Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults aged 18 and older. Despite being highly treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering from this mental health condition receive treatment. This may be because they don’t want treatment, do not know there is help for what they’re experiencing, or attempt to self-medicate to make themselves feel better.
Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety can present in multiple ways, and there are several different types of anxiety, from generalized anxiety disorder to PTSD, and panic disorders to social anxiety disorders. The most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder are intrusive thoughts and excessive worrying that can interrupt daily functioning. But other signs of anxiety can also include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Tense muscles
- Racing thoughts
- Feel of impending doom
- Heart palpitations
Many people who suffer from anxiety think something is physically wrong with them. This belief can make their anxiety even worse and lead them to try to treat their symptoms with unhelpful and addictive medications, when all the while they’re suffering from a highly treatable mental health condition.
Self-Care Strategies to Counter Anxiety
There are multiple good ways to manage anxiety without the need for substances:
- Exercise: Move at least 30 minutes a day
- See a therapist: Learn cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to impact mood
- Meditate: Clear your mind to stay present and slow your thoughts
- Eat: Eat regularly and healthily and keep blood sugar along with mood and energy
- Breathe: Practice breathing exercises and feel more in control
- Get a hobby: Relax with an activity you enjoy and that is distracting
- Adopt a pet: Spending time with a pet is scientifically proven to lower stress levels
While these self-care strategies will not completely solve anxiety, they can minimize the side effects of this mental health condition for some people and make the condition easier to cope with.
Though some people with anxiety cannot benefit from self-care at all – in fact, the pressure of doing something for themselves, or “having” to post about it on social media may make them feel even worse. They feel guilty about what they “should” be doing instead or have conflicting emotions about their self-worth.
How to Recognize When Treatment Is Needed
There is stress, and then there is anxiety. Every human goes through periods of stress and worry, but they’re usually temporary, relieved by the conclusion or resolution of a certain situation. When someone is experiencing anxiety, however, it can dominate their life even in the best of times, when everything is great and everyone is healthy and happy. The reason for the worry is simply inexplicable and they just cannot stop their mind from going around and around in negative ways.
This checklist will help you recognize if you or a loved one needs treatment:
- Triggers everywhere: The worry is near-constant and has begun to interfere with work, relationships, or other parts of your life.
- Physical symptoms: While someone may say they’ve gotten their anxiety under control, the stubborn persistence of physical signs – upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, tension, headaches – could be signs that it your anxiety is only being redirected and worries are coming out physically instead.
- Unproductive: Anxiety can cause a person to act nearly paralyzed and prevent them from accomplishing anything, small or large.
- Panic attacks: It can be easy to hide anxiety, unless you have panic attacks, which can cause a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, intense fear, a sense of doom, and more. Panic attacks can be debilitating without treatment.
- Depression: Depression often co-occurs with anxiety and they have a complicated relationship. If you have great sadness along with great worry, it is essential to diagnose and treat both conditions.
- Substance abuse: When a mental health condition is so invasive and difficult to tolerate, some sufferers will turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. This is not a long-term solution and can easily turn into an addiction that you rely on throughout every day to cope with your feelings.
Article Source: www.beachsiderehab.com