Anxiety Disorder – Its Not What You think

Anxiety disorder is not the same as being anxious. Here we discuss what it is, some of its symptom and how to cope

anxiety and panic disorder
Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

Battling With Anxiety Disorder?

Who doesn’t get anxious? Technically nobody, we all do but when does it become an anxiety disorder? Do you know that about 5 percent of the person in the world are troubled by anxiety disorder?

How Would You Answer? To get started it would be better if you answer these questions.

  • Are you always nervous about talking, especially in front of an audience? Does your heart start to panic over trivial matters? Suddenly your heartbeats? You get restless and do not understand what to do?
  • You do not get to sleep well instead you keep changing your sides while sleeping at night and somehow you do not get peace of mind? Do you get nervous at the time of examinations, climbing mountains, by the sea?
  • If you say yes to these questions – most of them,you might want to know more about panic attacks or anxiety disorder.

What anxiety disorder is

Medically, anxiety disorder is a chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of panic or apprehension, with physical symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and feelings of stress. Due to the changing lifestyle and the competition to move forward, this problem is increasing rapidly in people.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder

Anxiety can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically, mentally and how you behave. It’s not always easy to recognise when anxiety is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently.

Physical symptoms may include

  • faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
  • feeling lightheaded and dizzy
  • headaches
  • chest pains
  • loss of appetite

Mental symptoms may include

  • feeling tense or nervous
  • being unable to relax
  • worrying about the past or future
  • feeling tearful
  • not being able to sleep

A panic attack from an anxiety disorder usually lasts 5 to 30 minutes. They can be very frightening, but they’re not dangerous and should not harm you, but later changes in behaviour will start to creep in like:

  • not being able to enjoy your leisure time
  • difficulty looking after yourself
  • problems concentrating at work
  • struggling to form or maintain relationships
  • worried about trying new things

Complications of anxiety disorder

If this condition is not attended to in time, it could result in the following:

Depression: Constant panic and lack of timely treatment can make you a victim of depression. Though you will not realize it initially, gradually you start getting depressed.

Staying away from people: When one are a victim of anxiety disorder, that one starts running away from people especially when faced with instances that trigger the anxiety. They are cut off and want to be alone because of their disappointment of not being able to manage the situation and it’s causing them a measure of embarrassment.

Forgetting things: When anxiety disorder increases and you start living in depression, you start forgetting things. This problem is not directly due to anxiety, but due to problems caused by anxiety.

Failure to focus on things: As your problem grows, you lose the ability to focus on things. You do not feel like doing anything.

Can Anxiety Disorder Be Treated?

This success of treating any form of panic or anxiety disorder lies in finding the root cause of the problem. Find the cause, eliminate it, then there goes the panic.

Causes of anxiety, fear and panic

There are many different causes of anxiety, fear or panic and it’s different for everyone. When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. This can be helpful in some situations, but it might also cause physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating. In some people, it might cause a panic attack.

Regular anxiety, fear or panic can also be the main symptom of several health conditions. Do not self-diagnose – speak to a GP if you’re worried about how you’re feeling.

Identifying the cause

If you know what’s causing anxiety, fear or panic, it might be easier to find ways to manage it. Some examples of possible causes include:

  • work – feeling pressure at work, unemployment or retirement
  • family – relationship difficulties, divorce or caring for someone
  • financial problems – unexpected bills or borrowing money
  • health – illness, injury or loss of a loved one (bereavement)
  • difficult past experiences – bullying, abuse or neglect

Even significant life events such as buying a house, having a baby or planning a wedding could lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. You might find it hard to explain to people why you feel this way, but talking to someone could help you find a solution.

Managing Anxiety Disorder

Here are a few things to do to try manage panic or anxiety disorder. These few tips will help you cope with the anxiety, fear and panic.

  • try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor.
  • Exercise – activities such as running, walking, swimming and yoga can help you relax
  • eat a healthy diet with regular meals to keep your energy levels stable
  • consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. 

Don’t Do These

  • do not try to do everything at once – set small targets that you can easily achieve
  • do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
  • do not avoid situations that make you anxious – try slowly building up time spent in worrying situations to gradually reduce anxiety
  • try not to tell yourself that you’re alone; most people experience anxiety or fear at some point in their life
  • try not to use any intoxicating drinks(alcohol), cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve anxiety as these can all contribute to poor mental health

Don’t Forget

There are times when we all need help. Do not be ashamed to ask for it when you do need to talk to someone about how you feel. It might just be the only step you need to recover.

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