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Understanding Anxiety Disorder

Everyone feels anxious sometimes, right?  Of course they do, otherwise we wouldn’t be considered human.  But what happens when anxiety and worries take over the control you have in your life?

Anxiety disorder is one of Canada’s most common illnesses and it’s also one that is least understood.  I agree with that because I have anxiety disorder and I am still struggling to maintain control and understand it’s effects on me and my physical health.

Some of the physical symptoms I suffer from daily are:

Heart palpitations

Pain in my back, neck and shoulders

Extreme gas and digest problems

Trouble sleeping at night

Constant worries about life

A flood of emotions

Agoraphobia (trouble leaving my house for any reason) to avoid dealing with situations that cause anxiety.

These are just a few symptoms that can strike a person dealing with anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is not fun, let me tell you.  A person can be constantly worried about everything and anything without realizing it and it can be completely debilitating.

Often people suffering from anxiety disorder will not get help because of their fear to deal with the situation and how society sees it as a mental weakness.

I love the word CRAZY!  I’ve grown to love it over the years due to the fact I have bipolar depression.  Everyone has a little CRAZY in them, it all depends on how it’s showcased.

When I don’t take my medication or go off of it, my CRAZY can come out and there are days I have real highs and then real lows.  It’s never fun for me, nor my family or friends.  But having a support system (group of people) who love you for who you are and understand when your mental illness is affecting you and them.  It’s an important step on the road to recovery and dealing with life with mental illness.

Anxiety disorders not only contribute to a person’s mental health but their emotional and physical well being.

A person can also have more than one anxiety disorder at a time, much like diabetes or heart disease, the disorders can go hand in hand.

Understand the basics can help you determine if you or a family member suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Here are a few key things to look for

Phobias: There are two types.  Social phobias (fear of interaction with groups of people) and specific such as fear of flying.  Now some people may have a fear of flying but not have an anxiety disorder just anxiety when dealing with this.

I have trouble leaving my home.  I don’t know why.  It started when my son got sick and it’s grown since then.  Maybe even before then.  I avoid social situations and only have a small group of friends whom I will allow myself to see when I can.  I am working on it now that I’m aware this has become a problem in my life.

Panic Disorder: Just as the name suggests that’s what it is.  A disorder that causes panic.  Nice eh?  Like we don’t have enough to worry about in life there is a disorder to make things worse and actually cause panic.

A panic attack is one of the most awful things I’ve ever had to cope with in my lifetime.  You feel heart palpitations, fear dying,  you cannot breath, your body hurts, your tummy hurts, and it’s almost as if the world is coming to an end.  There is hope though… it does pass.

Anxiety disorder is usually treated with medication and behavioural therapies (combined) and often putting a person in a controlled but uncomfortable situation to help them cope and deal with their worries and fears.

I recognize I have this disorder and I’m fighting it.  I’m fighting it the same way I fight my bipolar depression.  Positive self talk, trying to get healthy, quitting the things that cause me worry and taking control of my life.

It’s not always easy.  Many people do not understand how truly awful this disorder is.  But there is help.  You can survive it and move on to have a healthy lifestyle and happier life.

You can read more on anxiety disorder, it’s causes and effects. Also talk to your friends, family and those you love.  Ask them what they observe and write it down, match it with what you feel yourself and make up a plan of attack to battle those things that you find are intruding into your life.

I know I have a long road ahead of me.

I want to be happy and healthy for myself and my kids.

You can have that, too.  You just have to understand the problems and believe you can change.

Happy Health!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Jennifer H

    Have you ever tried Lucinda Bassett's anxiety cd program? I bought it in my early 20's when I was severely depressed and my anxiety was spiraling out of control. It seriously worked. I refused meds (scared to be out of control) however I did therapy, but I followed the cd program and it truly pulled me out of my darkest time. Try googling it and see what you think. Good luck!

    September 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm
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