Seeing people with anxiety is very common these days. We all experience anxiety before exams or crucial business conferences when facing danger or first dates or any other important life events. That’s quite normal (as it occurs due to fear and worry) unless a person shows disproportionate amounts of anxiety to an extent that it tends to interfere with activities of daily living and hampers the quality of life. Unfortunately, anxiety is taking a severe form in this digital era!
In the US. anxiety is the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults (age 18 years and above). Every year 18.1% of the population is affected. Although it’s a treatable illness only 36.9% of those suffering are receiving treatment. An estimated 31% of all adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2020). Currently, coronavirus and lockdown are the major causes of the rising rates of anxiety disorders across the globe.
What starts as simple stress and restlessness turns to severe anxiety disorder and is caused by a complex set of factors including genetics, personality, life events and brain chemistry.
There are various types of anxiety disorders (that cause more than just worry, and stress) including generalized anxiety disorder (workplace issues or personal health), social anxiety disorder (arising from social interactions), obsessive-compulsive disorder (due to phobia or a specific aspect of life), separation anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (caused by trauma), that can affect people in a range of ways.
There are several myths and misconceptions about anxiety and people with anxiety. While some people think it’s a temporary problem, some think anxiety isn’t a real problem and some presume that people with anxiety are just trying to seek attention, and others think medication is the only solution. Wish to know the truth?
Here’re 11 Things People With Anxiety Want You To Know
1. The symptoms of anxiety are not just internal — they’re physical, too.
Anxiety can wreak physical havoc on your life in the form of headaches, insomnia, muscle pain, panic attacks, and more.
2. …but internal symptoms are just as debilitating.
Anxiety is an invisible illness that may not be seen but is certainly felt. When you deal with anxiety, there’s no separating yourself from the symptoms. You carry the misery in your thoughts, your choices, your relationships, yourself. And sometimes, that weight is so heavy that it feels physical.
3. There are several different types of anxiety — and even those can manifest in different ways.
The most common disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, which involves chronic, irrational worry about day-to-day things, and social anxiety disorder, which involves a fear of social situations and other people, whether interacting with them or fearing judgment from them, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. There’s also panic disorder, which involves sudden and repeated attacks of irrational fear (aka panic attacks), plus intense worry between those episodes.
All that said, even people with the same anxiety disorders experience symptoms differently — so don’t presume to know what someone is going through. Anxiety is not one size fits all.
4. We cancel plans last minute not because we’re jerks, but because some days we wake up and can’t imagine leaving the house.
Taking time away from work/friends/obligations doesn’t mean we don’t like being social…it just means sometimes we need a break.
5. Meditation and relaxation techniques do not work for everyone.
While these techniques sometimes do help alleviate symptoms, suggesting them as a cure-all can be incredibly frustrating for someone with anxiety.