The best way how to explain anxiety or what it is would be when a person’s mind is filled with worries and fears that something wrong is going to happen, this is anxiety. In the face of a threatening event like a natural disaster or a physical attack, most people are gripped with anxiety or fear. Their bodies give them a rush of adrenaline and their instincts take over. Sometimes the threat may not be physical or even real like an exam or job interview. Anxiety is normal and most people experience anxiety as a ‘fight or flight’ response.
There is a different side to anxiety, however. When anxiety becomes persistent and causes real emotional distress, this could be a sign of a mental illness or disorder. This illness is simply called anxiety disorder. Some commentators have called our age, “The Age of Anxiety.” The Mental Health Foundation has revealed that 1 in 5 people feel anxious ‘almost all the time’ and ‘a lot of the time’. More than 50% of the global population have admitted that they are more anxious today than they were 5 years ago.
Anxiety disorders like panic, phobias and obsessive behaviors could be triggered by traumatic memories, closeness to certain physical locations or situations, intense hatred for certain objects and a lingering worry that something terrible is going to happen in the future. The idea of anxiety was first made popular as a psychoanalytic and philosophical concept during the first part of the twentieth century. Freud was a major figure in the development of the idea of anxiety, which he described as an inner tension from which people are driven to escape.
How To Explain Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder is a serious illness that can be difficult to explain but should also not to be taken lightly. The good news is, just like most disorders, anxiety disorder can be detected early because it manifests itself in certain symptoms. The first group of symptoms are behavioral such as withdrawal, avoidance or fear of objects and situations that cause anxiety. Individuals with anxiety disorder also tend to urge other people to do certain actions simply to get rid of anxiety. Not being assertive by making eye contact could be a symptom of anxiety disorder as well. Finally, getting startled easily and difficulty in making decisions could be symptoms of anxiety disorder.
In terms of feelings, feeling overwhelmed all the time can be a sign of anxiety disorder. Distinct fear of certain objects, situations of events is also a sign of anxiety disorder. Dread, constant tension and uncontrollable panic are signatures of people with anxiety disorder. Other identifiers of anxiety disorder are constant thoughts of madness, losing control, dying, being judged by others, disturbing dreams, endless worrying and unwanted thoughts. Physically, a person may display increased heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting or stomach pains, muscle tension and dizziness.
These symptoms could be seen in the different kinds of anxiety disorders. Agoraphobia is fear of places or situations that could cause a panic attack. Anxiety disorder could be caused by another medical condition or illness such as diabetes. Generalized anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety and worrying about events and activities. Panic disorder is characterized by sudden bouts of intense anxiety, terror or fear. Selective mutism, which is common in children is a consistent failure of speaking in specific situations. Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by anxiety related to separation from parents. Social anxiety disorder involves high levels of fear, anxiety and avoidance of certain social situations. Phobias and substance-induced anxiety disorder are other kinds of anxiety disorders.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder is among the group of disorders that are treatable and can even be avoided. The most common type of treatment for anxiety disorder is counseling. A lot of people with anxiety disorder have recovered from the illness because of a special counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. A psychiatrist or psychotherapist can help you work through your emotions, thoughts, behaviors and triggers that all contribute to your anxiety issues. Some of the CBT procedures involve dealing with the things, situations or events that you have been avoiding or are extremely afraid of.
Medication combined with counseling is a usual treatment of anxiety disorder. Some common medicines for anxiety disorder are beta-blockers, tricyclics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants because it has long been established that anxiety disorder could be related to depression. Self-help techniques include connecting with other people, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, managing stress, practicing relaxation techniques, regular exercise, ample sleep, reduction if not stopping the use of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and above all training yourself not to worry.
We live in an “Age of Anxiety” and due to its usual occurrence in society today, anxiety could be taken for granted as a natural response to situations. Science tells us, however, that anxiety if left unchecked could become a disorder and could lead to irrational decisions such as suicide. Identifying anxiety disorder in its early stages is key to its treatment and prevention of relapse in the future. With this kind of disorder, it is important not to deal with anxiety disorder alone but to seek help from others especially professionals.