Agitation refers to a state of restlessness, irritability, and heightened physical and emotional arousal. It is often associated with anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions, but can also occur as a side effect of certain medications or medical conditions.
Symptoms of agitation can include fidgeting, pacing, shouting, and becoming easily frustrated or angered. Agitation can also be accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and trembling.
Treatment for agitation depends on the underlying cause. If agitation is due to a medical condition or medication, treating the underlying condition or adjusting the medication may help to alleviate symptoms. In cases where agitation is due to a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, therapy and/or medication may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
In the moment, calming techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and physical exercise can help to reduce feelings of agitation. Other strategies such as distraction techniques, listening to music, and engaging in relaxing activities such as yoga or reading can also be helpful.
If agitation is severe or persistent, it is important to seek medical attention. In some cases, medications such as benzodiazepines may be used to help manage symptoms of agitation, but these should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider due to their potential for side effects and risk of dependence.