Are You Suffering from an Anxiety Disorder?

By Dr. Saloni Gupta in Clinical Psychology

Mar 31 , 2017 | 2 min read

Your daughter is worrying too much about her exams that it is making her difficult to sustain attention and perform the best of her capability?

Your relative is calling her daughter after every 5 minutes to check why has she got late?

You are getting over conscious about your health on seeing your father being hospitalised for one year. The anxiety is making you feel that some major medical issue would hit you soon.    

Dr. Saloni Gupta tells us how anxiety can make us feel gripped and give us a general feeling of apprehension about the possibility of future danger. She says our body reacts as if there is a danger but actually there is no danger. It primarily occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation. Above mentioned are clues as to how anxiety can interrupt our daily life errands.

What are the different types of anxiety disorders?

  • Generalised anxiety disorder: A person feels anxious on most days like worrying about a lot of different things, social phobia where a person has an intense fear of being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: A person has an ongoing unwanted/intrusive thoughts and fear
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: It can happen after a person experiences a traumatic event or anxiety disorder might get manifested in other forms like school or office refusal, vague physical complains or psychosomatic complaints, and fainting spells in the absence of physical or neurological causes.

Know the Anxiety symptoms:

You can experience:

  1. Physical Symptoms - How your body responds. You may feel numbness, palpitations, sweating, disturbing sleep, muscle tension
  2. Thoughts - What we say to ourselves.
  3. Behaviour - What we do or our actions like procrastination, avoidance, excessive engagement, and withdrawn.  

Anxiety is like a smoke alarm system:

A smoke alarm can assist to protect us when fire catches in reality but when a smoke alarm system is too sensitive and goes off even when there is not really a fire (e.g., burning toast in a toaster), it is rather annoying.

Like a smoke alarm, anxiety is helpful and adaptive when it works right. But, if it goes off when there is no real danger, it is not only scary, it is also very exhausting.

However, we do not want to get rid of the alarm (or eliminate anxiety) because it protects us from danger. We want to fix it (i.e., bring the anxiety down to a more manageable level) so it works properly for us.

Can anxiety be treated?

Do Not Avoid/Ignore anxiety just Manage it. Examine the pattern of your thoughts and learn to manipulate it with your actions. Thinking about the road won’t get you to the destination so walk through it and expand your limits to conquer your fears.