Clinical anxiety and various kinds of anxiety disorder are mental health problems that first show signs during teenage years and adulthood. Clinical anxiety is not the same as being anxious that people generally feel during important or stressful events. People suffering from this sickness feel intense levels of anxiety and nervousness for no reason whatsoever. It is often triggered by absolutely harmless or mundane events and can last long enough to cause severe pains and difficulty in life.
Anxiety disorders when not treated exacerbate and can even stop patients from leading a quality life and have a fulfilling career. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of mental health problems today. While they may not be as complex as psychosis or schizophrenia, they are quite harsh on the patient’s life. Some of the common approaches in treating anxiety include therapy, medication, self-help and making stress-free lifestyle choices.
Common types of Anxiety Disorders
There are quite a few types of anxiety disorders that have been diagnosed. Some of the major forms of anxiety and their details are mentioned below.
- General anxiety disorder- General anxiety disorder consists of excessive nervousness and worry about everyday activities. The nervousness and stress is continuous and exaggerated in severity. Most people with general anxiety disorder always expect the worst outcome from every possible event. They are constantly worried about the reactions of other people and do not experience any kind of peace in social interactions. General anxiety also has certain physical symptoms associated with it such as constant exhaustion, trembling, tightness in the chest, nausea, and lightheadedness.
- Panic Disorder- Panic disorders are an extreme form of anxiety disorder that is characterized by sudden bursts of severe panic. The patient is suddenly terror-stricken for no reason at all and experiences difficulties. Some of the symptoms of panic disorder are an increase in heart rate, chest pains, palpitations, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy, nausea, discomfort in the abdomen, sudden fear of dying and detachment from reality.
- PTSD- PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder usually happens after patients experience extremely traumatic events such as war, sexual violence, child abuse, random acts of violence and crime, and natural disasters among other events. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders include numbness of emotions, depression, bouts of anger, frustration and irritability and distraction.
- Social anxiety disorder- Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety issue that is triggered when patients are exposed to large groups of unknown people or are in social situations. They often feel being watched by everyone in the crowd, and the sheer number of people is enough to give them anxiety. They experience a strong and continuous fear of humiliation and embarrassment and often avoid social scenarios due to this very reason.
Treating Anxiety Disorder
Most popular kinds of treatment for anxiety disorders are medication and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness therapy and other kinds of psychosocial interventions have shown positive results on anxiety disorder. Added to this, psychiatrists often prescribe anti-anxiety medication which checks the balance of neurotransmitters and causes relief from unnatural fear and stress.
A lot of patients who suffer from severe forms of anxiety disorder often have panic attacks or anxiety attacks; these patients are prescribed SOS medication. These experience intense discomfort in the form of palpitation, spinning of the head and high levels of fear and stress. These medicines are an emergency measure that provides instant relief during severe forms of panic attacks. These anxiety episodes do reduce with treatment. When experiencing such attacks there a few things the patient can do right at home to find relief.
Some home treatment methods
After a proper consultation with a psychiatrist or therapist, patients can develop their own coping mechanism and learn to make better choices in their lives. Through practice and time, anxiety disorders become easily manageable. Anxiety disorder usually lasts for up to 6 months unless they are a symptom of some other serious underlying condition. Making a steady plan for dealing with anxiety attacks can help one stay in control during such episodes. The tips mentioned below can help patients deal with their anxiety attacks and maintain stability and control.
- Taking deep breaths- A popular technique that people often use when having an anxiety attack. Taking slow and deep breaths relax the patient and provide clarity of thought. Taking deep and slow breaths increase the oxygen supply to the brain which allows for control of thoughts and command over actions. Counting the number of breaths is often recommended as it diverts the mind from fearful thoughts.
- Accepting the anxiety disorder- Patients need to educate themselves about their condition and need to accept the symptoms and lifestyle changes that come with it. Only by successfully identifying and accepting the various issues can the patient maintain their calmness when such severe episodes happen. By reminding themselves of the temporary nature of the attack, they can feel stronger during panic attacks.
- Cultivating mindfulness practices- Mindfulness is a psychosocial intervention practice that is quite popular in treating anxiety, PTSD and other mental health problems. Mindfulness practice involves the person silently observing the thoughts and emotions without going deeper into them or reacting.
- Alternative therapy- Alternative forms of therapy such as aromatherapy using lavender oil, music therapy, art therapy and other forms of psychosocial and creative interventions help anxiety disorder patients feel better about themselves and manage their moods and emotions better. The important thing is to find the methods that feel natural and comfortable.
Anxiety disorders are increasingly becoming common in this fast-paced world. With a steady rise in competition be it in the education sector, market or the corporate world, people of multiple age groups is put into extremely stressful situations. Added to this, the lack of proper support from friends and family also contribute to the development of these anxiety disorders. One of the most important aspects of getting over such mental health problems is maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Through a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to manage these problems better.