5 Things People With Anxiety Deal With Every Single Day
Your life is not only defined by the maximum moments of happiness, such as a graduation or getting your first paycheck, but also by unfortunate times including divorce or physical injuries.
Although it is normal to be concerned about aspects of your life, such as your job, relationships, bank account or health, having too much stress and worry could be devastating to your body.
At first glance, it might seem that you simply increase your levels of stress or tiredness, but if you manifest physical changes, whether physical, mental or emotional or a combination of all three, then this could mean you experience an anxiety disorder.
According to Todd Farchione, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorder Studies at Boston University in the United States, there are certain social stigmas for people with anxiety, but opportunities to overcome it are increasing. Here you will find five things that people with anxiety experience on a daily basis, from impertinent comments to intense fears, and also what we can all do to help.
1. How annoying that "calm down" is
The last thing that can relax a person with anxiety is for someone to tell him to calm down. In fact, it can make the situation worse. According to Farchione, some research suggests that trying to calm someone in the middle of an anxiety crisis can increase the emotional response that arises at that moment. As a result, when trying not to be afraid, the patient may show a more intense reaction towards what causes him panic.
Instead of encouraging someone with anxiety to relax, Farchione proposes to offer support and understanding. "Telling someone to calm down is not a good idea, especially because nobody imagines what that person is going through," he explains. "If they could calm down, they would; it is too simplistic a view of emotions. The best thing would be to ask them something like 'What makes you feel this way?' Reflecting on it and expressing your feelings, in general, can help you overcome it."
2. Panic attacks are never timely
It's a normal day. You are preparing to leave the house when, suddenly, you feel pressure in your chest. Suddenly, a terrible fear absorbs you and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Some panic attacks appear out of nowhere, without warning, while others are induced by fear of facing a situation that produces anxiety. Regardless of when it happens, it is never pleasant and almost always inconvenient. "These disorders greatly weaken the people who suffer from them," Farchione says, "partly because they themselves recognize that what they experience is irrational, but they have learned to react in this way, it is a natural response. And it can be terrible."
3. Fear has a different meaning
When you face anxiety, your fears amplify to an extreme point and do not always fade away. Riding in a plane or entering a room full of strangers can be unbearable, but at that moment nothing can be done to keep those feelings away.
The child psychiatrist Allison Baker explains that we all feel uncomfortable when faced with uncertainty. However, those who suffer from anxiety disorders experience fear at a higher level.
To try to help someone with anxiety to cope with their problem, many people in their environment often avoid the specific stimuli that generate that anxiety. However, Farchione warns that this empathy can also reaffirm their fears. "It's a complex situation: on the one hand you want them to understand you, but this will probably make your family and friends adapt to your guidelines, which can be negative," he says. The loved ones are sensitized with your fears, for example, making sure that their house is free of germs or avoiding feared situations so as not to cause anguish. "This does not help, but feeds the fear," says Farchione. "This behavior corroborates that fear is valid and rational, which can also be problematic."
4. Physical symptoms can manifest in unexpected ways
Anxiety not only clouds the mind: there are physical symptoms that can also derive from these disorders. A study conducted in New Zealand involving people with the inflamed digestive system points to the existence of a link between anxiety disorders and the development of irritable bowel syndrome. A high level of stress, usually associated with anxiety, can produce symptoms ranging from rashes and hives to dizziness and dry mouth.
5. Turning things around is exhausting, but you can’t help it
It is a vicious circle: your thoughts become worries, and your worries become thoughts. Such reflection can be harmful, according to a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One. The researchers found that giving too many turns to negative things is one of the main signs of depression and anxiety and that the psychological response to what happens to you is even greater than the event itself.
Farchione suggests that we ask for help if a person suffering from anxiety becomes too obsessed with the negative aspects of life. "The emotions they suffer are real," he explains, "not that his head makes them up."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Amal Vasu