Anxiety is draining and common mental health condition and anxiety disorders have been the most common mental disorders (Shiban et al., 2015). About a third of the global population has encountered an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives which is an indication of how prevalent the condition is today (Zoogman et al., 2019). Some of the hallmarks of anxiety include tension, difficulties when sleeping, worrying a lot and not relaxing. There are issues that have led to the prevalence of anxiety among people and effects they have caused on the victims.
Causes of Anxiety
One of the causes of anxiety among people is an attachment to partners. Park et al. (2019) indicate that attachment anxiety refers to the point to which people are concerned about their partners' availability or rejection. In case a person faces rejection or belittling, one can have poor mental health as well as low relationship quality (Wei et al., 2011). The feeling that the person acquires is attachment anxiety. It makes one have self-doubt and think that he or she is reliant on other people's support and as a result lead to self-criticism. Therefore, attachment in romantic relationships is, therefore, one of the causes of anxiety.
Disasters are causes of anxiety among people in society. People rely on emergency management organizations to identify the severity of a disaster and the best measures to respond to the issue. Jones and Silver (2019) highlight that effective communication from emergency management personnel on risk information is essential in saving lives. However, in case the officials who are supposed to disseminate the information fail to respond, it causes anxiety among people. For instance, the 2018 Hawaii false missile alert on Twitter led to anxiety among Twitter users on the day of the false alert. Anxiety was high among the Twitter users for about 7 days post alert. Therefore, unclear information and poor responses to disasters lead to anxiety in the public.
Medical procedures lead to anxiety among patients. The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) causes anxiety among patients due to a number of reasons. Almutlaq (2018) states that claustrophobia, an extreme form of anxiety, is common among 37 percent of patients. Mubarak, Baig, and Karachi (2015) support the claim as they found out that 3.87 percent of 75,000 patients could not undergo MRI examination due to claustrophobia. The head position of a patient during an MRI examination determines if a patient has claustrophobia as 986 out of 45,998 patients who were introduced to the MRI machine with their head first suffered from claustrophobia (Dewey, Schink and Dewey, 2007). The acoustic noise from MRI machines is unacceptable to patients and has led to anxiety among some people. McNulty (2009) indicates that scanner's noisy sounds 11.5 percent of patients find the sounds very loud. The medical procedures used on patients, therefore, determine the levels of anxiety a patient will have.
Effects of Anxiety
People experiencing attachment anxiety have feelings of ambivalence and distress when they are away from their partners. They have to endure distress solely and end up waiting for their partners to physically engage with them unless they have an efficient means to communicate with their partners (Goodcase et al., 2018). At some point, anxiety attachment can lead to attachment avoidance when one person feels left out and not offered enough time by the partner. People with anxiety attachment are also highly sensitive to any threats to the proximity of their partners (Li and Chan, 2012). They strive to maintain any closeness with their partners and any barrier they can face in the process sparks exaggerated negative emotions. People with anxious attachment, therefore, maintain their romantic relationships through hyperactive strategies through intensified levels of behaviors, emotions, and cognitions. The sense of insecurity among them highly contributes to this behavior.
After the event of disasters, both prepared and unprepared people have challenges to cope with the situation. Prepared people have a fight response and less trauma as they often have information prior to the occurrence. Therefore, they rarely experience shock before and after the disaster. However, unprepared people become worried about future similar events. When people experience a heart-wrenching incident, they become concerned about any actions they get involved in to avoid any similar occurrences of disasters in their life (Jones and Silver, 2019). The victims have collective trauma that can affect their social life and approach to hardships in life. They also adopt a flight response where they assume that other people will take care of them during a disaster and have emotion-focused coping (Mishra and Suar, 2012). High anxiety and low self-efficacy after the disaster also lead to hopelessness, guilt, anger, and denial among disaster victims. Poor disaster management can, therefore, affect victims by making them fear adversities.
Anxiety among MRI patients has varying effects on patients. Patients are required to be motionless in an MRI machine to enable the sonographers to concentrate and also allow the machines to have clear images. However, when the patients become anxious, they tend to make movements that disrupt the sonographers and alter the quality of the images (Almutlaq, 2018). Also, MRI scans are terminated due to patients' anxiety as patients lack the courage to continue facing the scan processes. The anxiety in some patients makes them fear enclosed areas (Eshed et al., 2007). As a result, it becomes challenging for the patients to attend MRI scans later and also hard to control the patients as they avoid any encounters that are related to the experiences at the MRI centers. Also, patients fail to benefit from the scans when they terminate the procedure due to anxiety (Norbash et al., 2016). The patients fail to attend most of the scan appointments hence cannot receive required medical attention. Therefore, anxiety among patients taking MRI scans makes them avoid the scans thereafter.
In conclusion, anxiety affects people from all scopes of life as it affects people in relationships, patients or victims of disasters. It often leads to avoidance of the cause of anxiety as the victims strive to evade issues that make them anxious. It is important for family, friends, and colleagues to always note issues that cause anxiety among people around them and ensure they handle them proactively to avoid anxiety issues among the victims.
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