Anxiety is something that 40 million American adults deal with on a daily basis and comes in many different formats. For example, it is not just the ordinary type of stress that everyone may experience from time to time, it is of a much larger scale. Stress can work in our favour, without it we may not be motivated to achieve as it pushes us to work harder. Anxiety is very different on the other hand. It is a mental health disorder, that requires help from a professional.
As stated, there is a variety of kinds of anxiety disorders. One of those includes social anxiety. Social anxiety is characterised by an intense fear of being judged badly in social situations. People with social anxiety may not go out with others a lot, find it hard to make new friends and worry about upcoming events. The individual may want to go to events but feel like they are simply unable to. If you are feeling like this, it is important that you tell someone you trust. This could be a friend, family or a teacher at school.
Another anxiety disorder is generalised anxiety disorder, the most common amongst teenagers, causing people to feel anxious about a range of different things rather than one specific event. For example, overpowering anxiety about failing exams or falling out with friends or events that seem insignificant to everyone but the sufferer. Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder include:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is also an anxiety disorder made up of two main difficulties. Obsessions include unwelcome thoughts and images. Compulsions are the actions taken out to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. This could be checking the door is locked repetitively. OCD is commonly linked to cleaning however, it isn’t just about being tidy, and more about the bad thoughts people with OCD face.
For a few years, I have been suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Certain situations trigger my anxiety such as tests. If I am in an uncomfortable situation I may have an anxiety attack, a period of time where you feel overwhelmed and sometimes consumed by the anxiety. When experiencing anxiety attacks, I often felt very detached from others, as intense fear was all I could think about. I experienced a number of symptoms, including hot and cold flashes, heart palpitations, trembling and a tight throat, however, others may also experience sweating, feeling of choking and dizziness.
While dealing with anxiety, I have learned a lot. While I am not ‘cured’ of anxiety, I have learned how to deal with it in a way that works for me. A good friend taught me a method of dealing with anxiety attacks. This method is focusing on only the rising and falling of my chest as I breathe in and out. Although this does allow me to take deep breaths, I also find it grounds me and helps me get control back over my anxiety. Many people also find that taking a timeout, to meditate or listen to music helps. Eating a good and balanced diet and getting a good amount of sleep can help reduce anxiety in the first place, along with limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption.
Anxiety affects many people, and nobody that has it has the same experience. You may be wondering how do you know if you have anxiety. While you cannot be sure until diagnosed by a professional if you have a number of symptoms you may be suffering from anxiety.
If you believe you are suffering from anxiety, please contact some of the helplines below:
Anxiety UK- 03444775774
Mental Health Help (Europe)- 116 123
Mental Health America- 1800273
Or find a hotline for your area here- http://www.cocoonais.com/mental-health-hotlines-worldwide/