What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is body’s response to real or imagined fear. When the body gets confronted with fear, you might experience the following symptoms;

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweaty palms
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Nauseous
  • Feeling of blood rushing through your body

Everybody feels anxious at times and this is normal and can be helpful at times. Imagine you are crossing a road and notice a car fast approaching, immediately; you feel a sudden rush of energy and quickly complete the crossing. Anxiety can be motivating and productive at times. For instance, you have an assignment is due and the motivating anxiety that you experience helps you to plan and complete the task in time.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

An Anxiety Disorder is when the experience of anxiety starts to impact your life and your ability to function declines. Someone with Anxiety Disorders sees a potential danger in situations and unnecessary worries and fears start to fume, which then impacts their ability to remain confident in situations.  Consequently, they avoid situations and these behaviors increasingly interfere with their ability to function normally. The following mental disorders were classified as Anxiety Disorders;

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The features of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are constant and excessive worry about school and work performance that the person finds difficult to manage to result in anxiety reactions in the body. Consequently, the person feels tired and fatigued.
  • Panic Disorder- Panic Attack: the person experiences recurrent unexpected panic attack and is persistently worried about having panic attacks or worried about getting embarrassed in the public because of panic attacks. Panic attacks may occur as a result of being feared by an object, person or a situation. However, a panic attack may also occur for no apparent reason.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: The individual may experience excessive fears and worries about being in public places or situations. The cognitions associated with such worries and fears include being negatively evaluated/ judged by others, by being embarrassed, humiliated or rejected, or offending others.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder: Excessive levels of worry and struggling to settle down, when there is a separation or perceived separation from attachment figures. Although the symptoms often develop during childhood, they can also be carried throughout adulthood as well.
  • Selective Mutism: the individual consistently fails to speak in public situations, where there is an expectation to speak. The individual will be able to speak and express themselves in less confronting and comfortable situations. The failure to verbally communicate may interfere with the individual’s ability to achieve academic, occupational and marital success.
  • Specific Phobia: Individuals with specific phobias express intense fear responses and avoidant tendencies to certain objects or situations including, getting in contact/exposed to certain animals, natural environment, blood-injection-injury etc.
  • Agoraphobia: The person may suffer from intense levels of fears of worries when exposed to situations including, using public transport, being enclosed in places, being in a crowd, or being outside in the home alone etc.
  • Substance/ medication-induced Anxiety Disorder: The sufferer exhibits anxiety symptoms as a result of intoxication or withdrawal from substances or to a prescribed medication.
  • Anxiety Disorder due to another medical condition: Certain medical conditions result in anxiety reactions in your body.

Would you like help?

If you believe that you are suffering from an Anxiety Disorder, it is best to check with your GP and override any medical conditions before seeking mental health treatment. Anxiety disorders can be well managed if treated properly.

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