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  • Dr. Sheba Singh

The Story Of Anxiety

When it comes to mental illnesses, depression and anxiety disorders are some of the most common ones. It is reported that over 260 million people of all age groups suffer from depression and over 280 million people experienced anxiety related disorders in 2017 alone.


In this post, I will break down the types of depression and anxiety. In addition to spreading mental health awareness, it is also important to know what you can do if you or someone you care about is going through mental health issues. Which is why I also compile a list of ways to deal with both depression and anxiety and get the help you need.




Anxiety

Anxiety are segmented into 5 main types:

  1. Separation Anxiety

  2. Phobias

  3. Social Anxiety

  4. Panic Disorder

  5. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder can be both physical and psychological.


Physical symptoms of G.A.D. and Panic Disorder:

  1. Irregular sleep

  2. Changes in appetite

  3. Sweating excessively

  4. Trembling or shaking

  5. Palpations

  6. Dizziness

  7. Chest pain

  8. Shortness of breath

  9. Muscle and heart aches

  10. Nausea

  11. Acidity

Psychological symptoms of generalized anxiety:

  1. Fear and worry

  2. Restlessness

  3. Feeling dreadful

  4. Feeling stressed

  5. Drop in self-esteem

  6. Lack of concentration

  7. Irritability

While symptoms of generalized anxiety and panic disorders can be physical and psychological, it is not necessary to experience all the symptoms to be diagnosed with either.

There could also be behavioural symptoms in anxiety related disorders like social and specific phobias.




Behavioural symptoms of social anxiety:

  1. Intense fear surrounding social interactions especially with strangers

  2. Constant fear of being judged

  3. Avoiding activities with people to avoid embarrassment

  4. Self-conscious of how anxious you may appear to other people

  5. Fear of physical symptoms such as blushing, trembling, having a shaky voice.

Behavioural symptoms of social anxiety:

  1. Accelerated heartbeat

  2. Blushing

  3. Upset stomach or nausea

  4. Sweating

  5. Breathing issues

  6. Tensed muscles

  7. Going 'blank'

Social anxiety or social anxiety is one of the many phobias that may cause intense anxiety in people. Symptoms of other phobias (specific phobia) include:

  1. Fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation

  2. Fear of anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger

  3. It causes significant stress

  4. Feeling powerless of your fear despite being aware of their unreasonable nature

  5. Going out of the way to avoid the source of phobia

Symptoms of separation anxiety:

  1. Extreme distress caused by anticipation of and being away from home or loved ones

  2. Qualms about being alone at home

  3. Constant worry about losing your loved one to an illness or accident

  4. Reoccurring nightmares about separation

  5. Worry about experiencing an untoward incident

  6. Inability to physically stay away from loved ones

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Group Therapy, and Family Therapy have shown to significantly help separation anxiety.


Treatment:


Social anxiety or specific phobias can have a crippling effect on quality of life and day to day workings. In order to effectively deal with this and bring normalcy to life, it is advisable to start prioritizing activities that you deem important to you and make time for them.


1. Keeping a journal can also help you become more self-aware and keep track of triggers and progress over time.


2. It is recommended to get help as early as possible.


There are two main ways you can help either yours or your loved one's anxiety issues; self-help and therapy.


Self-help for anxiety can look very much like a physical fitness regime alongside meditative/self-improvement practices.


- It is recommended to get 6-8 hours of sleep every day.

- Schedule your next day before sleeping.

- Go for a 30-40 minute brisk walk every day.

- Identify and journal the thoughts and situations that trigger your anxiety.

- Keep a tab on any changes in your appetite.

- Do relaxation exercises like deep breathing, yoga, swimming, Tai-chi, etc.

- If you have a Psychologist/Therapist, learn more healthy coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques from them.


If you are unable to handle or cope with anxiety, seek professional help immediately.



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