Before we have that little chit-chat about anxiety, it’s important for us to clear the air.
Anxiety is normal.
How do you think our body and mind will respond when there is a stressful situation? For example, how the body and mind will respond when you need only five points to emerge as the winner of the Australian Open.
Of course, the body will alert you of the potential danger of losing.
In addition, taking a medical examination, going for a job interview, or writing a school test or are anxiety-inducing situations.
So yes, we ALL feel anxious now and then. Also, it feels different for everybody
To clarify, anxiety can be some form of a motivator. Nonetheless, it can stop being a motivator when it brings physical symptoms, even when there are no immediate or dangerous threats present.
Anxiety usually has a trigger. For instance, triggers could be an event or thought that provokes an anxious response or a built-up life situation. Moreover, most people aren’t aware of their triggers and believe they become anxious for no reason.
It is important to note, worrying or getting nervous in situations doesn’t mean you have an anxiety disorder.
- Fast breathing
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Sweating or hot flashes
- Extreme tiredness
- Nauseating or feeling sick
- Needing to use the toilet often
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Headaches, backaches, or any other aches
- Tightness in the chest region
- Dry mouth
- Trembling or muscle twitching
- Digestive or gastrointestinal challenges
- Sleep problems such as Insomnia
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of danger approaching or fearing the worst
- Difficulties thinking or concentrating
- Obsessions about certain ideas or things
- Difficulties controlling worry
- Feelings that bad things will happen to you if you stop worrying
- Finding it difficult to relax
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
What is Anxiety Disorder
As explained earlier, anxiety is normal.
However, a person may have an anxiety disorder when the symptoms become extreme and go on over a period of 6 months. Mental health professionals can provide a diagnosis. Anxiety is associated with depression. For instance, when the anxious feelings seems not to be going away, it could initiate some depression-like symptoms.
Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that refers to a category of psychiatric conditions characterized by extreme fear or worry. That is to say, this correlates with feelings of worry, fear that is strong enough to destabilize one’s daily routine.
Medical Conditions Linked With Anxiety
- Heart disease.
- Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism.
- Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
- Drug misuse or withdrawal.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders take various forms, but the main types are:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
As the name suggests, this involves anxiety that is nonspecific. Characteristics are persistent and excessive worry about everything. This includes life events, objects, situations, and even thoughts. In other words, the worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance.
2. Specific Phobias:
These are characterized by strong, irrational fear reactions in the presence or anticipation of a specific object, place, or situation. For example, fear of heights (Acrophobia), enclosed spaces (Claustrophobia), darkness (Nyctophobia), and others.
Technically, this is defined by intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult. This is an often confusing psychological challenge. It doesn’t just mean fear of open spaces or outdoors.
4. Panic Disorder:
Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even when waking up from sleep. Certainly, they can occur with or without triggers. People who experience spontaneous, seemingly out-of-the-blue panics attacks, are very preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. That is to say, symptoms may include palpitations, chest pains, feelings of approaching danger, shortness of breath, among others.
5. Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder:
This is induced by certain medications, substances, or withdrawals from certain types of drug. Learn more about addictions and how to manage them.
6. Social Anxiety Disorder:
This is also called Social Phobia. This is a condition characterized by intense anxiety related to a fear of being judged, negatively evaluated or rejected in a social or performance situation.
7. Separation Anxiety:
This appears in childhood and characterizes excessive anxiety when a child is separated from a secure parent, situation or environment. This is a normal part of child development and most children outgrow it around 18 months. Nonetheless, this may still be prevalent in some children after this age range.
8. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
This is a condition that happens after an individual is exposed to a traumatic experience. Traumatic experiences include war, accident, natural disasters, sexual abuse, and more. Symptoms may include flashbacks, disturbing dreams, avoiding thoughts or situations that remind the person of the event, excessive jumpy or irritable, among others. Learn more about PTSD here
9. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
OCD involves continuous unwanted intrusive thoughts that cause a person anxiety (obsessive thoughts). Consequently, these intrusive thoughts are usually relieved by performing certain behaviours (compulsive behaviours)
Living with anxiety can be frustrating. It is the reason for multiple hospital emergencies. It may be difficult to differentiate anxiety from an actual medical crisis.
There are treatments available. Therefore, with proper medications and/or therapy, you can learn to manage symptoms effectively
There are also self-help tips that can be applied to manage.
People have different ways of coping; you need to find what works for you.
Until I come your way next time, remember better day tomorrow.