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WHAT IS ANXIETY, AND HOW CAN YOU CONTROL IT?

It’s been a challenging year for many of us, filled with numerous unanticipated events that we could never have predicted. Thus, it should come as no surprise that our worry levels are at an all-time high.

But there’s a distinction between feeling uneasy and having an anxiety condition, and we’re here to explain what the latter entails.

the primary mental and physical symptoms of anxiety disorders, their various forms, their primary causes, and effective coping mechanisms and treatments.

What is anxiety?

Being constantly worried or showing excessive dread are examples of the mental health issue known as anxiety. Everyone occasionally worries about things, but having anxiety means that your worries significantly interfere with your daily life.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1 in 13 persons worldwide have an anxiety condition, making them the most prevalent mental health issue in the world. Therefore, if you’re going through one, know that you are most definitely not alone. Young people and women experience anxiety more frequently than males, which could be due to a variety of factors. 7.2% of children aged 5 to 19 have an anxiety disorder, despite the fact that women are twice as likely as males to receive an anxiety diagnosis.

Symptoms of anxiety

Depending on the diagnosis, anxiety symptoms might vary, although most anxiety conditions involve several or all of the symptoms listed below. The following signs and symptoms most accurately represent people with generalised anxiety disorder: (GAD).

Physical symptoms

  • feeling faint or disoriented
  • feeling overheated or perspiring
  • higher heart rate
  • fear strikes
  • issues with the digestive system
  • hyperventilation or rapid breathing
  • nausea or stomach pain
  • pains and aches all over your body
  • feel weak and exhausted.
  • insomnia
  • changes in sex drive

Mental symptoms

  • Feeling tense, anxious, or angry
  • despair and a bad mood
  • feeling like there’s danger coming or dreading the worst
  • worrying constantly about issues
  • requiring affirmation from others
  • feeling as though everyone is staring at you
  • Derealization is a type of disassociation in which a person experiences a sense of disassociation with or disconnection from reality.
  • Depersonalization is a type of disassociation in which a person experiences a sense of separation from themselves, as if they are viewing themselves from the outside.

What are the main types of anxiety?

There are numerous types of anxiety disorders.

Generalised anxiety disorder

Most of the time, people with GAD experience anxiety and worry without necessarily being in a stressful setting. They frequently anticipate the worst-case situation and struggle to restrain these unfavourable emotions.

Their everyday lives are negatively impacted by this anxiety since it produces uncontrollable worry that makes it difficult for them to concentrate on what they should be accomplishing. Additionally, it may interfere with relationships, sleep, eating, and working. Typically, worries are related to many different parts of a person’s life rather than just one specific problem.

Social anxiety

An excessive fear of being in social situations and giving a performance in front of people is a symptom of social anxiety disorder or social phobia. One who suffers from social anxiety may worry even in situations that are typically unnerving because they are afraid of being mocked, attacked, or criticised by others. If they are forced to spend time with people they don’t know well or in large groups, they could feel quite uncomfortable.

Meeting new people, dating, public speaking, striking up conversations, and dining in front of others are some of the situations when social anxiety may manifest itself most frequently. While some of these situations may not seem nerve-racking to someone without social anxiety, they can all be terrible for someone who has social anxiety.

Panic disorder

Although you’ve definitely heard of panic attacks before, you might not be aware that panic disorder—a mental health issue—is marked by recurrent and unanticipated panic attacks. Every panic episode can be a terrifying experience, and this can be quite disruptive to daily life.

Shaking, palpitations, hyperventilation, disorientation, and other symptoms of a panic attack frequently occur suddenly. The victims experience a paralysing panic that paralyses them, and they occasionally worry about passing out or dying. You may stop worrying because a panic attack cannot kill you. Simply put, feeling really anxious might make you feel as though you are in danger.

Some signs that you may have panic disorder include worrying for a long time after experiencing a panic attack that it might happen again, believing that a panic attack is actually an indication of a medical issue (such as heart disease), and avoiding certain behaviours or activities that could cause a panic attack.

Phobias

Even though having a phobia of anything is sometimes made fun of, phobias are a sort of anxiety illness that should be addressed seriously. When you are completely scared of anything, you will irrationally magnify any threat in your thoughts.

Some persons may experience overwhelming fear or even a panic attack just from thinking about or seeing the phobic stimulus on a screen, without even having to be in close proximity to it. Many times, phobia sufferers are aware that their anxieties are unfounded, but this knowledge often does not stop the anxiety.

Pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying), claustrophobia (aversion to small spaces), and entomophobia (aversion to insects) are a few of the more prevalent phobias.

How do We handle anxiety?

  • Breathing and mindfulness exercises.
  • Distracting yourself with friends, family or hobbies.
  • Using self-care strategies.
  • Exercising.
  • Writing in a diary. 
  • Going to bed early
  • Eating healthy, balanced meals
  • Avoiding alcohol, drugs and caffeine
  • Taking an online anxiety course.

What causes anxiety?

  • Genetics
  • Childhood experiences and trauma
  • Current life situation
  • Drugs, alcohol & medication

What are some anxiety treatment options?

We’ll go over your alternatives below for counselling and medication, which are the two main methods of treatment for anxiety. Remember that this list of examples is not all-inclusive.

Therapy for anxiety

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT):It is one of the most effective forms of talking therapy and is frequently used to treat sadness and anxiety. It seeks to uncover and disrupt negative thought patterns in order to alter your ideas and behaviours.

Applied relaxation therapy.The physical signs of anxiety can be effectively treated with this, and panic disorder may benefit most. In order to assist the body calm down, it requires recognising situations that could potentially cause panic and learning how to apply muscle relaxation techniques.

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