- Are you struggling with some aspect of your thoughts or behaviour?
- Worried about a loved-one?
- Or simply interested in mental health?
Spend some time to learn about various disorders and conditions. Having an anxiety disorder is not the same as being highly anxious. The level of anxiety (difficulty catching your breath, heart beating fast, shaking and sweating) depends on the stress you are under and your ability to cope with that stress. Becoming moderately anxious is valuable, because it will enable you to cope better. Becoming too anxious can be a problem because severe anxiety reduces capacity to cope with stress. Everyone should learn strategies to manage their level of anxiety. The anxiety disorders are different and are characterised by specific patterns of thoughts, behaviours, and emotions that persist even when there is no stress, in fact, the thoughts themselves generate anxiety. Learning the facts about the way you feel is an instrumental step in your journey of self help, and the knowledge gained will ultimately help you to feel better in the long term.
Panic Disorder occurs when the person has both recurrent panic attacks and either a fear of having another panic attack or a fear of losing control, having a heart attack, or “going crazy”. If the person avoids certain situations out of fear that these attacks will occur, they may have Agoraphobia as well as Panic Disorder.
Traumatic events include actual or threatened physical harm to oneself or another person, or a threat to the personal beliefs of oneself or others. Examples include violent assaults (e.g., sexual or physical assault or mugging), torture, and severe car accidents.
Although most of us worry, it is useful to recognise when that worrying becomes a problem. It is generally true that all people tend to worry about the same sorts of things, so it is not the content of the worry that is the problem. Instead, worrying becomes a problem when it is excessive and/or difficult to control.
A phobia is a fear which is unreasonable in its degree or nature, yet so powerful that the person with phobia tries to avoid the feared object or situation or becomes extremely anxious, even panic-stricken, if forced to confront it. The person with phobia often becomes anxious simply at the thought of the feared object or situation.
Depression is one of the common human emotional states. It is normal to experience feelings of sadness and tiredness in response to life events, such as losses or disappointments. In most cases, as you come to terms with changes in life, the sad feelings resolve. In situations such as bereavement, these feelings may persist for months and return at significant times such as birthdays and anniversaries related to the lost loved one. In major depressive disorder, there is sadness and loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts about your own performance and thoughts that you would be better off dead. Treatment is indicated when a person has three or more of these symptoms more days than not.