Occasional anxiety are common, you get anxious before taking a test or before attending an interview or a seminar, or the butterflies. These are temporary and completely normal. But then there are higher states of anxiety where the person gets intermittent anxiety or panic attacks that interfere or interrupt their daily routine. We often take it so silly or simply assume it as the person being over dramatic. But of course not! It is not a drama, just like any other physical illness, it is a mental illness that has to be taken care of! Let’s take a look at the four types of anxiety disorders.
Types of anxiety disorders:
- Panic disorder:- This strikes at random, the person sweat profusely, chest pain occurs,the heart beats rapidly and irregularly literally feels like a cardiac arrest.
- Social anxiety:- These people are really self conscious about themselves when in any social situations. Constantly worry about being judged or embarrassed or ridiculed. Thus, they try avoiding anything that involve social participation.
- Specific Phobias are fear of any particular thing like height or flying, this often leads to them avoiding all kind of possibilities where the source of phobia is involved sometimes even ordinary situations. For example: a person who is scared of height avoids travelling in a flight!
- Generalised anxiety are anxiety attacks of stuffs that are of no significance which basically means they get anxious for no reason.
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Feeling of danger or dread
- Rapid heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Digestive problems
- Appetite related issues
- OCD occurs in some cases
Doctors aren’t completely sure of what exactly is the cause behind anxiety. Some says any kind of traumatic experience can trigger anxiety, sometimes it can be genetic or hereditary, and at times it can be out of any underlying physical health issues.
It can also be due to other mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder.
When to see the doctor?
When exactly to see the doctor is up to you. If your worry is temporary like the anxiety attack before a test or before an interview, then it is nothing to be taken serious of! But when the anxiety starts interfering in your daily life and pulls you away from attaining something, then it is time to get to a doctor as soon as possible before it worsens.
- If the anxiety interferes in your daily routine like in job, School or sleeping cycles
- The anxiety or fear is distressing and unbearable or hard for you to control.
- You try cope it up with alcohol or drugs
- Constant suicidal thoughts or self harming
Once these symptoms come into play, next step is to get to a primary care or family doctor. Depending on the severity he or she would prefer you to a mental healthcare professional. A psychiatrist or a psychologist. Psychiatrist is a mental health professional who would diagnose and give medications whereas psychologist can do the therapy only through talks and not allowed to prescribe medications. If the anxiety ain’t severe enough and can be sorted out through talk therapy alone the primary care doctor would prefer a psychologist.
Most commonly used therapies are psychotherapy. Medications like antidepressants are used however it is necessary that the doctor is a professional before any kind of drugs are taken!
Other measures :-
Besides talking to a therapist, coping up with the anxiety is 24*7 task. Despite that some measures can also be taken at home
- Cut down foods or drinks that contains caffeine like coffee, tea or cola or other kind of soft drinks.Caffeine is a mood altering and can worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Get exercise done everyday, simply a walk even if it is to the restroom and back , or jogging, early morning medications, yoga can trigger the mood.
- Sleep is necessary. Regular and proper sleep ,if any interruption talk to your doctor.
- Eat plenty of healthy food, fruits and vegetables and get rid of unhealthy diet.
- Take a break, read or do anything that you are passionate about , doesn’t matter what it is.
- Be social, isolating yourselves from friends and family can only trigger your anxiety as most of our thoughts occur when we are alone. Spending time with loved ones can actually make you forget whatever sorrow you are going through for a moment.
Remind yourself that it takes time to see the results of the anxiety, it doesn’t annihilate in a day or week, sometimes it can take months. Hence no worries about it, instead be patient and follow the treatment plan provided by your doctor. And if not comfortable with the your mental health care doctor and you are not making enough progression then immediately enquire to the family doctor and get to another doctor as soon as possible. Make sure that you are comfortable enough to talk and pour out to your mental health care professional!
Every individual become responsible and to be aware of what exactly anxiety is because it has become an endemic disease all over the world, with increased suicidal rates everyday. Thus it is time we take mental health into account rather than considering it overly dramatic and silly. Most of the patients are afraid to come out and talk because of the wrong assumption we have created on mental illness. Just like physical health, your mind is also a part of your body! A healthy mind is an essential part of one’s life.