Here’s when you should start worrying about your worrying

Anxiety causes a lot of distress and interferes with people's daily lives. So you cannot afford to take it lightly. Look out for these signs and seek help.
anxiety
Worrying about some things is quite alright, but if this worry starts taking over your life then you need help. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Chetna Pattnaik Published: 20 Aug 2020, 05:40 pm IST
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Worried about exams, job interviews, meetings? Well, these things are indeed intimidating enough to kick anyone in the nerves. But if your worries are becoming a more regular and all-consuming thing, then you could be dealing with anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are not just a phase or reaction to a situation. They cause a lot of distress and can interfere with your daily life, so much so that your ability to conduct even a basic activity or interact with family and friends can be compromised. And that is when it becomes alarming.

So, when should you start worrying about your worrying?
We spoke to renowned psychiatrist, Dr Samir Parikh about this and according to him: “When you see your anxiety is causing significant discomfort for days, weeks or months; hampers your day to day activities; your family and social life; or interferes with your work, sleep patterns, appetite and so on, then it is a red flag.”

What are the signs of anxiety to watch out for?
According to Dr Parikh, following are a few things that require further evaluation and professional help:

  • Anxiety which is more intense and more persistent than what is demanded by the situation
  • Anxiety which is causing significant distress
  • Anxiety which is interfering with your lifestyle and your ability to navigate it
dementia
Feeling stuck at work and in personal life? Heres why. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“You will see a pattern. If you find yourself constantly worrying, making more human errors than you generally would, avoiding interaction, having a low self-esteem then you need to realize that there is a consistent presence of distress and an impairment of your life,” Dr Parikh adds.

He also talks about the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as palpitations, shortness of breath and restlessness, reduced appetite, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness, tingling and light-headedness.

Why does our body have a physical reaction to anxiety?
The centres of the brain that are involved with anxiety can also stimulate nerves that travel down to the heart and cause rapid heartbeat or the nerves down to the gut and cause irritable bowel symptoms.

Basically, there are many connections of the brain that control anxiety and fear with different physical parts of the body. Dr. Parikh explains that physical impact of anxiety is nothing but a chemical imbalance.

anxiety poop
Anxiety impacts you physically and can lead to severe damage if left untreated. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Why are some people are more prone to anxiety?
People are often born wired with a predisposition to anxiety. Anxiety even runs in families, and children whose parents have anxiety difficulties are said to be at an increased risk. However, Dr.Parikh emphasizes on the fact that while genetics, past experiences, and environment and surroundings have an impact that would make someone more anxious, these factors aren’t necessarily consequential.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a specific kind of psychotherapy that focuses on changing people’s thoughts and behaviours and has demonstrated effectiveness for treating anxiety. Teaching people to learn to accept their feelings has a way of actually diminishing anxiety.

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Behaviour therapy may take a little longer to be effective than medications and it is more work for the patient. But once the patient settles into it, the benefits of behaviour therapy can last longer. Even after you stop going to sessions, you can use the techniques you’ve learned to maintain control over your anxiety.

helping someone with depression
To seek help is the first step towards healing. Start by talking to your friends and family.  Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Seeking help is key
“In the initial stage itself when you see that this is affecting your life and you are not feeling good enough about yourself, it is best to first go and talk to someone. You don’t have to go to a psychiatrist from day one. Start with your family and your trusted ones. The next step is to seek professional advice because somebody need to guide you whether you need medications, counselling, therapy or some other form of treatment,” says Dr Parikh.

It is important for you to know that anxiety is treatable, and there are effective ways to help you get better. The key is to reach out to a professional for help.

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About the Author

Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time. ...Read More

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