Understanding what anxiety really is

Anxiety is something a person has experienced at least once in their life. You may have felt panicky, your heart would be pounding in your chest, trouble sleeping, or even loops of worry. It’s our body’s reaction to stress.

What is anxiety disorder?

Being anxious is common for anyone who is stressed. Anxiety disorder on the other hand is a whole lot different. When your feelings of anxiety are intense and last longer than six months, you may have an anxiety disorder.

In case of an anxiety disorder you are in constant fear which is exhausting. In most cases it results with you not enjoying your hobbies. Additionally, in extreme cases people with anxiety disorders tend to avoid elevators, crossing roads and stepping out of the house. If it is left untreated, it will keep getting worse. Anxiety disorders, if left unattended, at times also result in social isolation, depression.

Types of anxiety disorder

It is a common misconception that there is just one form of anxiety disorder. These include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorde : You are in constant fear and worry with no or very little reason.
  • Social anxiety disorder : You are constantly obsessing and self-conscious about people judging you. It has been observed that people with social anxiety disorder tend to avoid social gatherings and prefer staying away from any form of social contact.
  • Phobia : Phobias, also known as specific phobias, make you feel intense fear of specific situations, things or activities. The fear usually goes beyond what is normal. People with this form of anxiety disorder avoid ordinary situations that ignite fear in all possible ways.
  • Panic disorder : Terror strikes you out of the blue. These episodes are commonly known as panic attacks. Many people break into sweat and experience major chest pain. At times they feel like they are having a heart attack or are being choked.

Treatments for anxiety

  • Lifestyle change : Making lifestyle changes like skipping caffeine, exercising daily and limiting alcohol and smoking is the first step to treat anxiety.
  • Mind-body approaches : Deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness activities help in ease muscle tension and keep you calm.
  • Psychotherap : Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are two of the most common therapies psychotherapists fall back on in anxiety cases. CBT makes people challenge distorted or unhelpful anxious thinking, while exposure therapy helps them tolerate and reduce fear and anxiety. In case of emergencies you can always look for a list of emergency medical service apps online
  • Medicines : Taking low doses of antidepressants daily helps in relieving anxiety. Short-acting drugs also help during anxiety episodes.

A combination of different approaches work in treating anxiety. Proper therapy helps in strengthening coping skills, making it easy to manage anxiety at any point of time. It is important to keep it in mind that if an anxiety disorder is left untreated, it is bound to get worse. Although anxiety usually doesn’t go away, you can learn to manage it.


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