Anxiety is a psychological Disorder which causes stress, Nervousness, Fear, apprehension and worrying. It is an emotional disorder which can occur at any age and can affect anyone. Anxiety varies person to person, sometimes you feel butterflies in stomach, Nightmares, panic and painful thoughts and memories which are not in your control.
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Difference Between Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety is a general feeling of fear and worry. Anxiety is a normal reaction or realistic response to stress or different stressful situations. Anxiety alerts your internal body system to flight, fight or freeze. Anxiety is related to the specific situation or problem and it lasts long as the situation is.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it comes unexpectedly to an extreme and becomes uncontrollable. Then Anxiety becomes a mental illness which is known as Anxiety Disorder. It is Unrealistic and causes uncomfortable physical Sensations and Physical Problems. Anxiety Disorder lasts longer even when a problem is solved. A person feels Impossible to change or control a situation.
What Does it feel like when you have Anxiety:
Following are the Symptoms of anxiety. To be diagnosed as Anxiety Disorder you must have atleast 4 signs from the following symptoms.
- Shortness of breath
- Chocking sensation
- Chest pain
- Fear of dying
- Increased heart rate
- Sleep problems
- Abdominal Pains
- Dry Mouth
- Irrational Fear
- Panic attack
- Restlessness, Fatigue
- Feeling agitated
- Tense Muscles
- Feeling hot or cold Numbness
Types of Anxiety Disorder:
There are different types of anxiety disorder as mentioned below.
- Panic: Intense fear or terror that develop quickly and unexpectedly.
- Phobia: fear of any specific situation, object or activity.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: It is fear of facing people, fear of socializing and going out.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: It is recreational thoughts and repeated actions of some specific things.
- Hypochondriasis: It is anxiety/ fear about health.( either gaining or losing it)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: It is anxiety and stress after having a traumatic event.
What Causes Anxiety:
Anxiety can be caused by multiple reasons. It could be caused by biological factors in rare cases. In mostly cases it is caused by environmental factors. In adults it may caused by job issues, relationship issues with closed ones, marital issues, Traumatic events.
In teenage, it may be caused by issues in school, bullying, peer issues, issues in Study, Parental issues, communication with parents, attacks on self-esteem, etc.
HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY
Getting better means gaining control over worry. A number of psychological treatments have shown to help people with GAD, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) produces the most consistent and long-lasting improvements.
It appears that the following components of treatment are most important:
- An approach where people are taught skills to manage their anxiety, as well as taking responsibility for change and control over their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
- Actively identifying and challenging worrying thoughts.
- Relaxation training (usually a form of progressive muscle relaxation) to control physical tension.
Some medications, such as antidepressants, have been shown to reduce worry and associated physical symptoms in people with GAD, but it appears that the improvements only last as long as the medications are taken. Benzodiazepines such as Valium provide temporary relief from symptoms, but are addictive. These drugs are not recommended for long-term use. Your doctor will be able to provide more information on medication, but used alone this treatment option will not be as good as when combined with CBT.
Management of the fight-or-flight response
There are two tasks:
- Solve the problem that is making you anxious
- Control your level of anxiety so that it helps you problem solve
People are often tempted to avoid threatening situations, but if you do, the anxiety will be worse the next time you are in that situation. The best strategy is to confront the feared situation. Usually, it is better than you thought, and if not, you will have learned valuable coping skills by confronting your fears.
TRAINING STRATEGIES FOR CONTROLLING ANXIETY AND REDUCING STRESS:
- Use relaxation methods, such as progressive muscle relaxation, as people with generalized anxiety tend to have increased overall levels of arousal.
- Plan short-term activities that are enjoyable or distracting (particularly those activities that have been helpful in the past)
- Exercise is helpful in managing worry, as exercising releases brain chemicals that counteract anxiety and low mood. It also gives time away from worries, and works off “nervous energy.” It is recommended that people do at least a half hour a day, three days a week, of cardio exercise.
- Use structured problem solving to deal with stressors that may contribute to worry. When faced with difficult life problems, many people do not have adequate coping skills and consequently feel that they are not able to control what is happening to them. These feelings contribute greatly to the development of worry. While everybody has problems in their lives, these problems can become more apparent and more difficult to manage if you are prone to worry. Training in structured problem solving may be extremely useful. Effective problem solving skills can reduce, minimize, control, or even prevent excessive worrying in daily living.
- If you avoid situations or activities because of anxiety, gradually confront the things you fear using graded exposure. For example, a hierarchy, depending on how fearful you find each step, could be:
- Not checking the phone for one hour
2. Showing up late to a meeting
3. Grocery shopping without a list
4. Organizing a birthday party
5. Accepting an invite without looking at your calendar first
6. Leaving your mobile at home for the day
- Use emotion regulation and mindfulness. Research suggests that worry may serve as a way of avoiding emotional processing. Engage in emotion regulation strategies and mindfulness skills as they will help you identify and experience underlying emotions.
- Once you have identified and challenged your negative thoughts, practice shifting attention away from the thought. Mindfulness-based interventions can also help you remain present focused.
- Avoid using sedative medication or alcohol to control your anxiety.