Anxiety Disorder – What is It?May 21, 2019
Experiencing anxiety is a normal occurrence at some point in a person’s life. Anxiety, however, becomes a disorder when the symptoms become frequent, intense, and persistent on day-to-day situations. Anxiety disorders often exhibit repeated episodes of anxiety, fear, or terror that usually begins with a panic attack.
When these symptoms take place, a person’s ability to function normally on his or her everyday activities may be hindered. A person with an anxiety disorder can avoid places or situations to avoid experiencing the symptoms. These can possibly deep-rooted from childhood or teenage years and can manifest at any stage in a person’s life.
5 Major Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is the type of anxiety disorder that is characterised by heightened worry or tension when there is little or nothing to cause it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is the type of anxiety that is characterised by obsessions or repetitive behaviours. Some examples of repetitive behaviurs are hand washing of hands, counting, checking, or cleaning. These are “rituals” that provide temporary relief. A person with OCD has increased anxiety when these “rituals” are not performed.
- Panic Disorder. This anxiety disorder is characterised by episodes of intense fear and has physical manifestations, such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and abdominal distress.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). This is a type of anxiety disorder experienced by a person after a terrifying event such as human-caused or natural disasters, accidents, or physical harm.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). This is an anxiety where the person afflicted with the mental condition experiences anxiety and heightened self-consciousness in daily social situations. The social phobia experienced by the person afflicted can be limited to one situation. One example would be speaking in front of others, whether in a formal or an informal setting. Sometimes, this condition may be so severe that the person with SAD can experience the symptoms anytime there is an encounter with other people.
Living with anxiety can be difficult but there are steps that can be taken to combat this mental health state. Below are some recommendations to manage this condition:
- Talk to someone you trust. Talking to someone you trust may relieve you from the anxiety you are feeling. Having the venue to be able to open up your feelings can help. There are also counselling hotlines you can call in case you are uncomfortable opening up to people within your circle.
- Manage your worries. While it’s difficult to control the thoughts that run on your mind, you can do something to temporarily set them aside. It would be best if you set time to think about them, just to acknowledge your feelings of worry. Writing it down in a notebook or journal also helps bring out the heavy feelings on your chest.
- Look after your physical health. Getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and having regular exercise can help you with your mental health. These activities make you happier, hence the release of endorphins in your body.
- Explore complementary therapies. Apart from the treatment that you can possibly get from a mental health professional, you may also try yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, reflexology, and herbal treatments. These methods have also known to improve a person’s mood and outlook.
At Ubuntu Medical we also help with Depression.