Anxiety is a normal and natural emotion in humans. It is a feeling of unease, worry, fear, or nervousness about something or the uncertainty surrounding an event or situation. There is nothing wrong with being anxious once in a while. However, when a person feels an unbalanced level of anxiety and regularly so, it might be a cause for concern. A medical concern at that, because anxiety disorder is indeed a form of a specific psychiatric disorder.
Anxiety disorders are mainly characterized by extreme worry and fear, most times in repeated waves that are persistent, intensive and excessive, and usually disrupting a person’s normal daily activities. It may also be accompanied with shortness of breath, pain in the chest, palpitation of the heart, nausea, etc. It negatively affects the way one tends to think or examine circumstances. In fact, it adversely impacts on one’s overall perspective of events around them.
Some Examples Of Anxiety Disorder Includes:
- Specific Phobia – an intense fear or worry over specific situations, objects or environments. E.g. heights, a crowded place, etc.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – an unrealistic feeling of intense, persistent wave of anxiety and fear for little or no reason, especially over daily occurrences or situations.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder – anxiety and fear due to separation from a place or person(s) who have a parental or guiding influence on the individual.
- Social Anxiety Disorder – intense anxiety about social environments, most times due to fear of being stigmatized, embarrassed, etc.
- Panic Disorder – repeated waves of intense terror within short periods of time. It is often accompanied with confusion, trembling, dizziness, etc.
- Selective Mutism – the fear to speak in certain environments, even when one can conveniently speak in other situations. e.g. fear of speaking to an audience.
- Agoraphobia – fear or worry of certain places or situations where one feels embarrassed, caged or trapped. e.g. a crowded marketplace.
It is important to note that early detection of the anxiety disorder triggers can be a key factor in its successful treatment or management.
Some Common Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder Includes:
- Sleep disorder
- Palpitation of the heart
- Uneasiness, nervousness, fear or panic
- Tensed muscles
- Heavy sweating etc.
Some of the Common Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorder are:
- Built-up stress.
- A history of anxiety disorder in the family.
- A history of child abuse
- Use or abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Withdrawal from the use of certain drugs
- Trauma, etc.
5 Tips That Can Help Manage Anxiety Disorders:
1. Avoid Specific Anxiety Triggers.
Certain circumstances, environments or situations can trigger anxiety. Understanding these elements that trigger fear and anxiety in your body system, and making conscious effort to avoid them, will go a long way in managing your nerves and prevent an attack on your system.
2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.
This is very important. A positive change or adjustment in lifestyle will help manage anxiety disorders. A few examples include: improved sleep patterns, moderate physical exercise, building healthy relationships with people who have a positive and calming influence on you.
3. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol Abuse.
The misuse of these substances can cause or worsen anxiety disorder. It is important to avoid abusing drugs and alcohol. In fact, total abstinence is highly recommended. If you are already an addict, trying to quit usually builds anxiety. In such cases, you are advised to seek medical help.
4. Be Positively Active.
Do not keep yourself in a position of moodiness and inactivity. Do yourself a favor by actively participating in activities you really enjoy. Activities that keep your mind positively and creatively engaged. This will help lift your overall outlook of life and tend to reduce your anxiety.
5. Seek Help Early.
It is always important to speak out. When you identify certain symptoms that give you serious cause for concern, please do not swallow it like a bitter pill and maintain a scowl on your face for a lifetime. Rather, learn to talk to someone you can trust, and endeavor to get counseling and medical help as soon as possible. The earlier you start treatment, the easier it is to manage or treat anxiety disorders.
Everyone deserves to live a normal life. Though most people live with anxiety disorders, it is important to show them some understanding and support, while encouraging them to get help early to enable them live a normal, happier and fulfilled life.