Being anxious is a normal emotion and as humans, going through anxiety every now and then is completely fine. We can feel anxious about an exam we’re giving, about something someone said or any day to day situation which stresses us out. However, anxiety disorders are a different phenomenon. People suffering from them cannot lead normal lives unless their problems are addressed by a good psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Hakeem’s note: Psychologists treat patients through different kinds of therapy whilst psychiatrists are doctors who treat through medication.
Here are some common types of anxiety that you should know about:
People suffering from this disorder have unwanted, anxiety-creating thoughts that are out of their control. They have the ‘compulsion’ to perform specific acts and cannot act straight unless they’ve completed that task. In other words, they are ‘obsessed’ with the idea of fixing specific things. The individuals end up believing that if the task is not accomplished, something bad might happen.
Common Symptoms of OCD:
· Repetitive thoughts that the person cannot get rid of
· Constant checking thinking that the task may not be done even if it is done.
· Cluttering items in the house for emotional support or other reasons
· Need to clean things thinking that they’ve been contaminated
In this relatively common disorder, the individual has a phobia of social interactions. They can be limited to socially interacting with unknown or new people but can also include socializing in general.
Common Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:
· Sweating profusely when exposed to a social environment
· Feeling threatened and uneasy around large crowds
· Having the sense of being judged by people
· Overthinking and having negative thoughts around people
· The fear of interacting with new people, mingling in parties and other social events
3) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Even though this disorder does not have a unique set of symptoms, the lives of the people suffering from it can be greatly impacted leading to medication and therapy to calm the nerves. Individuals with GAD feel anxious about everyday happenings and cannot focus if they are anxious. They feel troubled, annoyed and panicky unless their anxiousness is put to rest. Physically, the individuals can feel their muscles tighten and experience shortness of breath, and mentally they can feel stressed throughout the day.
This disorder is a cognitive condition that is triggered after a horrific or traumatizing event for the individual. After the event has passed, the patients have difficulty coping with it and sometimes even with making peace with the fact that it did take place. Terrible things can happen to everyone and with time, people adjust and cope but people suffering from PTSD can have trouble leading normal lives.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
· Recurring nightmares
· Flashbacks being triggered by daily items
· Negative thoughts
· Inability to be in the same situation, place or with the same people
· Sudden emotional reactions
· Feeling unsure about the future
· Having problems expressing feelings
· Feeling detached from loved ones and favorite activities
People suffering from this condition have panic attacks that are triggered by people, situations, and places that the individuals are not comfortable with. Panic attacks can be petrifying and the person might be in constant fear of getting the attack. The intensity varies from person to person. Some people can feel better after a specific time, but for others, the condition may worsen.
Common Symptoms of Panic Disorder
· Shortness of breath
· Tingling sensation all over the body or in some areas
· Feeling dreadful
· Thinking that you or someone you know might die
· The constant feeling of something bad happening
· Hot flashes
· Unable to cope with reality
If you think that you or a family member might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is important to get the condition treated so that you or the impacted individual can lead a happy, healthy and stress-free life.
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