by: Jason Rickard
Everyone goes through anxiety at one time or the other in their lives. Anxiety is usually a combination of negative emotions like apprehension, worry, and fear. Once a person is anxious about something, the person not only undergoes mental trauma, but also experiences many physical sensations.
It is quite normal for people to get anxious around examination time, during job interviews, on seeing horrid photos or when looking down from heights. Such situations are usually under control with people living normal lifestyles. However there are some people suffering from constant and nagging anxiety that forces them to live restrictedly. Such people usually have phobias, shyness, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and exhibit compulsive behavior known as anxiety disorders.
Anxiety in another form is panic disorder, where people experience sudden panic attacks with symptoms like trembling, chest pain, palpitations, and sweaty palms. Some people tend to get lightheaded when anxious and experience fears of dying, losing control on life and going crazy. These attacks usually last a few minutes and are followed with feelings of depression and helplessness. In fact, some people tend to fear experiencing a panic attack again, more than anything else!
Social anxiety is the fear of being around people. Such people are usually self-conscious when with others as they always feel people are watching them. This is why they avoid social activities and meeting people. Though these people may know that what they are thinking is irrational, their feelings win over their thoughts. Sometimes memories of past traumatic experiences are sufficient to trigger anxiety!
People who live in anxiety usually live a life pondering on the consequences of all their activities. They generally have a pessimistic approach to life; this is why there never seems to be an exit from the cycle of anxiety. In addition to all the signs of anxiety, these people also experience terrible headaches, lack of concentration, irritability and sleep disturbances.
Anxiety is curable, as long as the proper treatment is taken. However, there is no standard approach to treat anxiety as each person’s cause for anxiety will be different from another’s. Some people feel better with a few weeks of month of treatment while some may need a year or more. Treatment takes longer if the patient has other disorders like alcoholism and depression, along with anxiety.
The best form of therapy is having the client find out what causes the negative thoughts and to learn to separate realistic thoughts from unrealistic thoughts. Those suffering from anxiety due to unwanted behaviors are treated by gradually exposing them to anxiety-producing stimuli. This builds tolerance to situations that cause anxiety to them. Of course, relaxation provides great relief for anxiety disorders, and is a part of psychotherapy.
Sometimes, medications have to be taken to restore the chemical imbalances that trigger anxiety. Such medications are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications and are usually administered along with psychotherapy. The amount of treatment required for anxiety depends on the severity and length of the problem. However, the patient’s cooperation for treatment in itself is an important factor for the success of the treatment. If the patient undergoes treatment against his or her will, recovery will be rather slow.