Millions of people suffer from anxiety every year. This mental health condition is common but often overlooked. We dismiss its symptoms saying that life is hard or that ups and downs are part and parcel of life. But did you know that many also suffer from anxiety disorders, where they experience worry and fear to an intense and overwhelming level?
People who experience this are often at a loss for words to express the condition. Rohini Kesavan Rajeev, Senior Psychotherapist and Founder, The Able Mind, spoke to HerZindagi and said that some people are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than others.
Did you know that according to a report published by the World Health Organization on September 27, 2023, anxiety disorders affected 301 million people worldwide in 2019? Therefore, psychotherapist Rajeev shared some ways to cope with the condition.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
The psychotherapist said that anxiety disorder is followed by excessive fear and worry, and it can manifest as,
- Panic disorder where the patient will have a panic attack
- Social anxiety disorder where the person feels extremely stressed and fearful in social setups
- Separation anxiety disorder in which people feel extremely anxious or fearful about being separated from their loved ones
There may be other situations where negative thoughts and feelings can overwhelm a person and affect them adversely.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?
According to experts, people suffering from anxiety disorders experience a variety of negative emotions, including fear and worry. He added, However, for anxiety symptoms to be called a disorder the symptoms have to be severe, last longer than the situation that caused them and impair daily functioning, thus, causing severe distress to a person. person.
How to Cope with Anxiety Disorders?
The expert says there are several ways to deal with any mental health condition (How Loneliness Can Affect Sleep Pattern), but a person has to find what works for them. They should consult a health care professional who practices psychotherapy and prescribes medication if the condition is severe. They can help you identify triggers and suggest ways to deal with situations.
Here are some ways to cope with anxiety disorder,
- Grow yourself when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. The expert suggested trying the 5-4-3-2-1 method to remember and realize your surroundings. For example, notice five things around you, touch four things, try to hear three sounds, identify at least two smells, and taste something. If your friend or loved one is experiencing these things, ask them to lie on the floor and help them through this process.
- You can also practice square breathing or the 5555 technique to calm yourself down. When you feel anxious, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. When you focus on the up and down movement of your stomach, it will help you divert your mind. You should breathe in through your mouth, hold for a count of five, and breathe out while counting again to five.
- A third technique involves splashing cold water on a distressed person’s face several times to calm them down. The expert said, It helps to reset the hyper-aroused sympathetic nervous system and regulate one’s heartbeat and breathing.
Who is More Likely to Experience an Anxiety Disorder?
Psychotherapist Rajeev says that there is a section of people who are more likely to experience anxiety disorders (How To Cope With Anxiety) than others. This includes,
- People with a traumatic past or childhood
- People who constantly find themselves in bad situations
- People who struggle with poor sleep patterns, have unhealthy lifestyles and have lower resilience
- People who have experienced atrocities due to discrimination based on caste, class, race, different abilities, displacement, gender, sexuality, etc.
It’s important to remember that you are offering a comfortable space to a loved one struggling with an anxiety disorder. If you need a safe place and can’t find it, you should consult a therapist who can guide you through this difficult phase.
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