Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety can manifest in many different ways and can be triggered by a number of factors. It is important to note that anxiety is a normal emotion, and it becomes a disorder when it becomes recurrent, intense, and disruptive to one’s life.
The Health at a Glance Report reported that Ireland has one of the highest rates (3/36 countries) of mental health illness in Europe, with 18.5% of the Irish population recorded as having a mental health illness such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or alcohol/drug use in 2016. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with 40 million American adults having an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of anxiety is important in helping manage the condition and seeking treatment when necessary. Symptoms of anxiety can range from physical to psychological issues; these include dizziness, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, muscle tension, inability to sit still for long periods of time, insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns, changes in eating habits (overeating or loss of appetite), difficulty talking or forming words correctly due to shortness of breath, racing thoughts or worrying too much about things outside one’s control.
There are many different types of treatments available for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders; these include cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), medication (SSRIs), relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, lifestyle modifications (getting adequate exercise and maintaining a healthy diet) and support groups that allow individuals suffering from similar conditions to come together and share their experiences.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy focuses on changing unhealthy thinking patterns that trigger negative emotions such as fear or panic. During CBT sessions, individuals learn how to identify distorted thinking patterns while also learning new coping strategies that reduce stress levels associated with anxious feelings. Working with a qualified therapist provides patients with tools they can use on their own when stressful situations arise.
Medication is another form of treatment used to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety disorders, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). These medications work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which helps regulate moods and reduce anxiety levels. It is important to note that medications come with side effects, so individuals should discuss any concerns they may have with their physician before beginning any kind of medication regimen.
In addition to CBT and medication, there are other treatments used for managing anxious feelings, such as relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, which help relax both body and mind while also providing a sense of calmness during stressful times; lifestyle modifications like eating healthy foods (that are rich in vitamins B12 & D) getting enough exercise each day (at least 30 minutes) can help increase endorphins which naturally decrease anxious feelings; support groups provide social support where individuals struggling with similar issues can talk openly without judgement while gaining insight into other people’s experiences that may help.
If you think that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, you should talk to a qualified healthcare professional as soon as possible. Help is available! You don’t have to live with an anxiety condition.