What is an Anxiety Disorder and How to Overcome It !

Anxiety is quite the controversial subject. On one hand some people call it the silent killer, on the other, its considered to be “all in your head.” Some think its a product of  new technological advances: causing some of us to become desensitized to real world interactions. Some believe its presence is as old and natural as breathing.

As a kid we all can remember the feeling of “butterflies”  whenever a situation arose that either promoted stepping out of a comfort zone or spotlighted a chance of embarrassment. I remember as an adolescent the feeling would become so intense that It would begin to affect my speech and motor functional skills. I would begin to stutter, my hands would start to sweat, and the power in my body would just seem to give out. This phenomena affected me from about age 10-18 but began to decline as I started to progress through college.

Later as I got into my early twenties, I started to notice that a certain phenomenon had become a topic in all of my recent conversations. This phenomena was called Anxiety. I remember hearing the word a few times while growing up but began to notice an increase in its popularity. As I proceeded to do more research, I found it to be a very controversial subject. Upon reading the symptoms, I started to piece together my own previous dealings like never before. Unknown at the time, as a kid anxiety had become my greatest adversary for years without me ever knowing it existed.

What is Anxiety?

The funny feeling that can’t be explained with a simple answer: fear, excitement, nervousness? Perhaps, a mixture of all three. For example, themedicalnewstoday.com writes: “Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying.”

What exactly causes anxiety?

Anxiety, at it’s origin, dates back to the early adventures of man. The adrenaline boosting “fight or flight” response was used to identify imminent danger for basic survival. This reaction to a situation the brain deems threatening or dangerous causes the nervous system to instinctively encourage a “fight”(defend) or “flight”(retreat) survival mode. An example of this response would be the feeling of hearing a gun shot, facing a speeding incoming car, or seeing a wild bear on a hiking trail. Anxiety today even though manifested for considerably less “dire” situations, revolve around every day activities that inspire fear, nervousness, and worry: public speaking, performances, sport related games, and other normal day to day reactions.

Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder

This mental illness has crept its way deep into American homes and every life as an evolved version of normal anxiety. . Affecting a staggering 40 million people, this silent epidemic goes largely unnoticed and untreated in 60% of it’s host.
“Yeah, sometimes I get anxiety when” A common phrase one would hear in an everyday conversation. Even though anxiety is somewhat a natural occurrence, an anxiety disorder is another story. Regular anxiety can come and go: anxiety disorders place a hold on your actions and can greatly affect your work, school, and social life. Gut wrenching fear coupled with unshakable nervousness: this mental illness can be a life changer. There are different types of anxiety disorders that provoke different tendencies and behaviors. For example:

Social Anxiety Disorder

As I stated previously in the paragraph above, I realized later in life that I had a small social anxiety disorder. This disorder preys on the fear of humiliation. So much so, that it can cause withdrawal and resentment towards society. This disorder usually manifest itself in any area of your life where you are either facing the most pressure, or have the highest possible chance of failure. The symptoms include unreasonable fear towards social events, panic attacks, vomiting, and flat-out avoidance.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder preys on the comfort of familiar surroundings especially those from childhood. This illness results from an unhealthy attachment to a familiar figure, or place. Although most commonly found in small children, it can also affect teenagers and adults in certain relationship circumstances.

The symptoms include extreme distress when the separation occurs or is about to occur, great despair over unwarranted potential loss of a figure, refusal to participate in acts that take time them away from said figure, and severe insomina without the figure in the vicinity .

Mutism Disorder

A form of social anixety disorder, this is an illness in which the subject declines to speak in situations that could cause potential embarrassment. This disorder differs from being “shy” in the sense that it is more exaggerated. Mutisim is the outright refusal to speak in any situation; a shy person is more inclined to speak if spoken too even if softly.

Specific Phobia Disorder

“I’m afraid of Heights!” Probably one of the most popular sources of anxiety across the glob. This illness reflects a severe irrational fear of specific situations, objects, animals, or people. Also, the fear is coupled with behavioral characteristics like flat out avoidance, vomiting, panic attacks, asthma, and anxiousness. Probably the broadest of the anxiety disorder sections because it can develop as a reaction to just about anything.

How to Overcome Anxiety

Even though anxiety can be a formidable foe, there are ways to manage and completely overcome it. Here are some natural ways to overcome your fears!

Nutrition

A large portion of mental illness results from imbalances from unhealthy diets. The brain is a very complex organ and can either run inefficiently due to lack of resources, or an abundance of unhealthy resources.

Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.” (Ods.od.nih.gov)

Magnesium is an essential vitamin that is often left out of everyday meals. A low magnesium count can increase susceptibility to attracting certain anxiety disorders.

Habituation
The idea of facing your inner fear by forcing your self to submerge yourself in what you fear most. Theory based on the idea that there is root or cause for every disorder. By forcing yourself to confront what is causing the anxiety, it can help you to understand more about how to stop it. Habituation is social anxiety disorder joining the speech club.

Therapy

The biggest misconception about therapy is that its “only for crazy people.” From some of the biggest names like Jay Z – Kevin Heart, all of them agree that therapy can be extremely beneficial for just about anyone.

Therapy can help you handle emotions from problems or stressors, even if they aren’t dramatically life-altering or traumatic. Therapy is well-known for its problem-solving techniques and reputation as a tool for overcoming anxiety, depression and addiction.”(Thehuffingtonpost.com)

Often anxiety can caused by repressed fears and trauma from situations in our childhood that were never fully addressed. Having someone to talk about the things we don’t want others to know we struggle with is key in releasing yourself from unhealthy disorders.

Meditation.

Mediation remains a heal-all practice with is countless scientific backed benefits. It allows one to master the workings of the inner mind while lowering blood pressure and gray matter density in the brain. By altering the structure of your brain, meditation is one of the most natural and effective ways of overcoming a mental illness.

Exercise/Working Out

Noting that a large majority of my anxiety based around how slender I was (something I figured out during meditation), working out helped me to overcome how I felt about my physique. As a kid I was very skinny and In certain situations like basketball, for example, my anxiety would literally almost immobilize my body. For example, Adaa.org writes ” According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long-lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.”

Some much needed gym time might the thing to help you start to love yourself again!

This concludes the article and I hope you found it helpful!

If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to leave them below!

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14 thoughts on “What is an Anxiety Disorder and How to Overcome It !

  1. very interesting article. I have a family member who suffers anxiety and he has found meditation very effective to keep him centered and on track. It’s a lifelong issue and working out the best approach to manage it is important for anyone suffering anxiety. Thanks for sharing. cheers, Karen

  2. Beautifully written. Being a counselor, I can say that anxiety has become a very common experience for so many people today. I think we need more education around it, encourage more discussion and teach more strategies to manage it. I too have experienced anxiety throughout my life, and have learnt over the years, how to manage it through meditation, nutrition and feel the fear and do it any way approach when things get scary. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post.

    1. Hey Kat, thanks for comment. Anxiety is definitely an issue in society today. I think its important to find your own ways to overcome it, and distinguishing regular anxiety from an anxiety disorder. I’ve found that by just doing and embracing the butterflies followed by positive affirmations is my own special remedy.

  3. Very well written, I have a family member that suffers with anxiety will recommend they read your website. Anxiety is becoming more and more of an issue in society.
    The layout and content of your website is really well done .

    1. Hey Pamela,
      Thanks for commenting. I think its because we are becoming less and less engaged physically. As the internet becomes more prominent in our lives, I think anxiety will become en epidemic.

  4. Very comprehensive article. As a child, I was very anxious. I was shy and didn’t like to be in large crowds. I had trouble in middle and high school. I eventually had to force myself to deal with most of my anxiety by just facing my fears but I still get nervous sometimes. I do believe anxiety is how we handle our fears because I had to face things without medications, buy choice. I think I hold myself back, to be honest, and I think I allow things I see and hear to cause me to be anxious. It is a very interesting topic, one that I hope one day we can solve without crazy meds.

    1. Hey Melissa,
      Thanks for your testimony. Indeed anxiety affects us all especially during childhood. I also found a cure for my anxiety by facing my fears. I think before using prescribed medication , one should always explore.

  5. Hello Dwight, This was such a great article on Anxiety Disorder. My husband used to suffer so much with this. He felt as though he was having a heart attack and I had to get him to the doctor quite a number of times. Eventually he was put on medication which seemed to help. He also suffered with arthritis and was always in pain which didn’t help the Anxiety and Depression he suffered. Currently he is in Frail Care and has Lewy Body Disease, a brain disorder.
    Thank you for this great post.

    1. Hey JIll,
      Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately the mental illness epidemic is widely understood but underestimated disease. I think becoming
      more vocal about crisis can maybe stop things for getting so far. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Anxiety has pose a major issue in the society today resulting from Stress at work, Stress from school, Financial stress. Stress from a serious medical illness and the likes. And to the extent it kills slowly.
    I liked the fact that you made mention of Magnesium being an essential vitamin that is often left out of everyday meals because personally i have not been taking cognizance of that. All together, your post is helpful.
    Thanks for sharing
    WealthyBen

    1. Hey Ben,
      I do believe stress and the new digital age as undoubtedly caused an increase in anxiety. I think this cyber age which doesn’t call for much human face to face interaction has a hand to play as well. Thanks for you comment!

  7. Wow, wow, wow, what a great read. Anxiety is such a common problem now a days, reasons of this problem are excessive use of electronic devices, busy schedule and lots of or commitments and worries about everything happening. I really love the way to have explained very option for getting rid of this problem. I really thank you for that.

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Unfortunately this is a problem where most of us can relate. I think it’s crazy that I’ve never met someone who didnt struggle with anxiety in some form or fashion. Thanks for your comment!

      Dwight

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