Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders are a leading cause of disability in the world. As of today, over 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental condition. In addition to that, bereavement, isolation, fear, and financial stress caused due to the current pandemic have had a profound effect on the physical, mental, and financial well-being of people. Researchers predict that the pandemic might lead to mental health issues like anxiety disorders. If you think you suffer from an anxiety disorder, here are a few things you need to know.
Stress & Anxiety
Every individual is bound to experience either stress or anxiety at some given time in their life. Often in conversations, stress & anxiety are used as synonyms, when they are two different medical diagnoses.
Pattee defines “Stress is a physiological response connected to an external event”. The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. Essentially, in layman terms, stress affects your body while anxiety affects your mind and body.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. However, anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry and fear. Anxiety disorder is a chronic condition which in most cases requires medical intervention.
As of today, there are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – GAD causes anxiety or worry in a person for most days for at least a period of six months. The worry could be caused by a number of things, including but not limited to personal health, work, social interactions, or family health.
- Panic Disorder – People suffering from panic disorders have recurring panic attacks. These attacks are sudden periods of intense fear which can either be triggered by a certain situation or a memory.
- Specific Phobias – People suffering from this form of anxiety are specifically scared of a particular object or a situation.
Things That Can Help Anxiety Disorder
- Talking To Someone – Try talking to someone about your feelings and your mental condition. You can either confide in a friend, a family member or even a doctor
- Practicing Calming Breathing Exercises – Practicing breathing exercises only take a few minutes and they can often help with stress and anxiety.
- Exercising Regularly – Spending a few minutes each day on activities such as running, walking, swimming and yoga can help you relax. Exercise will also ensure you stop overthinking for a while as it will move your focus towards your physical body.
- Following A Healthy Diet – Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an important role in monitoring the overall mental and physical well being of a person.
- Monitoring Your Thought Patterns – Negative thoughts can have a damaging effect on your mental health condition. So spend some time every day to observe and analyze your thought process.
Anxiety is sporadic and it can often get in the way of things. If you suffer from regular anxiety attacks, it’s best to consult a specialist. Following the suggested lifestyle changes may help control anxiety, however, they might not be a permanent fix.