Tuesday, March 8, 2016

# Anxiety Again-# Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Most of my blog posts in the last year have hovered around anxiety.There is a valid reason behind this--I have been observing it from close quarters.This is not the anxiety which you and I experience before a tough situation or a major life event like marriage,divorce or a job interview.Such anxieties subside when the event passes (hopefully!)but the dread stemming from an anxiety disorder does not.

In fact this kind of anxiety is not connected to any specific event and even if the patient does peg it to a current happening,the stress is out of all proportion to the stimulus.Moles are built up into mountains,ordinary tasks look formidable and the future is full of scary shadows.If this condition continues for most days of the week for six months or more-you can be said to be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder,more about which you can read here.

If it is Social Anxiety or the fear of meeting people in one person,it might be panic attacks,OCD Hypochondriasis,Obsessive Thoughts,or Fears and Phobias in others.Anxiety is a prominent constituent of all mental disorders too.

Causes
*We all know that stressful events and environmental factors like abuse,victimization,financial difficulties etc produce a lot of tension.
*In addition to this,diseases like Cancer,Cardiac problems and Hypothyroid,as well as the side effects of certain medicines can also give rise to anxiety.
*Another major culprit is imbalance in brain chemicals.
*In some cases genetics too may be responsible for it.
*According to WebMD-"Mental health experts don't know the exact cause.It may be a mix of things,including your genes,changes in your brain,and things you experience in life,such as trauma or severe stress.
Anxiety disorders can run in families.But they don't always.You could have one even if no one in your family does.Or if you have relatives who have one,you might not."
                    Cure
As far as the treatment is concerned,anxiety should be tackled as early as possible.The longer it is allowed to persist,the worse becomes the imbalance in the brain chemicals and the more entrenched anxiety becomes.Mild to moderate anxiety can be cured by taking recourse to various reparative measures about which I have written here.

But as far as severe anxiety is concerned,it is not easy to extricate a person from it.You may involve him in friendly chit-chats but he will likely respond in monosyllables if at all.It will be hard to take him out to parties or movies.You could cajole him to play scrabble with you but as soon as the game ends he will slip back into his depressive mood.He may be sitting in front of a TV but his mind will be churning elsewhere.
Whether it is pursuing a hobby,learning a new skill or participating in group activities,the answer you will most likely get is"I don't feel like doing it or I do not have the strength to do it."It all peters down to a lack of volition and stamina.It is almost as if he has resigned himself to his fate.

Considering all this,medication seems to be the best choice.The doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety or antidepressant to treat GAD.The right medicine will give him a good night's sleep so that he will get up refreshed next morning and be better able to face the day.It will soothe his tumultuous mind.He will be able to resume some of the activities which he had earlier skipped,and feel more in control of his life.

Medication can in this way place a patient of GAD on the road to recovery.But the flip side is that both kinds of medicines have their pros and cons-some people may experience harmful,annoying side effects.As stated by National Institute of Mental Health "Anti-anxiety medications are powerful and there are different types.Many types begin working right away but they should not be taken for long periods."

Ideally,medication should be accompanied by Psychotherapy.A psychotherapist will help the patient to pin-point the behavior and thought processes which feed his anxiety as also the life conditions that need redressal.

Once the patient feels confident that he can now carry forward the process of recovery without the aid of medicines he can request the doctor to gradually phase out the drugs.Exercise,meditation and other relaxation techniques too have the potential to increase the levels of happy hormones in the body but the only snag is that some people do not feel like doing all this.I think the best mantra for such people is to just remind themselves every day that they have to do what they don't feel like doing.Self discipline is essential if one is to save oneself from self-destructive inertia.

One may do all that is required to beat anxiety and yet,in some cases it may refuse to leave him alone.The reason could lie in a deep-seated emotional conflict.We all have certain private stumbling-blocks about which we cannot speak to anybody.It might be an unfulfilled desire,an abuse or a misdemeanor on our own part which continues to rankle us.We may not even be consciously aware of it but if we sit down to ponder what it is which is at the back of our discontent and angst,we may get the answer.

In order to feel fit and fine again it is essential to get rid of this complex once for all.You could speak to a therapist if you cannot share it with any known person.The old system of confiding to gurus or going to a confessional was good in this respect.It offered a closure.Unless and until you give a decent burial to the devils which torment you,the hydra-headed monster of anxiety will not leave you alone.

Image courtesy google.

14 comments :

  1. Only a person suffering from it knows what it is like. You have put forth a very strong post. I have an anxiety problem and no not the naturally anxious one. It takes a lot of patience and self understanding go handle it from within.

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  2. Yes Shweta only the sufferer knows how torturous this condition can be.I hope you will slay this demon very soon.

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  3. welcome back Indu ji

    a very important post so relevent in these times . Thanks for discussing the problem and showing the solutions it will be of great help to people who may be having to deal with such cases

    welcome back once again
    love and regards

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    1. Thank you dear Rajni,this is such a nice message to read early in the morning.Have a nice day.
      Lots of love n hugs.

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  4. One can't even imagine what a person suffering from mental anxiety disorder goes through. Each day must be a challenge!

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    1. Yes Purba,each day it is a tough fight.No wonder many give up.

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  5. This general underlying feeling that something will go wrong - most debilitating

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    1. That,and also the fear that one is not strong enough to face the comers.

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  6. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone going through that. Such an intense struggle with oneself.

    You have come up with such a wonderful and comprehensive post detailing what it is, the causes, symptoms and most importantly ways to get over it. Very well written. :)

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    1. Thank you Raj.Your commendation means a lot to me.
      You just made my day.You too,have a special day :).

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  7. Very informative and we'll written post Indu.

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