Do you understand the different forms of anxiety?
Forms of anxiety disorders
Forms of anxiety disorders can manifest in different ways. It isn’t one size fits all.
There are five different forms of anxiety disorder.
When is an anxiety disorder diagnosed?
An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences fear, which causes significant impairment in life and has been present for several months.
Separating themselves from their anxieties may feel like being exposed to more pain, and this heightens their worry (Cuncic, 2017).
What are the five common types of anxiety disorders?
#1 Specific phobia
This is where people fear specific objects or situations such as heights, animals or getting an injection.
With this type of anxiety, the person experiences fear which is out of proportion to the actual danger.
For instance, someone with a fear of needles may refuse to seek important medical care.
Another example will be someone with a fear of dogs may refuse to visit friends who have dogs in their homes.
A person with a specific phobia will avoid situations such as airplanes, accidents or medical procedures.
#2 Social anxiety disorder
This is a mental health condition characterised by persistent fear of being watched or judged by others.
A person with social anxiety disorder has an intense fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed during a social or performance situations, like going to a party or giving a speech.
This fear may cause the person to get nervous or have a feeling of butterflies in their stomach.
They may be conscious of shaking or blushing and worrying about other people noticing their anxiety and judging them. People with social anxiety disorder may be anxious about attending an event or going on public transport.
- signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder may include
- a strong feeling of fear of interacting or talking with strangers
- fear of others noticing that you look anxious
- anxiety in anticipation of an activity
- expecting the worst outcome from an experience in public
- worrying about embarrassing yourself
- Physical symptoms like blushing, shaking or sweating
#3 Panic disorder
A person with panic disorder may experience intense and unexpected episodes of panic with physical symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness.
They may visit the hospital looking for help when it first happens and then worry a lot about having panic attacks.
Someone with agoraphobia fear being in situations where the chances of escape or receiving help would be difficult if they were to have a panic attack.
For example, a person with agoraphobia will be anxious about being in a
- crowded theatre (enclosed place)
- shopping mall (enclosed place)
- using trains, buses, or a taxi
Some people with agoraphobia feel more comfortable going out to these places with someone they trust. Sometimes, they do not go out at all and remain indoors for many months.
#5 Generalised anxiety disorder
This involves intense and often chronic worry.
Someone with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) will worry about finances, friends, loved ones becoming ill or having an accident.
They worry constantly about something terrible happening. Usually when one worry goes away, another one replaces it.
The feeling of being anxious cannot be stopped even though it impacts on their day to day living drastically.
People with GAD may refuse to travel in a car as they fear of having an accident.
Can anxiety get better?
There are steps you can take to reduce the impact of symptoms associated with anxiety. These range from home remedies such as self-care and self-love to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Hobbies that are good for anxiety and stress include
- Dog walking
- Nature Walking
- Knitting or crocheting
- Starting a blog on mental health
What steps can you take to prevent anxiety?
#1 Get help early
Getting early help will ensure that symptoms get treated before they get worse
#2 Write for therapy
Keeping a mental health journal can help you keep track of what is causing you to worry and help you feel much better. Writing your feelings and thoughts will help you understand them more clearly.
Writing for therapy helps create positive thoughts and ease symptoms which can improve your emotions.
#3 Prioritise self-care and self-love
Spend time doing things you enjoy. By carefully managing your time and energy, you can reduce anxiety.
In this article HERE, you can find ideas on how to practice self-love.
#4 Avoid unhealthy substance use.
Drug use, alcohol consumption, caffeine or smoking (nicotine) can make anxiety worse.
Quitting following an addiction can worsen your anxiety.
It is important to realise when you cannot quit on your own and seek medical support to help you.
Before you go
REMEMBER, you can get better and your life goals will be much easier to achieve.
When your anxiety gets better, you become less worried and can think more positively about their future.
Coping with medical conditions becomes easier and you can take better care of yourself
If you fear your anxiety may get worse, see your doctor or mental health professional
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