Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
Humphrey Mutegi, a counselling psychologist at Mount Kenya University, says as with many mental health conditions, the exact cause of anxiety disorders isn’t fully understood.
“Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to becoming anxious. Inherited traits also can be a factor, Mutegi says.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include feeling nervous, feeling powerless, having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom, Having an increased heart rate, breathing rapidly (hyperventilation), sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.
Signs of anxiety at various levels such as nervousness, inability to eat, sweating and may it manifest in different people differently, including those who end up using enhancers such as drugs when anxiety hits.
The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you.
Also known as talk therapy or psychological counselling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally, a short-term treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to gradually return to the activities you’ve avoided because of anxiety. Through this process, your symptoms improve as you build upon your initial success. Says Mr. Humphrey
Several types of medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, including those below. Talk with your doctor about benefits, risks and possible side effects.
Mutegi says the types of anxiety include pathological anxiety, which is the normal anxiety that occurs when there is no generally understandable danger like a job interview, going to work in a new place.
But if this anxiety goes beyond and it starts interfering with your normal operation then you will require some help. Free floating anxiety, which is a ‘free-floating’ because it is not attached to nothing.
It is like a cloud that follows person everywhere, as if it is on a string. The anxiety casts a long shadow over existence, making the individual constantly on the alert.
The free floating anxiety may include hyper vigilant (anything or anyone is a threat), fight or flight reaction state etc. Another type is the chronic anxiety which interferes happiness. It is understandable that victims are often irritable.
Mutegi says one should not hide so much the state they are in. For example, if you have been given a task by your boss and that task is too much for you, don’t just pretend because it can affect your health or what we call the higher levels of anxiety, which can also lead to stress because anxiety and stress go hand in hand.
Additional sourcing from online
coping with anxiety
Talk to your doctor or mental health provider. Find out what might be causing your specific condition and what treatments might be best for you.
Take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments. Consistency can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication.
Work with your mental health provider to figure out what’s making you anxious and what steps you can take to address it.
As with any illness, asking your partner or family members for help is an important part of coping.
Remember that you aren’t alone. Support groups offer compassion, understanding and shared experiences.
Don’t let worries isolate you from loved ones or activities. Social interaction and caring relationships can lessen your worries.
When you feel anxious, take a brisk walk or delve into a hobby to refocus your mind away from your worries.