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Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder
Jul 27, 2021
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If you are anxious and worried about your job interview tomorrow, it is fine. Everyone feels the same way. It is a common reaction to be nervous and afraid of something especially when a future event has an unexpected outcome or when we want something to happen the way we want it to be. We worry a lot that our expectations will unlikely happen. Medical practitioners say that it is normal to be anxious, however, when there is too much worry to the point that we cannot anymore adapt to a certain event. So these two are different from each other.

There are several types of anxiety disorders that each of them has several descriptions so that we can know if we are already unknowingly suffering from it. I think it worth our time to learn about them as published in an online article (https://www.webmd.com/):

  • Panic disorder - “a panic attack may break out in a sweat, chest pain, and a pounding heartbeat (palpitations). Sometimes you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack.”
  • Generalized anxiety disorder - “worry is seen as apprehension in anticipating an upcoming feared event. It is also related to restlessness, fatigue, reduced concentration, or difficulty falling asleep” (https://oxfordmedicine.com/)
  • Social anxiety disorder - there is an excessive fear in social situations wherein a person is present among unfamiliar people 
  • Specific phobia - excessive fear is present over a specific object such that exposure to the object results in extreme anxiety
  • Separation anxiety - being fearful when someone close to you leaves and worrying that something bad may happen to someone you love
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder - "when an individual has obsessive thoughts or repetitive behaviors called compulsions that the individual feels he must perform"
  • Medication-induced anxiety disorder - use of certain medications or illegal substances may cause some signs of anxiety disorder
  • Selective mutism - a kind of social anxiety wherein kids who talk normally with their family do not speak in public such as in school
  • Agoraphobia - "an intense fear of being in a place where it seems hard to escape or get help if an emergency occurs. For example, you may panic or feel anxious when on an airplane, public transportation, or standing in line with a crowd."  
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - "a person is first exposed to a traumatic event, feels frightened because of the threat to personal dignity. Symptoms are manifested firstly, the patient suffers from incidents of reexperiencing the traumatic event. Secondly, patients attempt to avoid any event or place related to the trauma wherein avoidance is accompanied by numbness or reduced responsivity."

Accordingly, there are risks associated with an anxiety disorder that we have to take note of so that we can manage our own stress and anxiety when stressful events pose dangers to our mental health. These risk factors are as follows (https://www.webmd.com/):

  1. Low self-esteem - if you have negative conceptions about yourself, it may possibly pose a risk for anxiety disorder
  2. Substance abuse - use of illegal drugs and alcohol may lead to anxiety disorder
  3. Childhood sexual abuse - “Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect during childhood is associated with anxiety disorders later in life.”
  4. Severe illness or chronic health condition - “Constant worry about your health or the health of a loved one or caring for someone who is sick, can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious. “
  5. Mental health disorder history - Having another mental health disorder, like depression, raises your risk for anxiety disorder
  6.  Negative life events - loss of a loved one or unemployment may also trigger an anxiety disorder
  7. Shyness during childhood- "Shyness and withdrawal from unfamiliar people and places during childhood is linked to social anxiety in teens and adults." 

However we look at life, stress and anxiety are like ghosts that haunt us every day. And we have to fight and manage these stressors if we want to be happy and appreciate life in the midst of life’s ups and downs. To manage and control of anxiety, we can do the following :

  •  We have to learn how to relax - we can find relaxation in our favorite hobbies, reading, doing meditation or yoga to relax our mind and manage our emotions
  • Try to get enough sleep especially at night - getting enough hours of sleep clears our mind and relaxes our brain. This will also have positive effects on our outlook on life
  • Have a friendly date with your best friend or group of friends - having a fun time with your friends trigger happy thoughts and feelings
  • Manage your alcohol intake and stop substance abuse - excessive intake of alcohol and illegal drugs could blur our minds and trigger could trigger negative thoughts
  • Eat right and exercise - eating the right kind of food and exercise make you physically and mentally healthy

Writing your plans for the day with positive ideas will be an effective way to get rid of unhealthy thoughts or worries about experiences in life. You can start writing your list for a day’s tasks to accomplish that will make your day busy and avoid stress or worries at the same time.

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