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What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental disorder which is usually described as "excessive worrying". It has been estimated that 20% of Australians between the ages 16 and 85 develop some sort of anxiety disorder every year. Anxiety affects everyone in different ways. Some people develop anxiety which stays with them forever, while others develop temporary anxiety. The most common types and causes of anxiety are:

  • Anxiety caused by unfortunate events which occurred in the past. Depending on the event, this type of anxiety can be temporary or permanent.

  • Permanent anxiety that has been passed down in the family bloodline. Each family member is affected differently.

  • Temporary anxiety due to stress or an upcoming event.

  • Anxiety triggered by certain environments or objects.

  • Treatable anxiety which usually corresponds with depression, that is caused by alcohol or drug abuse.

Many people struggle to progress through their day to day lives due to their anxiety.  Daily tasks such as going to work can be a difficult challenge, especially for those who have been diagnosed with severe anxiety. The things most people call a "simple task" is really hard for some people to accomplish. Even having a simple conversation can be terrifying. There are so many different ways a person with anxiety can be affected, but here is a list some of the more common fears:

  • Job interviews

  • Going to work

  • Ordering takeaway.

  • Purchasing an item from a local store.

  • Dialling or answering phone calls.

  • Doing something for the first time.

When having an anxiety disorder, it is quite hard to control your emotions. Which is why a lot of the time "anxiety attacks" occur. This is due to a build-up of thoughts and emotions. Some people find it very difficult to calm down from these attacks. However, during cognitive therapy, you will learn how to control these attacks.

Professional Help

Some people find it difficult to ask for professional help or believe receiving help will not achieve anything. However, talking to a qualified psychiatrist and phycologist is the best thing you could do. Seeing a good psychiatrist will allow you to understand your mental health better, and find ways to manage it. Keep in mind that not all psychiatrists are good at diagnosing and handling medication dosage, which is why it is important to do research. It is also important to talk to a phycologist who is trained in cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy can sometimes treat anxiety on its own. However, some people with more mental health condition require an even balance of medication and therapy.

Taking medication to manage your mental health is not a bad thing. A lot of people have said that having an even balance of medication and cognitive therapy changed their life. This does not make them "weak", it actually makes them a "strong" person for wanting to manage their mental disorder better.

Tips for controlling anxiety.

Controlling your anxiety can be difficult, however here are a few tips that you may find useful:

  • Don't think about it, just do it - When it comes to a job interview, phone call or trying something new. The best thing you can do is not to think about it. Thinking about what you are going to do is what builds up anxiety. If you don't have the topic on your mind in the first place, there is nothing to create that anxiety in the first place.

  • Stop and just breathe -  Always remember that the faster your breathing is, the more anxious you will feel. If you are in the middle of an anxiety attack, the best thing you can do is stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing will allow you to lower your anxiety level, which will help you calm down.

  • Focus on something you love - By focusing on doing the things you love, this will help take your mind off what is causing you to feel anxious. If you have pets, spend time with them. If you love to craft, do some colouring or make something. Always remind yourself about the things that make you happy. Doing so will make it easier to push through things that don't make you happy.

Note. I am not a qualified phycologist.