ANXIETY AND COPING

ANXIETY AND COPING

Everyone feels anxious sometimes that does not mean that they are suffering from anxiety. Anxiety is normal and often healthy emotion. Normal level of anxiety is good for everyone, it keeps him or her motivated towards their goal, but if it hinders daily routine then it has to be taken care of. If not taken care it can keep people from carrying on with their life normally.

ANXIETY AND COPING

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Anxiety is body’s natural response to stress. It is basically a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Mild anxiety can be vague and unsettling however severe anxiety can also cause physical symptoms like excessive sweating, raised heartbeat, increased blood pressure, nausea, etc. Anxiety is often described as response to a future or possible threat. Anxiety may occur without a cause sometimes or may be based on real situations.

Some common types of anxiety includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, separation anxiety disorder (specially seen in children), agoraphobia, panic disorder, selective mutism, substance-induced anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) etc.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY

  • Restlessness or feeling edgy, not being able to stay calm and still
  • Becoming tired easily; fatigue
  • Trouble in concentrating
  • Feeling like mind is going blank
  • Irritation
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems: difficulty in falling asleep
  • Increased heart rate
  • Digestive physiological symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dry mouth or bolus
  • Panic attack: it is usually associated with phobias. It comprises of intense fear or physical discomfort that reaches to its peak within minutes. It has its own set of symptoms like palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, depersonalization.

*Panic attack and anxiety attack share some common symptoms, but they are not same

CAUSES OF ANXIETY

  1. Environmental factors:

    they include elements from around the environment in which the person is living like stress from personal relationship, difficulty at work, school, family issues, etc.

  2. Genetic factors:

    people who have anxiety running in family have more chances to suffer from it. However, having a parent or close relative experience anxiety or other mental health condition doesn’t mean you’ll automatically develop anxiety.

  3. Intake of abusive substances:

    addiction to drug, alcohol, etc. withdrawal from these substances also results in triggering of anxiety

  4. Medical factors:

    people who have suffered from some disease or disorder previously like heart disease, thyroid problem, etc. effects stress level and sometimes result in experiencing of anxiety symptoms.

  5. Risk factors:

    they are those factors which increases the risk of developing anxiety disorder like trauma, stress due to illness, personality, drugs or alcohol, etc.

  6. Personality factors:

    some researchers suggest that there are people with certain personality traits that are more likely to have anxiety than other. For example a child who is a perfectionist will be easily frustrated or wanting to control everything may develop anxiety at childhood, adolescence or as adult.

COPING WITH ANXIETY

Treatment of anxiety combines psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, medication, etc. if it is treated at early stage it is good, if you wait then the health conditions could worsen. Most people who seek treatment experience significant improvement and enjoy an improved quality of life. People with anxiety may sometimes also need treatment for their emotional problems. Depression has often been associated with anxiety

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is most effective psychotherapy. It is generally short-term. It helps you in teaching the specific skills to improve your symptoms so that gradually you can return to your daily activities without hindrance.

Seeking for medication is a good option but one should keep in mind that they must not take any medication without consulting a doctor. Some of the medications include anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclic, and beta-blockers.

Avoid substance abuse. Drug or alcohol dependence has very strong effect on person so it is more difficult to treat.

Staying active and participating in activities that you enjoy lessens your worries. Other home remedies include stress management and relaxation techniques like yoga that eases anxiety. Also eating healthy, exercising, getting proper sleeps helps in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

Some strategies that you can try to manage symptoms of anxiety are slow breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, stay in present moment, healthy lifestyle, taking small acts of bravery, challenging your self-talk, learning from others and getting to know your anxiety.

Cutting down on food and drinks that have caffeine like coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks and chocolates. Caffeine is mood-alerting drug that may worsen the symptoms of anxiety.

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