear. The condition usually develops at night, lasts from half an hour to 3 hours, ends with copious urination, liquid stools. The frequency of crises varies from one attack per month to 1-2 per year. The frequency and intensity of symptoms decrease over time.

Complications

Cardioneurosis rarely provokes serious complications. With a long course, the disease leads to disorders in the mental and social spheres – hypochondria, phobias, depressive reactions, deterioration in quality of life, limitation of activity. In the absence of adequate therapy, the pathology may adversely affect the patient’s heart and blood vessels. There are indications of the increased probability of hypertension and coronary artery disease, various types of arrhythmias, which cause morphofunctional changes in the myocardium with the violation of its excitability, conduction, automaticity and contractility. The result of these processes is a steady decline in coronary circulation, increasing the risk of heart attack.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic measures are performed by therapists and cardiologists; if a significant neurotic and functional component is found, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or neurologist are involved in the examination. The symptomatology of cardioneurosis is quite obvious, but its similarity to the signs of other cardiac pathologies requires the exclusion of organic lesions of the heart and vessels, and other somatic diseases. Comprehensive diagnosis includes:

  • Interview, examination. The data are rather scarce and nonspecific. Cardioneurosis is indicated by the appearance of the first symptoms at a young age, their duration, correlation with stimuli. Acrocyanosis, finger tremors, restless behavior, pale or reddened skin may be detected. On palpation, increased sweating and coldness of the extremities are noted. Increased pulsation of the carotid arteries, soreness of the ribs and intercostal spaces are often detected. On percussion the heart size is unchanged. Auscultation reveals rhythm disturbances, gives an idea of the frequency of contractions, additional tones and noises. When measuring blood pressure, its lability is noted, asymmetry on the right and left hand is possible.
  • Electrocardiography. ECG provides an opportunity to evaluate the frequency, the nature of the rhythm, to detect extrasystole, arrhythmia, intracardiac conduction disorders, to rule out organic damage (myocardial ischemia, myocardial muscle lesion by toxic agents). When performing ECG with cycle ergometry, changes on the tape in cardiac neurosis correlate with a decrease in performance, increase in symptomatology.
  • Echocardiography. EchoCG is used to rule out valve lesions, organic abnormalities of the heart (extra chords, cavities in the ventricles). The size of chambers, thickness of their walls are estimated, which in case of cardoneurosis usually correspond to the norm. Persons with a severe course of the disease may have a decrease in cardiac output, total cardiac fiber velocity, which indicates impaired myocardial contractile function.
  • Laboratory investigations. Clinical and biochemical blood tests do not reveal elevated levels of leukocytes, sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, acute phase factors, which allows to exclude rheumatoid fever and other immunopathologies. The levels of ALT, AST, myoglobin, troponins as markers of myocardial damage are important. A change in physiological electrolyte ratio is necessary for differential diagnosis of arrhythmia.

The diagnosis is made in the presence of certain criteria: duration of symptom persistence, association with a characteristic provoking factor, severity of the psychoemotional component, absence of somatic pathologies. Differential diagnosis of cardioneurosis is carried out with diseases, which give a similar clinical picture with a leading symptom in the form of pain behind the chest: coronary disease, myocarditis, myocardial infarction, stratifying aortic aneurysm, pleurisy. Differentiation is made with pathologies with frequent irradiation of pain in the chest: hepatic colic, acute pancreatitis, peptic ulcer. Particular attention is paid to the exclusion of rheumatic lesions of the heart and valve system.

Treatment of cardoneurosis

Because of the variable intensity of the symptoms and their great variability, the correct prescription of therapeutic measures is not an easy task. Outpatient treatment is possible in case of mild and moderate severity, hospitalization is indicated in case of severe cardoneurosis. Preference is given to etiological or pathogenetic therapy in combination with symptomatic means and general supportive measures. Taking into account the peculiarities of cardoneurosis, a number of directions are distinguished in its treatment:

  • Psychotherapy. Regardless of other provoking factors, the pathology requires psychotherapeutic correction of the condition. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and relaxation methods are used. The complex of measures is aimed at reducing feelings of fear, despair and helplessness, and convincing the patient that his/her fears are unfounded. The patient is given an explanation of the nature of his symptoms, the benign nature of the illness, and is helped to form a position of active participation in the treatment process.
  • Psychotropic agents. In cases when mental disorders acquire a protracted character or do not give in to non-drug correction, psychotropic medications are prescribed during hospitalization and after discharge. The use of herbal medications (valerian, motherwort) comes to the fore, but if they are ineffective, then neuroleptics, antidepressants and tranquilizers are used.
  • Drug therapy. With a diagnosed infection, antibiotics, antiviral drugs, multivitamins are mandatory for use. In endocrine disorders prescribe hormones. In the moderately severe course of the disease, therapy is supplemented by adrenoblockers, pulse-relieving drugs.
  • Physiotherapy. Physiotherapeutic techniques enhance the effect of medications, which in some cases allows the dosage to be reduced, the recovery to be accelerated, and the normalization of the central nervous system. LFC, reflexotherapy, electrophoresis, electrosleep, and hydro-massage are used. Respiratory syndrome requires additional prescription of breathing exercises.

Prognosis and prevention

The development of severe complications is not characteristic of cardioneurosis, with timely comprehensive therapy, the prognosis is favorable. Highly pronounced clinical symptomatology worsens the quality of life of patients, which requires constant monitoring and therapeutic measures. Prevention includes a healthy lifestyle, the elimination of bad habits, moderate physical activity in accordance with age and health, proper diet, timely treatment of infectious diseases. An important point is the correction of the hormonal background in women, especially during menopause. Excessive physical, mental and emotional stresses and stressful situations should be avoided where possible.

1. Neurocirculatory dystonia (cardioneurosis): an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and therapy / Medvedev V.E. // Nervous diseases. – 2010 – №3.

3. Cardiac neurosis: clinical features, the influence of psychopharmacotherapy and rhythm-reducing drugs on physical activity tolerance: Dissertation Abstract / Grigoryeva K.V. – 2011.

4. Cardioneurosis: aspects of etiopathogenesis, clinics and dynamics (review of the literature)/ Albantova K.A. // Mental disorders in general medicine. – 2011 – №3-4.

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