What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are a feeling of being nervous or restless. Usually, people will experience it when faced with certain situations, for example before a job interview, before an exam, when having to make an important decision, or when waiting for the results of a doctor’s examination.

Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress, which actually helps us to be more careful and alert. However, anxiety can become unhealthy if it appears excessively, is difficult to control, or interferes with daily activities. This condition is known as an anxiety disorders.

Causes of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder is a serious mental disorder. This condition can be caused by a problem with the function of the brain that regulates fear and emotions.

There are several factors that can make a person more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder, namely:

  • Negative experiences that cause stress or psychological trauma.
  • Descendants.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Big life problems, such as a quarter-life crisis.
  • Side effects of certain drugs or substances, including caffeine and drugs.
  • Certain diseases, such as heart rhythm disorders and thyroid disease.

Recognize the Symptoms and How to Overcome It

There are several types of anxiety disorders, namely panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Symptoms and treatment of anxiety disorders also vary, depending on the type.

1. Panic disorder

people with panic disorder

People with panic disorder will experience panic attacks or excessive anxiety suddenly and repeatedly, for no apparent reason. The frequency and severity also vary. The following are some of the symptoms that can appear during a panic disorder:

  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Feeling like choking or tightness in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • Feel like having a heart attack
  • Afraid
  • Shaky
  • Feeling like helpless

A person with this condition feels like he will be attacked anytime and anywhere. Panic disorders usually last less than 10 minutes, but some can last up to an hour or more.

If you experience symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain during a panic attack, you are advised to sit down and close your eyes. Then inhale deeply through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. Repeat several times until you feel calmer.

If that doesn’t work, see a doctor or psychologist immediately. Treatment given by doctors to treat panic disorder can be in the form of anxiety relievers and psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy.

2. Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a feeling of extreme anxiety or fear of social situations or interactions with other people, either before, after, or while in those situations.

People with a social anxiety disorder will be afraid to say or do things in front of other people or in public places because they think it will embarrass them.

Some of the symptoms of social anxiety disorder are:

  • Fear or reluctance to interact and greet others, especially strangers.
  • Have a low level of self-confidence.
  • Avoid making eye contact with other people.
  • Fear of being criticized or judged by others.
  • Embarrassment or fear of going outside or in public places.

Social anxiety disorder is different from ordinary shyness. Shy people are generally still able to socially interact or communicate and go about their daily activities, although they may feel embarrassed if they have to say hello or get acquainted with other people.

If the shyness or fear of interacting with other people is felt to be very extreme, causing difficulty in carrying out daily activities and socializing, then this condition requires medical help from a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Treatment of social anxiety disorder may include taking anxiety relievers and antidepressants, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy as part of psychotherapy.

3. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

This type of anxiety disorder makes sufferers feel excessive anxiety that persists for a long time, usually up to more than 6 months. People with GAD will be very worried and think a lot (overthinking). Things to think about can vary, such as finances, health, hypochondria, or work.

A person suffering from generalized anxiety disorder usually can’t focus on anything, has trouble concentrating, and can’t feel relaxed. In some cases, this anxiety can be so severe that it causes depression.

The following are some of the symptoms that people with a generalized anxiety disorder may experience:

  • Shaking and cold sweat
  • Tense muscles
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Easy to get angry
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pounding
  • Often feel tired
  • Hard to breathe
  • Feeling the urge to urinate frequently
  • No appetite

Sometimes, people with anxiety disorders can hide their feelings and symptoms and appear fine. This condition is called duck syndrome.

Treatment for generalized anxiety disorder can be taken in two ways, namely through psychotherapy and the provision of psychotropic drugs or sedatives. If left without proper treatment, anxiety disorders can have a negative impact and reduce the sufferer’s quality of life. Therefore, if you experience excessive anxiety that interferes with daily activities, you should immediately consult a doctor.