Anxiety can also worsen many pre-existing medical conditions, such as ulcers, hypertension (high blood pressure), asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Anxiety may also be associated with mitral valve prolapse (condition where the mitral valve does not close properly), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sleep apnea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and chronic (long-term) tension headaches.
Depression: Anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand, in both the young and old. The combination of depression and anxiety may increase both substance abuse and suicide.
Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms of panic disorder are very common in people with bipolar disorder (manic-depression). In fact, people with bipolar disorder have 26 times the rate of panic disorder as in the general population. To complicate matters, anxiety can worsen bipolar disorder.
Suicide: Anxiety disorders may also contribute to an increased risk for suicide, developing alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse, overeating, may have very negative effects on work, school, and relationships, and decrease the individuals overall health.
Physical injury: Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may experience physical injury such as skin problems from excessive washing, injuries from repetitive physical acts, and hair loss from repeated hair pulling (trichotillomania). Studies have reported that PTSD may be associated with shrinkage in the brain associated with memory and learning, possibly due to the continued release of the stress hormone cortisol.
Physical Effects of Anxiety on Children: Anxiety may be associated with a higher risk for sleep disorders in children, such as frequent nightmares, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and bruxism (grinding and gnashing of the teeth during sleep).
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