What Is Anxiety?

Fighting anxiety. Many people have a little devil hiding under a pillow. Once they get comfortable and close their eyes, he begins his devilish work. The thoughts of these unfortunates, as soon as they went to bed, inevitably rush to the problem of the previous nights. So they fall into a circle enchanted by hellish forces, which for a month now has not allowed them to sleep properly.

On the sofa in the living room or in a hotel room, such people, as a rule, instantly fall asleep in a deep sleep. But there, where it would seem to be the most convenient for them, it is almost impossible to fall asleep. Own bed, the most familiar and familiar place of rest, turns into a torture bench. Every evening, at the same time, these people remember painfully long minutes before a salutary dive into sleep and how these moments took shape in intolerable hours. A terrible awakening in the middle of the night takes place before their inner gaze, when every fifteen minutes you look at the clock on the night table and you see in horror how the morning is approaching – but there is still no sleep. They know from experience that the next day does not bring anything good.

It will be the same as the previous one, will go its slow, blurring, stumbling and joyless move. A man who has not closed his eyes all night long is waiting for the next morning only endless stress. The enchanted circle is gaining momentum. Thoughts are becoming more disturbing and randomly rushing around in my head. Panic is growing. There is a whirlpool, in whose funnel all the joy of life disappears. In its place a terrible, bloated many times ghost of trouble rises from the depths: problems with the boss, unsuccessful exam, heart attack with the father, quarrel with neighbors. Heart pounding, pressure increases, the blood is overwhelmed with stress hormones.

There is nothing to think about a dream. And at the same time, members are shackled by lead disgusting fatigue, which makes it even worse because it reminds us of the main problem. “We need to sleep now,” she whispers. “If you don’t fall asleep now, the rest of the night is gone and the next day too!” Yes, do something! ”Those who are familiar with these problems, most likely, suffer from acquired insomnia. In this case, people sleep badly because they are afraid not to fall asleep. The problem arose in a period of temporary stress, which has long passed and forgotten. Then a person slept badly for several days or weeks – and fell into a vicious circle of insomnia. Here it is important to act quickly, until insomnia has not turned into a chronic form. Then she will not pass, even if the fear of her disappears.

This will mean that the physiological sleep management system has forgotten how to quickly fall asleep and sleep without a break for a long time. Fortunately, real insomnia is rare: according to specialists, in Germany only one in 25 needs medical assistance on this matter. In three quarters of them, the disease has passed into the chronic stage and lasts more than a year.

Not always the cause is the vicious circle described above. “Insomnia is not a disease, but a symptom,” says the pioneer of somnology Dement. A variety of mental illnesses, night work, illness, careless handling of natural biorhythms, or congenital hyperfunction of excitation centers in the brain can all eventually lead to persistent insomnia.

The link between insomnia and painful melancholia is very important, American neurologists Mark Machowald and Carlos Schenk write: “Depression can cause insomnia, and insomnia can cause depression.” It is not surprising that sleep disorders are one of the most frequent accompanying depression phenomena and at the same time one of the first warning signals of its approach. Somnologists and psychiatrists do not yet know what caused the close connection between these two diseases. Since the 1960s, it has been known that in six out of ten patients, depression can be healed instantly in one sleepless night. True, the symptoms disappear only briefly. Often they come back the next night.

But why does sleep deprivation work at all?

Apparently, depression is often associated with dysregulation of sleep. According to one theory, downed, poorly synchronized rhythms of sleep and wakefulness, on the other – too slowly an increasing homeostatic need for sleep gives rise to chronic sleep deprivation and poor quality of sleep, which ultimately leads to depression. Sleep deprivation helps in both cases: it synchronizes rhythms and increases the need for sleep.

Experts also attribute the syndrome of emotional exhaustion to sleep disorders. Unlike depression, the reason, as a rule, is obvious: these people have been working too hard for a long time or have somehow overstrained their strength. As a result, they have been sleeping poorly for weeks and months. One day, chronic sleep deprivation makes itself felt by the decline of strength and energy.