Have you ever heard the phrase, “ No I’m not in the mood for this today”. You probably would have heard this phrase in your daily lives. Such Statements reflect that a person is going through a rough time right now and they need some personal space. It could be an indirect way of communicating that their anxiety is overwhelming them. The person is also indirectly saying that they are finding it challenging to function at the moment.
Anxiety can affect anyone from any socio economic background, gender, race, color, ethnicity, age. Anxiety can occur irrespective of abilities, talents or challenges! Anxiety does not discriminate between anyone. It is Fair! Anxiety can affect family, social relationships, academia, work performance and other areas of functioning. This is a gentle reminder to all those who feel anxious, that you are not alone. There are many people that have anxiety, it is just that we are not aware of their anxiety.
Anxious Individuals often wonder if something is wrong with them, they fear that they maybe going crazy or out of control. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 people experience anxious mood in some stage of their lives.
A person who is anxious is constantly feeling afraid. Fear is an innate response , since the Stone Age which is part of a modern man’s survival instinct. The fear we experience during anxiety is not life threatening yet, it makes a person feel as though they are in danger. Well, the fear in anxiety is the absence of physical danger. A person with with anxiety believes they are in danger. Their feelings and thoughts are valid. However, constantly feeling anxious is emotionally and mentally draining. When a person is in physical danger or believes they are in danger their body and mind undergoes change.
The Physical changes of Anxiety Include:
1) Over Breathing or Under breathing
2) Dry Mouth
3) Muscle Tension
4) Increase in Sweating
5) Increase in the rate and depth of breathing
6) Blood is redistributed from areas that aren’t considered vital (For Example:- Skin, Finger, Toes)
7) Widening of pupil of the eyes
8) Numbness or Tingling in one’s hand or feet
9) Shortness of Breath
10) Feeling of Choking
The Behavioral symptoms of Anxiety include:
1) Inability to be calm and still
2) Engage in Avoidant behaviors
3) Trouble Sleeping
4) Mood Swings or Irritability
5) Ritualistic Behaviors
The mental symptoms of Anxiety Include:
3) Constant Uneasiness
4) Uncontrollable Intrusive thoughts
5) Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of Traumatic Experiences
A combination of different factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors, chemical imbalance in our brains, can play an important role in causing anxiety. There is no one particular cause to pinpoint but rather several factors that can cause Anxiety in an Individual.
Psychotherapy is used to treat anxiety along with psychotropic medications. Anti – Anxiety medications, Anti depressant Medications and Beta Blockers are used widely to treat Anxiety through medications. Psychotherapy models such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Exposure therapy is widely used to treat Anxiety.
Anxiety is an Important Emotion that protects us from danger. Anxiety could as be the primary emotion under which we could be hiding our emotions such as feeling afraid, confused, stressed, vulnerable, skeptical, worried, cautious, nervous. Individuals who experience Clinical Anxiety, their Flight or Fight Response is activated in the absence of Real Danger.
A diagnosis of Anxiety is made when a person finds it challenging to function adequately in different areas of their life. This is due to the frequency and complexity of anxiety. The right treatment can help an Individual to have a better quality of life, improve their relationships and increase their productivity. It can also improve a person’s overall health and welfare.
Disclaimer: This Article is meant for educational and mental health awareness purposes. Please DO NOT DIAGNOSE YOURSELF after reading this article. A Diagnosis should be made by a licensed Psychiatrist or Psychologist. Ms.Esther John Mathews or Openminds Psychiatry, Counseling and Neuroscience Centre, Dubai IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE DIAGNOSING THEMSELVES AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE.
Author: Esther John Mathews