Dr Ade Oderinde
Last year, Mr CHS travelled to the village as usual, full of excitement for the thrilling activities lined up for the season.
He went ‘’loaded’’ having saved what he thought was more than enough over the months. He had 5 burial ceremonies, 3 house warming parties and 4 age grade meetings to attend; all involved a huge financial burden but he was ready for it, he ‘’proved’’ he was one of those to be ‘’reckoned’’ with but at a great cost!
When he embarked on the spending spree he gave little thought to the new term school fees of his 3 daughters, the shop rent renewal and the house rent renewal, all to be paid in January.
He was swept off by self glorification of the moment. The ominous signs were there right before he left the village as he had to lend money to pay for his fare back to Lagos.
Immediately, the bus zoomed off, he was jerked backed to reality, he started having uncontrolled palpitations , dizziness….
All these continued into the mid year and had to sink himself into more and more debt…almost drowned by it.
He had none but himself to blame! What it is Anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
Stress and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Stress is the result of demands on the brain or body. It can be caused by an event or activity that makes one nervous or worrisome.
Anxiety can be a reaction to stress, but it can also occur in people who have no obvious stressors. Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life.
One might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking an examination, or before making an important decision.
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried.
While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t go away, that is when a person regularly feels disprowith portionate levels of anxiety, it m becomes a medical disorder.
These disorders alter how a person processes emotions and behave, also causing physical symptoms.
Types of Anxiety disorders
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
3. Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD: This is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
5. Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder): Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.
Causes Possible causes include:
• environmental stressors; such as financial burden, difficulties at work, relationship problems, or family issues
• genetics, as people who have family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to experience one themselves
• medical factors, such as the symptoms of a different disease, the effects of a medication, or the stress of an intensive surgery or prolonged recovery
• brain chemistry, as psychologists define many anxiety disorders as misalignments of hormones and electrical signals in the brain
• withdrawal from an illicit substance, the effects of which might intensify the impact of other possible causes Symptoms (of Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances.
The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
• Feeling restless or on-edge
• Excessive worry
• Being easily fatigued
• Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
• Being irritable
• Having muscle tension
• Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
• Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
• Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet • Shortness of breath Treatment Usually via Psychotherapy and medications
1. Set realistic targets of achievements
2. Avoid financial pressure by spending wisely no matter the situation
3. Take care of your body by eating a wellbalanced diet. Include a multivitamin when you can’t always eat right
4. Limitalcohol, caffeine, andsugarconsumption
5. Take time out for yourself every day.
Even 20 minutes of relaxation or doing something pleasurable for yourself can be restorative and decrease your overall anxiety level.
6. Trim a hectic schedule to its most essential items, and do your best to avoid activities you don’t find relaxing
7. Keep an anxiety notebook.
Note the events during which you felt anxious and the thoughts going through your mind before and during the anxiety.
Keep track of things that make you more anxious or less anxious.