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A Complete Guide on Anxiety

Updated: Apr 3

Intense and excessive constant worry and persistent fear may be a sign of anxiety. Occasional bouts of anxiety are normal, and the feeling settles with time and practice. Still, repeated episodes of severe anxiety and fear that leave a person shaken and unable to perform daily activities need to be looked into by a professional!

Anxiety can also be termed as a prolonged uneasy feeling that is accompanied by dread and panic whenever you are faced with a stressful situation, face problems at work or in a relationship, making a decision, or before resting.

What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?

1. An anxiety disorder can manifest as a strange, tense restlessness, heart palpitations and outbreak of sweat whenever embroiled in an uncomfortable situation.

2. Thoughts and feelings spiral out of control, and the anxious individual starts feeling trapped and petrified. Their sanity feels threatened, and they react strongly to similar circumstances again and again. Similar reactions are evident from teenage years into adulthood and this nervousness needs to be investigated.

3. Experiencing feelings of doom, impending danger and acute panic

4. Hyperventilation

5. Trembling or shivering

6. Tiredness and weakness in the limbs

7. Insomnia due to troubled thoughts and constant fear

8. Lack of concentration, poor decision-making and inability to shake off anxious thoughts

9. Physiological symptoms such as abdominal distress, nausea and other gastrointestinal problems

10. uncontrollable worrisome thoughts

11. Tendency to run away from situations and things triggering anxiety

12. Increased restlessness, irritability

13. Staying wary and highly strung

What are the different kinds of anxiety disorders?

Anxiety symptoms mentioned above need to be investigated because they may be indicative of anxiety disorders and unexplained phobias due to different circumstances and situations.. Let us talk about this in more detail:

1. Agoraphobia: In this anxiety disorder, the individual prefers to stay away from circumstances, situations, and places that can trigger a panic attack and make them feel embarrassed, trapped or petrified.

2. Generalised anxiety disorder: Worrying unnecessarily and excessively about events, occasions and even mundane everyday jobs where the reactions step out of proportion and even affect physically. We term it as a generalized anxiety disorder.

3. Anxiety due to illnesses or a medical condition: Many people are petrified of medical conditions and treatments. They end up tense and fearful with symptoms of intense anxiety.

4. Panic attack: Heart palpitations, sweat, trembling, chest pain, breathlessness, pounding chest, tears, shivering that overpower the personality in a matter of minutes. Sudden, intense, anxious feelings that cause terror in the mind can worry a person repeatedly. These incidents leave an impact on the mind of the individual and prompt them to avoid meetings and stay away from situations so that the same feelings are not repeated.

5. Social anxiety/social phobia: Embarrassment due to social interaction, complexes as a result of negative interaction, self-conscious behavior, and fear of being misjudged by people make some individuals shy away from stepping out of their homes and close circle. The moment they have to interact in a social setting, they start feeling scared and anxious.

6. Selective mutism: Sometimes, kids clam up. The same kids who can rattle off anything in their homes are left petrified interacting in school or other areas. This greatly disturbs social functioning, work, and school. Selective mutism can disturb the social, school, and work atmosphere.

7. Substance-induced anxiety: This condition results from ingestion of medicines, withdrawal from substances, misuse of drugs, exposure to toxic chemicals, and intense panic or anxiety symptoms.

8. Separation anxiety disorder: This is often seen in kids when they feel threatened that their parents, father/mother figure or other people playing parental roles will step away from them. When the fear is in excess and not synchronizing with the developmental level of the child, it needs attention.

Besides these, there are some specific phobias and some unspecified anxiety disorders that provoke panic attacks and cause major anxiety in people, leading to disruptive and distressing situations.

Coping strategies for anxiety

Fear is unnatural and leads to anxiety, apprehension and unease. It impacts mental health and stops individuals from living a fulfilling life. Fear of the unknown, failure and constant judgment, prompt people to delve more into the subject to recognize the brain’s “flight and fight” response. The amygdala, a small structure inside our brain, controls all this.

1) The problem arises when we are unable to perform well and cannot pursue our goals. We need to understand our fears and identify through the process of self–reflection the fears holding us back.

2) Challenge negativity and restructure thoughts to develop a positive mindset.

3) Face the fears gradually and let the resilience build up naturally to face tougher challenges strongly.

4) Use relaxation techniques and Mindfulness to get rid of anxiety and feel relaxed.

5) If the anxiety symptoms start interfering with relationships, daily chores and work, and if you are overwhelmed and consumed by the anxious feelings, approach a professional.

When to see a counselor or medical professional?

Many times, people end up abusing substances or feeling suicidal because they are unable to control their emotions. They need help and emergency attention from a health professional. The therapist may suggest relaxation techniques such as meditation, lifestyle changes, medication, sleep, coping methods, cognitive-behavioral therapy, breathing techniques, exercises to build self-esteem, Mindfulness, dietary adjustment, problem-solving, support therapy, support groups or other methods, avoiding caffeine, etc. Whatever the reason for the anxiety disorder, remember it can be treated if dealt with by a professional.

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