Anxiety: Understanding and Coping with a Common Emotional Disorder
Anxiety is a common emotional disorder that affects millions of people around the world.
It is characterized by feelings of worry, nervousness, and fear, and it can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Despite its prevalence, many people still do not understand what anxiety is, how it develops, and how it can be treated.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal response to stress and danger. It prepares us to face a challenge or respond to an emergency by increasing our heart rate, sweating, and tensing our muscles. However, anxiety becomes a problem when it interferes with our daily activities and causes significant distress.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Each type of anxiety disorder has unique symptoms, but all share the common theme of excessive, persistent worry and fear.
What Causes Anxiety?
The exact cause of anxiety is not well understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. People with a family history of anxiety are more likely to develop the disorder, and traumatic life events, such as abuse, neglect, or loss, can trigger anxiety symptoms. Additionally, chronic stress, substance abuse, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to the development of anxiety.
How to Manage Anxiety
Fortunately, anxiety is a treatable condition, and there are several effective strategies for managing its symptoms. Some of the most commonly used strategies include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that helps individuals understand and change negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to anxiety.
- Medication: Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines, can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety by reducing stress and improving mood.
- Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness can help reduce physical symptoms of anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
- Lifestyle changes: Simple lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, can also help reduce anxiety symptoms.
How Anxiety Affects Me
From a personal perspective anxiety comes and goes. It is the fear of the unknown that can spiral into stress, panic attacks, depression, and procrastination. For example, bearing in mind it is a Sunday so you would not expect any businesses to call you today, yet I noticed a missed call. Not knowing who it was that was calling me, I withheld my number and proceeded to call the number back and I was put through to the DWP.
Update Monday 13th February 2023. I had another missed call today and this time they left a message that they will phone me between 11 -12 despite me telling the PIP assessor I am in University Mon, Tue & Fri. I did accept the call when they rang and they said they are increasing my PIP payments as they needed some more information about my mobility. So it looks like they work Sundays as well.
Stress & Anxiety impact on a sufferer of multiple sclerosis.
Considering I have voice mail activated you would think the person that was trying to reach me would leave a message, but unfortunately, they didn’t which has now made me feel anxious and on edge. Stress and anxiety can cause a person suffering from multiple sclerosis to relapse. Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) | Multiple Sclerosis Society UK (mssociety.org.uk)
Fortunately, I have my mum as my rock and she tried reassuring me that they will write to you if they cannot get in touch and that I needn’t worry as she will take care of things for me.
Anxiety is a common and treatable emotional disorder through medication, CBT therapy, and hypnosis. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. By understanding its causes and learning how to manage its symptoms, people with anxiety can take back control of their lives and improve their overall well-being. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan.
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Zena is studying BA Hons Marketing Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Zena may look normal to an untrained eye even though she has an invisible disability. Thanks to a great support network she is able to fit into society and can get additional help, whenever she needs it.
Zena aspires to be a role model for young people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Zena is also 'The Assistant Editor' of Disability UK Disabled Entrepreneur Journal, and Cymru Marketing Journal. She works remotely which does not put a strain on her health.