What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.
Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Breathing exercises can help to calm you when you are feeling anxious. Or having a panic attack. You will get the most benefit if you do them regularly, as part of your daily routine.
There is more information about breathing exercises in the further reading section at the bottom of this page.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in the useful contacts at the bottom of this page.
Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area if you follow this link:
What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
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Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
Anxiety Vs Anxiety Disorder
Before we discuss anxiety treatment and the prevalence of anxiety as a whole, we need to make an important point. There is a big difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder. Most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. A job interview, a first date, or an important stage performance are all potential causes of anxiety. The symptoms are temporary though, and they usually go away once the event is over.
General anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders involve a much more persistent form of anxiety. The symptoms occur frequently, sometimes without any trigger at all. If there is a noticeable trigger, the anxiety may still last much longer than the scenario that sparked the feelings. In other words, you may feel anxious after you logically should feel anxious.
The first type of anxiety will go away on its own. The second may not. Most people with anxiety disorders never fully eliminate their anxiety. However, they can learn how to control their feelings and greatly reduce the severity of their anxiety through therapy .
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Managing Anxiety: Helping Teenagers
Managing anxiety is an important life skill, which you can help teenagers develop.
One of the most important ways to help your child develop this skill is by talking with them about their worries. By talking openly about anxiety, you send the message that your child can come to you when they need to. And even if your child doesnt always want to talk, theyll know youre there to support them.
Here are other key ways to help your child learn to manage everyday anxiety.
Helping your child face anxiety
Helping your child explore and understand feelings
- Tell your child about your own worries as a teenager. Remind your child that many teenagers feel anxious and that feeling anxious is normal.
- Help your child understand that its normal to go through a big range of emotions and that sometimes these can be strong emotions.
- Talk with your child about their other emotions for example, You seem really excited about the swimming carnival. This sends the message that all emotions, positive and negative, come and go.
- Listen actively to your child. Let your child explain their feelings in their own words and dont rush to reassure them or solve problems for them. This lets your child know that you understand how theyre feeling. It can also help your child identify their thoughts and feelings, which is a good first step to managing them.
Giving your child love and support
Thinking about your family life and routine
Where Do I Go From Here
In addition to talking to your family doctor, check out the resources below for more information about generalized anxiety disorder:
AnxietyBCVisit www.anxietybc.com or call 604-525-7566 for information, tools, and community resources on anxiety.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions InformationVisit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for the Anxiety Disorders Toolkit, more info sheets and personal stories about anxiety disorders. The Toolkit is full of information, tips and self-tests to help you understand generalized anxiety disorder.
Resources available in many languages:*For each service below, if English is not your first language, say the name of your preferred language in English to be connected to an interpreter. More than 100 languages are available.
HealthLink BCCall 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms youre worried about, or talk with a pharmacist about medication questions.
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety-related problems in children share four common features. The anxiety:
- Is typically a fear or fixation that interferes with the ability to enjoy life, get through the day or complete tasks.
- Is puzzling to both the child and parents.
- Does not improve after logical explanations to address the worries.
- Is treatable.
Tips For Men Coping With Anxiety And Depression
There are lots of things you can do to look after your health and wellbeing, so find an approach that best suits you. For example, try to stay active and make plans for the day they dont have to be grand plans, just small things like going for a run or talking to a mate.
Try to include activities or hobbies that you specifically enjoy. At first, you may not enjoy them as much as you did before, but if you keep active and persist, the enjoyment should eventually return.
Its important to look after your body by staying physically active, eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep. Try not to drink alcohol or take other drugs to block out how youre feeling and what is happening. This is not a positive long-term solution and can make the anxiety or depression worse.
The important thing is to find the right options and the right health professionals that suit you.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety In Men
Anxiety is more than having sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Symptoms of anxiety can include ongoing feelings of worry, fear and impending doom that are so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and get a decent nights sleep. Physical signs of anxiety may include:
- pounding or racing heart
- thinking about death or suicide.
Who Is At Risk For Anxiety Disorders
A mix of genetic and environmental factors can raise a persons risk for developing anxiety disorders. You may be at higher risk if you have or had:
- Certain personality traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition feeling uncomfortable with, and avoiding, unfamiliar people, situations or environments.
- Stressful or traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood.
- Family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions.
- Certain physical conditions, including thyroid problems and heart arrhythmias .
Anxiety disorders occur more often in women. Researchers are still studying why that happens. It may come from womens hormones, especially those that fluctuate throughout the month. The hormone testosterone may play a role, too men have more, and it may ease anxiety. Its also possible that women are less likely to seek treatment, so the anxiety worsens.
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Addressing Your Anxiety Right Now
There are some things you can do in the short-term to deal with anxiety. You can call a trusted friend or family member who can offer an ear and perhaps advice to help you adjust your perspective. Mayo Clinic advises lifestyle changes that can make it easier to manage anxiety. Among its suggestions are:
Staying physically active. Adopt an exercise routine that can help you keep stress in check.
Get sufficient sleep. Getting enough rest should be a priority, as it can help you feel refreshed to face the day and any matters that come up. If you are having trouble getting sleep, visit a doctor who may be able to help.
Avoid alcohol, recreational drugs, and smoking. All of these can contribute to high anxiety levels. Mayo Clinic also advises cutting back on caffeinated drinks.
Eat healthy meals, snacks. Consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, and drinking water regularly can help you be kind to your body and adopt a wellness mindset.
Practice mindfulness and meditation. Finding time to spend in quiet meditation can lower stress levels, which can help you get a better handle on your anxiety. Yoga and other exercises that encourage mindfulness can also help you focus on addressing your fears head-on with a way of thinking that is beneficial to you.
How Does Medication Treat Anxiety Disorders
Medications cant cure an anxiety disorder. But they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, may decrease your anxiety, panic and worry. They work quickly, but you can build up a tolerance to them. That makes them less effective over time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the short-term, then taper you off or the provider may add an antidepressant to the mix.
- Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. They tweak how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants may take some time to work, so be patient. If you feel like youre ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your provider first.
- Beta-blockers, usually used for high blood pressure, can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can relieve rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the right medication combination and dosage. Dont change the dose without consulting your provider. Theyll monitor you to make sure the medicines are working without causing negative side effects.
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Symptoms Of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is more than shyness. It’s a fear that does not go away and affects everyday activities, self confidence, relationships and work or school life.
Many people occasionally worry about social situations, but someone with social anxiety feels overly worried before, during and after them.
You may have social anxiety if you:
- worry about everyday activities, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, working or shopping
- avoid or worry a lot about social activities, such as group conversations, eating with company and parties
- always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushing, sweating or appearing incompetent
- find it difficult to do things when others are watching you may feel like you’re being watched and judged all the time
- fear being criticised, avoid eye contact or have low self-esteem
- often have symptoms like feeling sick, sweating, trembling or a pounding heartbeat
- have panic attacks, where you have an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety, usually only for a few minutes
Realize That Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Feeling Better
And finally, realize that your anxiety and fear will not go away until you stop waiting and start learning. There are many resources available to you to help you overcome your anxiety books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Some of you have been waiting for the perfect time to conquer your anxiety. You may be saying to yourselfI cant tackle my anxiety right now. Ill wait until my symptoms arent so strong to make changes in my life. Or Ill start making changes when my life is less hectic. The list goes on and on.
Heres what Ive discovered: Youll be waiting a lifetime for these things to happen. Because when you wait for something else to happen to improve your life, youre giving away your power. You feed your anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
The only perfect time to conquer your anxiety is right nowthis moment. You do not need to feel symptom-free or confident or energetic, or anything else to begin. All you need to do is take the first step.
Practice these six habits daily, and youll see your skills improve as you take back your power from anxiety.
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