Ever wondered about the meaning of anxiety disorder, its types, and the best treatment for the cure?
Anxiety involves feelings of worry, fear, or unease that often persist without an identifiable cause.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues affecting millions of people worldwide.
And some of its symptoms includes:
- Stomach aches and rigid body posture,
- Difficulty making eye contact,
- Feelings of self-consciousness,
- Feeling embarrassed or humiliated by harmless speech or actions.
- Assuming that everyone looking at you is passing a negative judgement on you.
It is okay to get anxious sometimes. But when it becomes the norm, it is then a disorder.
Let’s discuss the full meaning of anxiety disorder and its types.
What Is Anxiety Disorder And Types?
Anxiety disorder is a common emotion due to excessive and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations.
It can involve cognitive (intellectual), physical and behavioural changes sometimes caused by actual or perceived danger.
It varies from mild to severe symptoms and can seriously affect our daily life.
Anxiety sometimes can be normal in stressful situations, such as public speaking, taking a test, or going to a job interview.
However, when anxious feelings become all-consuming that it adversely affects a person’s daily living, it becomes a disorder.
There is a difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders, while the former is a normal emotion, the latter needs prompt medical attention.
Let’s look at a few anxiety disorder types:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
Excessive worry often marks about everyday life events without obvious reason usually marks this type of disorder.
It often begins in childhood or adolescence with traumas, such as seeing an accident taking place, physical or emotional abuse, divorce, etc.
People with this disorder always expect bad things to happen to them and are always worried about their health, money, family or work-life balance.
This kind of anxiety can dominate a person’s thinking that they find it hard to do routine things at work or school, or even in their relationships.
For example, a person struggling with GAD may dread climbing staircases because they are afraid of slipping and falling.
The best treatment for this anxiety disorder adopting a good lifestyle habits such as exercise, yoga, getting enough sleep and avoiding caffeine.
2. Panic Disorder
This is one of the anxiety disorder types common in late teens or early adulthood with more women prone to it.
Unexpected and intense fear of the unknown characterizes this anxiety disorder. Then, physical symptoms like chest pain, trembling, or increased heart rate follows.
Researchers have found that specific biological processes, such as genetics, often cause this disorder.
3. Social Anxiety Disorder:
This has to do with intense persistent fear or nervousness about being judged or watched by others. The fear of social situations may become so intense that it seems out of control.
In Nigeria alone, this disorder affects about 5.3 million people.
This kind of anxiety may stop you from going to work, attending school or doing everyday things.
Many people who suffer from this disorder often claim to be introverted or shy and therefore avoid any kind of social situations, including public speaking, dating or going to parties.
They have linked this disorder to a history of abuse, bullying, or teasing, as well as having overbearing or controlling parents.
Social anxiety disorder prevents you from living your life and makes you avoid situations that most people consider as “normal”.
It results in low self-esteem, negative thoughts, poor social skills and sensitivity to criticism.
There are other types of anxiety disorders like phobias, separation anxiety, Medication-induced anxiety disorder and many others.
Treatment To Anxiety Disorder
The treatment to anxiety disorder is psychotherapy, which treats mental health problems by speaking with a psychologist.
During this session, you learn different ways of thinking, behaving and reacting to panic attacks.
You can seek help here from any mental health organisation in Nigeria.
Other treatment steps that can help are:
- Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness and meditation help. They are all effective methods to reduce stress and promote mental well-being.
- Regular exercise: Physical activity can help release pent-up energy and improve mood.
- Get enough sleep: Practise good sleeping habits to help improve mental health and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Practise good self-care: This includes eating a healthy diet and maintaining good hygiene. Avoid reading books, or watching movies that could increase your anxiety level or keep you stressed.
Factors Contributing To Anxiety Disorder
Research has shown that individuals with a family history of mental health disorders have an increased risk of developing these conditions.
- Cultural and societal factors:
The world today measures success based on achievements, especially in finance.
This lead to unnecessary pressure on young minds which contributes to stress and anxiety.
This is one way social media affect our mental health.
- Judgemental Behaviour
In addition, the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems can prevent people from seeking help and lead to more acute deterioration of their mental health.
Other factors including trauma, abuse, toxic relationships, etc. can also contribute to the development of mental health problems
Conclusion On Types of Anxiety Disorder and Treatment
We live in a modern, fast-paced world where stress and many types of anxiety disorder are becoming more prevalent daily and have had significant effects on mental health.
As we have learnt in a previous article on stress and mental health that it is how the body responds to challenging situations like pressure, financial difficulties, or relationship problems.
However, when stress becomes chronic, it results in physical and mental health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.
Put together, stress and anxiety have a negative impact on a person’s mental health by weakening the immune system and creating other mood disorders.
Understanding this connection will help us as individuals to take proactive steps to manage life’s experiences while promoting overall well-being.