What is that?
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion that combines physical symptoms (the heart beats fast and hard, breathing seems difficult, sweating, tremors, dizziness or sweaty hands, tense body, tense muscles) and anxious thoughts (worries, ruminations, obsessions, doubts, fears). Different anxiety disorders are distinguished by what triggers anxiety and the intensity and duration of symptoms.
In a simple phobia, anxiety will be triggered by contact with what is frightening, such as spiders or snakes.
In a social phobia, anxiety will be triggered by a social situation where one is called to meet new people, socialize with a large group or make an oral presentation. Some people with social phobia will even be uncomfortable eating in front of other people or using public toilets.
In panic disorder, anxiety occurs without an identifiable trigger. The intensity of the symptoms peaks within a few minutes. The person may believe that he will pass out or have a heart attack. The episode usually wears off in less than an hour, leaving the individual exhausted. The person fears these episodes that they cannot predict and therefore begins to avoid all kinds of situations, trying in vain to escape crises. What becomes most disabling is the fear of being afraid.
In generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety is almost always present. The person worries about everything: the future, his health, his relationships, his finances, the state of the planet … This worry will be disproportionate and will take a lot of time during the day, reducing the person’s capacity to work. It’s as if she has an intolerance to uncertainty that is an integral part of life.
In obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety will come in the form of a haunting idea that the person cannot keep quiet (for example, fear of being infected with AIDS, fear of performing a wrongdoing like a theft or rape, or a recurring doubt about her sexual identity). To get rid of anxiety, some will have rituals or compulsions, that is to say, gestures that they will repeat repeatedly to try to get rid of obsession. The common compulsions are washing and cleaning excessively, counting (his steps, his words), checking (the lock, the stove, the window) or asking questions (am I gay?).
It’s not :
To be a little shy or embarrassed
Feeling nervous during stressful events such as an exam, an interview for a new job, or the first meeting of your loved one’s parents
Anxiety disorders respond to psychotherapy and / or antidepressant medication.
Psychotherapy begins with an understanding of anxiety and the mechanisms to control it. It helps to change the way of thinking so as to reduce negative thoughts. It can help the person to structure themselves and gradually resume neglected activities. It can help to understand the meaning that the individual gives to life events.
The medication will reduce the intensity and frequency of symptoms which will be very relieving. In addition, it is sometimes necessary in order for the individual to benefit from psychotherapeutic approaches.
What can I do?
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. We must therefore limit the consumption of coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate.
Do cardiovascular exercise at least three times, 30 minutes a week. This changes the chemistry of the brain so that it secretes substances that give a feeling of well-being.
Eat well and make sure you get enough sleep. Fatigue does not help recovery.
Avoid avoiding. When we try to avoid situations that provoke anxiety, paradoxically we worsen this anxiety and the handicap becomes more important.
Learn to control your breathing. Inhale for four seconds, keep the lungs full for four seconds, breathe out slowly for four seconds, and keep the lungs empty for four seconds before trying again. Practice this so-called “square” breathing several times a day for a few minutes. Once mastered, this breathing can be used to counteract the early symptoms of anxiety.
Consult your doctor or go to the mental health access counter in your region.