Anxiety is not a foreign word to us. Everyone of us has felt this particular emotion one time or another. It is absolutely normal to feel anxious under pressure, when you faced with a problem at work, or in your life. It is the temporary fear, nervousness, and worry, which usually disappears as soon as the concerned situation is solved. However, if your anxiety does not go away even in the absence of any triggering situation, and it keeps getting worse with time, then, you might be suffering from the anxiety disorder.
The feelings of nervousness, and fear of the person suffering from the anxiety disorder can interfere with his daily activities, including his job performance, relationships, and school work. The feelings of fear in the affected person is persistent, overwhelming, and uncontrollable. The person has an irrational fear regarding everyday situations.
The lack of awareness about this medical condition among the people has made the people suffering from this mental disorder reluctant to come forward, and receive help. The mental disorders are not considered as real, and serious condition as the other physical conditions. It is crucial to make people aware about it, and encourage them to come forward and receive help, if they are suffering from it. This disorder is as real as any other physical disorder, such as the diabetes, or heart disease.
The constant rush in the people’s life has made the anxiety disorder quite common among them. The anxiety disorder is of many types, including the panic disorder, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, specific phobias, and selective mutism. Some mental disorders, such as the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive – compulsive disorder (OCD) have similar symptoms as the anxiety disorder, and some people suffering from these mental disorders may also experience depression.
It is important to be able to differentiate between the normal everyday anxiety, and the anxiety disorder. Some of the differences between these are given below:
1. Cause of Worry
When having normal everyday anxiety, you may worry about paying the bills, about your interview, an exam, your relationship, and other such important events of your life.
However, the person suffering from this disorder will worry about unimportant aspects of his life. These topic of his fear and worry can be mundane, and simple. His constant fear stops him from living his life normally.
2. Social Situations
A person suffering from the everyday anxiety may find himself getting embarrassed, and self – consciousness in uncomfortable and awkward social situations. In the absence of such situations, he will find himself absolutely normal.
On the other hand, a person suffering from this disorder will try his best to avoid any kind of social situation. He is constantly under the fear of being judged by other people, and often feel embarrassed and humiliated when surrounded by people in social gatherings.
3. Physical Symptoms
A sweating bout before doing something important, or a significant event is absolutely normal in the everyday anxiety.
However, the person may have a panic attack without any reason, if he is suffering from this disorder. Also, he is in constant fear of having another panic attack.
The fear is realistic in the everyday anxiety. It is absolutely normal to feel anxious of dangerous objects, situation, or places.
Although, in this disorder, the person has an irrational fear of a normal situation, object, or place. He tries his best to avoid these objects, and situations.
5. Other Symptoms
In the everyday anxiety the person feels sad, and finds it difficult to sleep after encountering a traumatic event. However, with time these feelings go away.
An anxiety disorder suffering person will have recurring nightmares, and flashbacks of the concerned traumatic event. He may become emotionally numb to that particular event, even after many years had passed.
The signs and symptoms of the different types of the anxiety disorder varies from person to person, but some of the common ones are as follows:
1. Generalized anxiety disorder
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Sleeping disorders
2. Social anxiety disorder
- Restlessness when in public
- Difficulty in talking to people in large social gatherings
- Feeling extremely self-consciousness in social situations
- Fear of being humiliated, and judged in front of other people
- Avoiding the places with too many people
- Trembling, and sweating when in social events
- Feeling dizzy, and nauseous around other people.
3. Panic disorder
- Repeated and sudden attacks of extreme fear
- Feeling loss of control during these attacks
- Avoiding the places, you had panic attacks in past
- Worrying about the next panic attack
- Increased heart beat rate, trembling, profuse sweating, and shortness of breath.
Some people are just more prone to anxiety disorder than others. The genetic factors, along with the environmental factors play an important role in the development of the anxiety disorder in a person. The various risk factors for this mental disorder are as follows:
1. Behavioral inhibition in childhood
The children, who are shy and are inhibited behaviorally to express themselves are most likely to suffer from this disorder during their teenage, or early adulthood years.
It has been researched that the females are more likely to suffer from this disorder than their male counterparts. The females form the major part of the patients suffering from this disorder.
3. Economic resources
The people, who have a few economic resources are likely to suffer from the anxiety disorder. Being economically stable reduces the chances of suffering from this mental disorder.
4. Stressful events in childhood
The people, who have faced some king of traumatic, or stressful event during their childhood, or adulthood years, generally, suffers from this disorder. The traumatic event of the past is likely to interfere with the future events of the suffering individual.
5. Genetic aspect
If the close biological relatives of a person suffers from this disorder, then, the person is at a high risk of suffering from it too.