Study says over 33% or one-third of us would have felt anxiety disorder at least once in our lifetime, making anxiety one of the most commonly occurring mental health disorders, especially among the youth.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a rampant increase in the cases of anxiety among Indians. Data says that 1 in 10 people currently suffer from a feeling of anxiety.
There is too much stigma attached when we talk about any kind of mental health disorder, due to very less information available on the web.
Here we have covered all the what, why, and how of anxiety, for your assistance.
Table of contents:
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a constant feeling of worry or fear of the future, it becomes a disorder when it is prevalent and prevents you from leading a good personal, professional and social life and begins to pose a disturbance in your routine lifestyle.
There are a range of mental health disorders, categorized under the condition of anxiety. The common unstable conditions regarded as anxiety disorders are:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This includes persistent worrying about situations that are out of one’s control. Overthinking situations, and perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
also known as social phobia, everyday events cause significant anxiety, self-consciousness, and feeling of embarrassment because you fear being judged or typecast by others.
- Selective Mutism-
Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disease in which a person is unable to communicate in particular social contexts, such as with schoolmates or distant relatives.
- Specific phobia
A specific phobia is an extreme, long-lasting fear of a particular thing or circumstance that is out of proportion to the risk. Phobias come in a variety of forms, and it’s not uncommon to have a particular phobia over more than one thing or circumstance.
Common symptoms of anxiety
Almost all types of anxiety disorders have the following common symptoms,
- Lack of focus
- Jumping to negative conclusions
- Somatoform/psychosomatic presentation
- Other bodily symptoms
- Feeling of heaviness in chest
, in severe instances extreme panic attacks are common.
There could be a series of events that might lead to a condition of anxiety in humans, these reasons could be one or a combination of all of these,
- Imbalance of neurochemicals/neurotransmitters
- Substance abuse
- Excessive intake of certain beverages
- Unhealthy lifestyles like lack of exercise, or unusual eating and sleeping routine.
- Underlying metabolic conditions, like a decrease in levels of Vitamin D3, B12, or hemoglobin.
- Levels of hypothyroid
Once the underlying condition is identified and corrected by receiving proper treatment, the anxiety attacks do go down.
It requires professional help for a proper diagnosis and provides the right treatment in case of varied mental health disorders.
Anxiety: Diagnosis & Treatment
You may start by choosing to understand a surfacing of a sudden and unwanted negative thought out of nowhere, that then forms a pattern, inviting more negative thoughts.
You can also check for any underlying medical condition or physical symptoms like insomnia, or tired eyes, that might require a diagnosis.
If you suspect a severe anxiety condition, you might have to look for a qualified psychiatrist or mental health specialist, who would suggest you go for the requisite treatment after observing and analyzing your condition.
The main aim to treat anxiety and other types of disorders is to bring a balance between the body and the mind, as we are nothing but the combination of our mind and body.
The two main significant treatments that your medical advisor might suggest after the diagnosis of significantly disturbing anxiety conditions are,
- Psychotherapy/ talk therapy/counseling – this involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an important part of psychotherapy treatment.
- CBT typically involves making an effort to alter thought habits. These techniques may include: recognizing one’s own thinking distortions that are causing issues and then reevaluating them in the context of reality. Improving one’s knowledge of other people’s motivations and behaviors, etc.
- Medication– if the disorder is untreatable even after receiving a quality psychotherapy treatment over a significant period of time, or in conditions where no improvement is seen, the patient is required to go on medications.
There are several medicines & drugs that your respective psychiatrist or medical professional might suggest to reduce your physical symptoms or mental confusion, these could be certain anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications like buspirone and others.
Realizing what is your underlying thought pattern, can help you take care of your anxiety.
Choosing to decline the negative ideas and switching to positive thoughts; maintaining a healthy lifestyle like sleeping on time, and exercising regularly, could work as an impressive step towards living a balanced and stress-free lifestyle; these small steps could help keep the anxiety at bay in the longer run.
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. In cases of persistent extreme negative thoughts, there’s no harm in seeking advice from a professional psychologist or mental health specialist.
Bansal hospital, with an expert team and dedicated department for Psychiatry & Mental Health, provides the timely diagnosis and right treatment for all types of mental health disorders.