It is normal to feel anxious when the situation calls for it. When the stakes are high and performance is crucial, feelings of anxiety helps to keep your body ready for action. If someone feels anxious for an extended period of time and it affects day-to-day living, however, this person has an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
This type of anxiety disorder is used to describe a person who experience random panic attacks in day-to-day life without any apparent cause or triggers. A panic attack can consist of sweatiness, chest pain, a racing, pounding heart, choking or feelings of heart attack.
When a person experiences extreme fear of a particular stimulus or situation, we call this a phobia. Flying, blood, spiders and snakes are examples of frequent phobias that are commonly experienced. When facing their phobias, people will tend to freeze up, have severe tremors, have a racing and pounding heart and rapid, shallow breathing.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A person with this type of anxiety disorder has excessive worries about everyday matters for a long period of time (typically 6 months or more). Some other symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder include restlessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances. Such a person may also have trouble making commitments and deciding on everyday matters.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
When a person has repeating, distressing and intrusive thoughts of images and urges to perform certain actions or rituals over and over, this person may have OCD. In general, such a person knows that these actions are not rational but still has trouble stopping the behaviour. They typically have excessive fears or worries of things that would normally appear minor or unlikely and thus repeatedly take measures against the possibility of those happening. Washing hands repeatedly for fear of infections, constantly checking that the door is locked when going out for fear of burglary are examples of OCD behaviour.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Victims of an extreme situation – combat, child abuse, rape or natural disasters – may develop PTSD. People with this type of anxiety disorder tend to be excessively vigilant, experience flashbacks of the extreme events, see everything as threats, experience excessive anger, and may have sleep problems.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are generally caused by any combination of the following factors:
A person has chemical imbalances in the body, typically an excess of cortisol.
The family tree of the anxious person is full of similar cases.
When a person is brought up in a stressful environment, they may experience anxiety when presented with similar situations.
How to deal with anxiety
When facing anxiety or stress, sometimes we can manage it without medication by following these stress relieving activities to stay calm:
- Step back from the stressful situation.
- Take care of our diet.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine.
- Sleep well.
- Exercise frequently.
- Breathe deeply.
- Count slowly.
- Commit to action.
- Make light of the situation.
- Stay positive.
- Talk to a friend.
However, if the above does not help your anxiety, your best approach would be to seek professional help in treating your anxiety.
We believe that the best treatment for anxiety would be a holistic program that may include counselling, group therapy and if necessary, medication by our psychiatrists, counsellors, psychologists and therapists.
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For more information or any enquiries, feel free to contact us now!