Anxiety is defined by oxford english dictionary as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome”. Anxiety is categorized by DSM-IV and ICD-X as a phobia. This article discusses anxiety, how to identify and help fight this disorder. Anxiety is often swept under the rug. Anxiety normally occurs with all of us during an emergency, like meeting deadlines, public speaking, facing an animal who can hurt us, these are healthy scenarios. When you’re feeling anxious even when there aren’t any real threats then you actually have an anxiety disorder.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT ) helps anxiety patients understand the stress factor is caused by thinking errors due to irrational deduction of events that can be trained to identify and improve. Imagine getting ready for a party but you feel that you shouldn’t be too happy as anything can go wrong. What if people don't talk with you? What if your dress isn’t proper enough? These questions start to fill up your mind. Now you’re in the party and someone walks up to you to talk, at this moment you feel a certain uneasiness while your heart is pounding while you want to hold it together but you can't make it so. These are irrational deductions for social acceptance as an excuse; this is what we can identify and change.
We often target perfection and waste too much time planning and suffer from anxiety when we don't even start working on the task. We should rather jump into a task with as much as you have. We humans can figure out most problems just by jumping into it, as the proverb goes “Necessity is the mother of invention”. When coming out of the task is necessary for survival we can fight our way back. We also need to learn to forgive ourselves for mistakes we make.
Panic attacks have become a growing concern with more modernization. Panic attacks trigger severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. It is extremely hard to treat as no physical problems before the attack, it is hard to assume the next occurrence of such an attack.
In the age of information, a new source of anxiety is from obsessive craving for information. People due to any physical problem turn to the internet for a solution rather than an expert to some blog written over the internet not vetted by professionals. Now these problems might be a small fluke but we happen to assume the worst. A study at a University at florida suggests that our insatiable appetite for information mimics impulse control disorder. We cannot stop ourselves, information isn’t the problem but how we use it or the abundance of information trains us to fear its absence and trains us to fear not knowing.
The idea of not knowing must be tolerated, not escape it, when we run from everything that makes us anxious then we are more afraid of not knowing or completing tasks from which we procrastinate and in turn aid to anxiety. Technologies like Digital Wellbeing help us take a break from the world of the internet, take a break from an unlimited information buffet as the Fear of Missing Out is one of the major reasons for anxiety.
Anxiety is a real problem and cannot be ignored. Suppressing anxiety may have serious effects on the mind and body. We should seek help when such problems arise and not be ashamed of it. More of us who will come out of the shadows will help others find the courage to do so too.