Anxiety is primarily a state of mind. It is always not necessarily a problem. Anxiety is only a manifestation of a human being’s response to any change.
We as a species are psychologically hardwired to respond either with fight or flight to any change in our environment. A change can be something as simple as being told by your boss that your project deadline has been curtailed by a week. A group of friends turning up at your doorstep without prior notice is also a change in the environment. Irrespective of how we respond to these situations, it is inevitable that our state of mind changes with changes in our environment.
Our anxiety, stress, panic or any other emotions in such situations, if controlled is entirely normal. They would in fact be effective in bringing out the best from us. However, it is a very thin line that separates normal anxiety from anxiety that has turned into a disorder. For some of us, we cling on to the stress and panic even after we have dealt with the change and our mind starts believing that to be normal. It is then, that even without knowing we have crossed that thin line and have allowed anxiety to have the better of us. We have started suffering from anxiety disorder.
Let’s understand what the manifestations are usually like:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as the name suggests is the most general type of anxiety disorder. When we have started worrying beyond control about anything and everything in life, we might be suffering from GAD. If you are persistently concerned 24×7 to the extent that it causes your health to deteriorate, it might be a good idea to see a doctor now.
Loss of sleep or insomnia for no reason as such is an indicator to a state of anxiety which has turned into disorder. While it is entirely normal to be restless in your bed on a night before a job interview, it is not normal to lose your sleep while you are vacationing.
Taking a cue from that, there are quite a few things that can help you relax and fight your anxiety. It can be travel, watching a movie or something as simple as going shopping. However, you need to ensure doing all these on a tight budget so that you don’t start getting anxious about burning a hole into your pocket. You can consider having a look at websites like voucherbucket.co.uk. They can help you with some really good deals.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a state when you have set unnecessary standards for yourself and are under a self-imposed threat of falling short of it. You keep turning back to check whether you have locked the doors, you feel an uncontrollable need to keep your shoes at their exact place, you feel uncomfortable and irritated if you are not on your favorite chair watching the T.V. – You are suffering from OCD.
Phobia – however inconsequential can drag you into a state of anxiety. It starts affecting your life when you keep taking the stairs for your fear of elevators. You are suffering from disorder if your fear of closed spaces stops you from going to a cinema with your family. Fear is not a bad thing. In most cases, it keeps us alert and sometimes alive as well. But we need to take control before fear starts taking such a firm grip on our life that we stop living.
Our constant concern of being judged by our peers and our relatives makes us go into a shell in any social gatherings. When we keep thinking about the most insignificant of the discussions and keep judging ourselves, we have let Social anxiety disorder step into our life.
If we are struck with panic at the smallest of things and let ourselves be embarrassed at something as insignificant as dropping a catch, we are suffering from the Panic disorder. If we have been in a situation of trauma and refused to come out of it, we will find ourselves gripped in fear even if there is no apparent danger. It is Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While it is challenging to understand whether we are already suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is also essential to take control and reverse the situation. Medication along with meditation can work wonders. The stress reliever for every individual is different, and you need to find your own poison.