What is anxiety and how to treat it?
Anxiety - coping with the disease together
There are very few conditions that can be as debilitating as anxiety and even the mildest cases can lead to serious depression and stress. Anxiety is a very broad subject and there are all kinds of ways in which it will manifest. In this article, we are going to be talking about those different types of anxiety and what you can do in order to get treatment that proves to be effective.
We all feel anxiety and nervousness at some point, but when this turns into something that makes it hard for us to lead normal lives, that is when it becomes a problem that requires professional help. There are several ways in which anxiety will manifest and we are going to list some of the most common.
This is a very serious problem that makes people experience sudden terror and helplessness without any kind of warning and for no specific reason. This can include sweats, chest pain and even irregular beating of the heart. This is a very frightening experience because the person experiencing it can often confuse this with a heart attack.
Social anxiety disorders
This can be a very problematic form of anxiety that can make it hard for people to feel comfortable in large crowds if speaking in public. This can also get to the point of making people feel panic overwhelmed by tasks that are as simple as walking around in the streets without feeling anxious.
Any kind of phobia is also going something that can be considered an anxiety disorder. If you have an irrational fear of a specific animal that might be completely harmless or if you find yourself being so terrified of fire or heights that you avoid any situation in which you have to face that fear, you are definitely facing an anxiety disorder and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Irrational fears can be extremely debilitating and they can turn you into a person that is afraid of being involved in all kinds of social activities.
Treatments for anxiety
There are many treatments for anxiety that need to be prescribed based on the severity of the condition, but the first recommended treatments are to meditate, exercise and to learn proper relaxation techniques. This is usually going to help a person get rid of mild anxiety, but when the problem gets difficult to handle, the use of prescription drugs is usually necessary. The use of Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin is quite common when people have serious anxiety problems and are unable to calm themselves through meditation and counseling. These are drugs that have considerable side effects and they should only be taken when anxiety reaches levels that are impossible to control by other means.
You should never take any of these drugs without proper diagnosis being given first. The use of any kind of drug for the treatment of anxiety should always be the last resort. The use of natural treatment and meditative practices will be recommended at first to see the kind of results they provide.
Anxiety can be a problem that takes hold of people and makes their daily routines almost impossible to handle without issues. The biggest problem with anxiety is that it can strike anyone at any moment even when they are usually calm and have no specific reason for feeling anxious or getting panic attacks. This is the moment when most people need to be able to look for professional attention and this is going to allow them to get the best possible results.
How to overcome anxiety on your own tips from a psychologist
All people worry about something: it's normal to worry about a crisis, a coronavirus, a change of job or place of residence. But when our anxiety accumulates and turns into a restless snowball, interfering with normal life, then it's worth stopping and figuring out what is happening. About what anxiety is, how to deal with it and who to turn to for help?
As a rule, psychologists distinguish two types of anxiety states:
- Temporary, situational anxiety. Anxiety comes and goes without putting an imprint on a person's daily life.
- Anxiety as a character trait. In this case, a person is constantly in a tense state and reacts sharply to everything that happens in his life. The feeling of anxiety gradually develops into a disorder that interferes with life: a person may be afraid to leave the house or stops doing what he likes.
Where does the alarm come from
The causes of situational anxiety usually lie in specific events that cause concern. For example, dismissal from work, change of residence, problems in the family.
The causes of constant anxiety can be physical: hormonal changes, stress, depression, other mental disorders.
Sometimes anxiety "comes from childhood": if the child witnessed the parents' anxiety about and without. For example, adults could worry a lot about little things, they pumped up, inflated a molehill out of a molehill - and the child recorded such a behavior model.
Anxiety manifests itself in different ways:
- The feeling of anxiety is mixed with irritation, the concentration of attention decreases, the heartbeat quickens, a "lump" appears in the throat;
- Someone has increased sweating, nausea or itching begins;
- At first, there is a feeling of slight discomfort, which soon develops into a real panic.
Four simple steps to victory
If you feel that the anxiety state is getting worse, try to follow a few simple steps.
Focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath and exhale. Then inhale through your nose, counting to 4, and hold your breath, continuing to count to 7. At the count of 8, exhale slowly. Repeat the exercise several times.
Turn on soothing music. Music can be any: classical, for meditation, the sounds of nature - the main thing is to make you feel calmer.
Start doing something with your hands. Remove the desktop, draw, start knitting a scarf, wash the dishes... Focus on any active action, do not sit.
Take a break from what's bothering you. If you start to experience anxiety from watching the news, turn off the TV, turn on a nice movie or video, read. It is necessary to occupy your head with something else.
These steps will help to calm down quickly in a particular situation, but it should be understood that they will not get rid of the problem completely — you need to reconsider your lifestyle.
How to recognize an anxiety disorder
When the state of anxiety lasts for more than 6 months and is accompanied by physical symptoms, then we can talk about an anxiety disorder that will not go away by itself. In this case, the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist is required.
There are several types of anxiety disorder, and each has a separate set of typical manifestations:
- Social phobia. A person avoids contact with other people, reacts sharply to how others treat him.
- Generalized anxiety disorder. This is a constant and acute feeling of anxiety and worry for minor reasons — for example, if a loved one is late at work. As a rule, anxiety is accompanied by physical symptoms: heart pain, "cold sweat", trembling.
- Health-related anxiety. Such a disorder can appear in people with chronic diseases. For example, asthma sufferers are often afraid of suffocating or losing an inhaler.
- Various phobias. This can include the fear of flying, the fear of confined spaces that restrict a person's movements.
- Panic attacks. They are most often accompanied by palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness.