Thanks to Lala @https://mobile.twitter.com/lalalal01268370 for giving me the idea for this blog post.
Basically it’s pretty much normal and healthy to be anxious but when there is a consistent and regular feeling of extreme anxiety to the extent that it begins to affect one’s daily life then there’s a problem – at this point it’s no longer just anxiety but an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that involve excessive amounts of anxiety, fear, nervousness, worry, or dread. Anxiety that is too constant or too intense can cause a person to feel preoccupied, distracted, tense, and always on alert
Anxiety disorder is a type of mental disorder or illness characterized by an intense fear or extreme case of anxiety which interferes with one’s daily life. Now most people might feel “what’s the big deal” about this. But the fact is there are so much misconceptions about anxiety in the society today.
It is characterized by panic attacks and withdrawal. People going through anxiety disorder aren’t attention seeking or chasing clout because trust me living with anxiety disorder isn’t easy. Sometimes I wish it was like a switch so I could just switch it off most times and save myself. People with anxiety disorders are real people with real significant issues.
These are people scared to do things most people would consider as normal, this are people with little or no control of the exaggeration of their minds nor control of the games their mind plays on them. This are people genuinely living in fear of certain things, people or situations which serve as triggers.
Dealing with anxiety isn’t near to easy, it basically occupies most of one’s entire life making the person involved to lose any and every touch with not just themselves but those around them as well as their relationships. It’s more like moving around with your heart in your hand hoping any new day that comes along will bring a bit of respite and peace.
Praying that you don’t come across anything that might trigger that fear and cause your mind to basically generate so many scenarios that you think you’re crazy. Sometimes you wish you could take a long nap and just never wake up, it’s so tiring and exhausting when you’re not able to live life as freely as you would want to because of that cage of fear that has been built around in one’s mind.
You can’t imagine how hard it is to keep living life seeing the judgemental look on the faces of those around you as you’re locked away in your mind. Or the look of sympathy and pity as loneliness begins to creep in as certain relationships and friendships begins to crumble. The look of scorn and disappointment on the faces of family members, relatives and supposed friends and spouses.
Or the exhausted look on your partners face as you feel they’re nearing their perceived breaking point as they just can’t seem to deal with your many “issues”. The look of pain when you look at your child’s face as a parent, praying your children don’t end up like mummy or daddy. The nagging thoughts and feelings of been a disappointment , useless and worthless to not just yourself but everyone around you including those you love.
Relationships involving partners with anxiety disorder usually tend to have problems due to the fact that anxiety disorder makes one become over dependent on their partner due to the fear of losing them or their love. Or it could be the opposite when the partner with anxiety disorder tends to be avoidance or does not seem to be fully invested in the relationship.
In such case , there tends to be problems but this can be worked on by learning ways to rely more ono yourself, take a minute to evaluate that some of the reasons you feel the way you do or entertain certain suspicions about your partner is because of your anxiety.
Good, now that fact has been established take a record of your relationship so far and write out facts that disagrees with your suspicions. So anytime you feel that way you look through your notes. If you find yourself been distant emotionally and physically then it might be time to consider talking to your therapist about taking the cognitive behavior therapy to help sort out what the issue might be.
As we can imagine basically dominates the individuals entire life, from relationships to academics to work life to family to friendships. Anxiety is basically at the centre of the individual’s whole life or being. It’s impossible to concentrate or focus on other things when anxiety seems to be controlling every part of one’s life. This could lead to many other problems as one tries to run away from the cage built by this anxiety such as substance abuse, anger and violence, withdrawal from family.
Different symptoms are associated with different types of anxiety but usually the most common symptoms are seen below:
A whole lot of mental health issues including depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and even suicidal thoughts can be caused by anxiety disorder. Most times the strangest and most difficult of demons are those ones we can’t see, those are the demons deep some where in our head.
Sometimes I see myself biting my lip, shuffling my feet,twisting my ear lobes, cracking my knuckles ferociously like my life depended on it all in a bid to keep it all in and provide some sort of relief and sanity for myself. I find myself avoiding eye contact during conversations because I just can’t seem to stop imagining you can see right through my eyes that I’m on a war path with myself. I can’t seem to find a reason to get out of bed or even a reason to live. I’m dying inside and no one seems to realize it or notice.
I can’t seem to find a reason for my anxiety. Why am I this way? Why do I have this feelings? I don’t know why I can’t see things like other people see them? I can’t find any reasons as to why I feel this way. When I can’t even understand what’s going on in my own head then how can I expect the world too right?
Sometimes I’ve good days but then it’s like when things begin to look up, it all comes crashing down with a string of terrible bad days that overshadow that one good day. But one thing I have learnt through all this is that despite all the bad days there’s always something out there to be thankful for.
Types of anxiety disorders.
It’s important to know and understand exactly what type of anxiety disorder you have to enable you deal with it effectively. There are different types of anxiety disorder such as:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: A pattern of excessive worry about a variety of issues on most days for at least six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, a hammering heart, or dizziness.
- Social anxiety disorder: Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called on to perform in front of others, such as in public speaking.
- Specific Phobias: A particular animal, insect, object, or situation causes substantial anxiety.
- Panic disorder: Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of heart-banging fear, breathlessness, and dread. “It’s the feeling you’d have if you just missed being hit by a Mack truck — but for people with panic disorder there is no Mack truck,” says Dr. Beresin.
Ways to deal with anxiety attacks
- Dealing with anxiety gets better when you’re able to rechannel certain energy into doing something that you love, into doing something that completely takes your mind aware from fears and just takes you into another realm of bliss. It could be teaching, art or music. Just been able to make something else take center stage in your life does magic.
2) Stay away from negativity and toxic people – you can’t expect everyone to understand you and tolerate what you’re going through, if you do that you might end up disappointed. But you can choose to have your self surrounded by people who make an effort to understand and love you.
People who are there to fill and brighten up your life, people who leave you with a smile on your face. People who cherish and look past what you’re going through knowing that you like everyone else deserve to be loved and accepted. Take note of people who leave you feeling worse about yourself, who manipulate you by throwing your anxiety disorder right at your face. Get rid of those people they’re toxic.
3) Medications : if you notice any of the symptoms above occur persistently you should see a psychiatrist who would make an official diagnosis and proffer drugs that would help give some relief eg fluoxetine
4) Reduce intake of alcohol and drinks having caffeine : Caffeine found in coffee and some other drinks can be mood altering and tend to escalate ones anxiety symptoms
5) Exercise and sleep: eat right and treating your body right works alot as well and helps improve one’s mood and makes you feel better.
6) Face your fears head on – anxiety disorder tends to to make our legitimate fears seem bigger than they really are, making one feel like that fear is just way too scary to get over but the fact is you can conquer that fear of that situation or thing or person.
At a point sooner or later you’ll need to face your fear head on and take it down like the boss you’re. The time might not be today or tomorrow but trust me it’s sooner than you think.
Cost of anxiety
Constant anxiety levies a toll on health. For example, anxiety increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, raising blood pressure, which contributes over time to heart problems, stroke, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction. And a 2017 Lancet study using brain scans measured activity in an area called the amygdala, which mounts split-second responses to danger and encodes memories of frightening events.
Greater activity in the amygdala correlated with higher risk for heart disease and stroke, possibly, the researchers speculated, by triggering immune system production of extra white cells to fight perceived threats. In people struggling with emotional stress, this might drive inflammation and plaque formation that leads to heart attacks and strokes.
Quality of life suffers, too. Intrusive thoughts, dread of panic attacks, intense self-consciousness and fear of rejection, and other hallmarks of anxiety disorders compel people to avoid anxiety-provoking situations. This interferes with relationships, work, school, and activities as people isolate themselves, turn down opportunities, and forgo possible joys in life.
Lastly I want to encourage anyone going through this out there, I know it really isn’t easy and you have felt like giving up more than once, but I promise you you’re worth fighting for. You’re worth it keep on fighting for yourself and happiness. Keep on striving to be better and let go of the negativity xx