Overview of Condition
Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness or unease that can affect anyone at some point in their life, from sitting for an exam, attending a job interview or even waiting for medical results. In these cases, feeling anxious is perfectly normal. However, an anxiety disorder occurs when an individual experiences strong anxious feelings that continue over time and/or have no clear cause.
Symptoms of anxiety can affect a person’s thinking, emotions, and how they feel physically. Some symptoms include:
- Racing heart
- Sweating and hot flushes
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling sick or dizzy
- Feeling that something is going to go wrong
- Trembling or shaking
- Fear of losing control
- Difficulty concentrating
Like many mental illnesses, treating anxiety includes a combination of medication and psychological therapy. When an individual has the right input and support, they can control their anxieties and live a normal life.
Anxiety is often treated with many of the same medications used in depression including SSRI antidepressants or TCAs, but relief for acute episodes may also be found in anti-anxiety medications and benzodiazepines.
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, is a talking therapy that can help patients manage their illness problems by changing the way they think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has also shown efficacy in treating anxiety.
Caring for someone with Anxiety
It is often the parents and step-parents who are the primary caregivers, and they spend most of their time tending to the medical needs of their loved one.
But being a caregiver can be very stressful and burdensome. It often leaves the caregiver with little or no time to tend to his/her own needs. Approximately 63% of caregivers admit not having enough time for themselves, and 55% admit that they don't have time to manage their own health. Routine visits to the doctor are essential to ask for advice and assistance with caregiving, especially since caregiving is known to have mental health consequences for the caregiver, including the increased likelihood of depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Like depression, anxiety is a very common mental health disorder that is prevalent worldwide.
- More than 1 in 10 people are likely to experience a disabling anxiety disorder at some stage in their life.
- Anxiety can be a natural response to stressful life situations.
- There are different types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Persistent levels of fear and anxiety that continue from day to day, often with no clear cause or trigger.
- Social Anxiety A consistent fear of public humiliation or being in social situations. People with social anxiety may experience extreme feelings of dread and nervousness when speaking in public or when in a social environment.
- Panic Disorder Experiencing intense feelings of fright, which result in recurring panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. A panic attack is a sudden experience of overwhelming anxiety and fear.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) A disorder in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior to reduce anxiety around obsessive thoughts. An obsession is an intrusive thought or urge that causes uneasiness or anxiety. A compulsion is a repetitive behavior aimed at reducing anxiety stemming from obsessions.
- Phobias A phobia is an irrational fear of an object, place, or animal that is disproportionate to the actual posed danger or threat. e.g. claustrophobia: A fear of being in small or confined spaces.