Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Types of Anxiety disorders such as GAD, health anxiety and social anxiety with 15 quick tips for relief.

Types of Anxiety disorders such as GAD, health anxiety and social anxiety with 15 quick tips for relief.

If you're one of the countless people in this world that feels like you're going mad since all you do is worry every single day over and over again about the most ridiculous, pointless, trivial things until you ultimately collapse into a heap on the floor or retreat to your bed sobbing, trying frantically to stop believing all the worst case scenarios. Well if this sounds like something you do on a day to day bases, then you could be suffering from gad (generalized anxiety disorder) which is easily treated either by medication, therapy or you can try the more natural approach which is something I like to do along with some home remedies and trust me there are thousands of those out there. There are many different types of Anxiety issues but today I'll be talking about just three of them these are the ones which I experience.

In this post, I'll be going over all the emotional and physical signs, think of this as your anxiety guide which you can look back on when you're overwhelmed. So get comfortable, grab a coffee, relax and read on to see if any of these things below apply to you and hopefully by the end, you can feel rest assured that you're not crazy you're just anxious.

First things first let me briefly go over what GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) actually is.  

It's constant unnecessary worrying about every little thing such as money, relationships, health, parenting, family, work or school basically everything. You just expect disaster to strike at any moment and exaggerate everything to the point where you make up unrealistic scenarios in your head and can not find a way to stop. 

It's overpowering I often feel like I'm the only one who cares about this stuff and if I don't worry about it and question everything, then it will all just fall apart. I put enormous pressure on myself, to keep everything running smoothly and it's exhausting.

What's the difference between normal anxiety and Gad?

Anyone can experience anxiety let's say you have a big meeting coming up or you're traveling on an airplane when you hate flying,  you haven't paid your bills on time all of this can make you anxious. However, once the issues have been resolved your anxiety may go away, and you won't give it a second thought.

But Gad is constant, it never stops. You could be thinking that big meeting you had early in the morning all day long, believing that you screwed up somehow and made yourself look stupid. It makes you feel sick with worry and no matter how much you tell yourself to stop, you cant it's constant you become agitated and find it really hard to relax. 

Let's look at all the symptoms of GAD. 

  • Nonstop worries continually all through the day no matter how small or irrelevant an issue is, in your mind its a huge deal.
  • No matter what you do, you can't stop feeling anxious. 
  • You cant relax and feel on edge constantly
  • You worry for no reason, when everyone else lets it go over there head, you sit there preparing for the worst possible outcome.
  • You find it really hard to concentrate
  • You struggle to make easy decisions because you feel no matter what you decide, it will be wrong. 

Physical symptoms.  

  • You're constantly tired, even if you got a full eight hours sleep the night before you just feel knackered.  
  • You become irritable over the slightest things, I feel sorry for my partner because I do take a lot of stuff out on him and I don't mean to be horrible, but it's hard to stay calm when your mind is filled with negativity.
  • You feel physically sick. 
  • You can suffer headaches
  • You can suffer stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome

 Now you could be wondering why your symptoms aren't there perhaps you have health-related issues or find it hard to socialize. These are all things that I have to face each day and even though I have ways to help myself Sometimes it still manages to sneak through. Just the other week I had a slightly embarrassing problem, and it honestly sent my anxiety through the roof, I do have a post on this if you want to read it then click this link here. I'm going to list the symptoms of health and social anxiety in just a moment but before I do, im going to give you a brief insight into my experiences with the two.

Health anxiety. 

I've experienced health anxiety for many years now, and one of my earliest memories was when I had to have two teeth taken out and was booked in to be put to sleep. I panicked and begged my mum not to let me go because I was terrified I wouldn't wake up, however, I didn't tell her that part which meant it was in my head every minute of the day until my appointment was over. Bearing in mind, I was 9 at the time, and that's a pretty dark thing to worry about at that age. Growing up, I haven't changed I still worry about everything, and since the magic of google came about my browsing history is litrally full of searches of life-threatening diseases which at the time I'm almost sure I had. Then came the time I broke my leg in front of a packed out venue It was very embarrassing and I still cringe now thinking about it keep an eye out for that in an upcoming post. Anyway, I contracted a serious infection and spent two weeks in the hospital, and it was horrifying every operation I had went wrong, and I must have driven the nurses crazy with my endless worries and questions.

Social anxiety.

Good old social anxiety making me too afraid to even leave the house because of what people might think of me, I can't make simple phone calls, I can't open the door to a delivery person without feeling anxious and I can't even attend my son's school performances because I have to sit with some random parents, who barely say two words to me I feel like the odd one out and it's so awkward. I can't initiate a conversation without stuttering, sweating, blushing or I end up talking absolute nonsense and its been happening ever since I can remember. I've been accused of being a rubbish friend before because I didn't keep in constant communication which was mainly because of I didn't  like to message first all the time and I would often cancel at plans at the last minute because my anxiety was acting up, However, friendship works both ways its never one-sided and friends need to SUPPORT EACH OTHER NOT JUDGE ONE ANOTHER.

So now I've revealed just a little about both my health and social anxiety, Here are symptoms of both, do any of them sound familiar?

Symptoms of health anxiety.

  • Constantly worried about your health.
  • Checking your body for anything out the ordinary such as lumps, skin rashes or pain. 
  • You are sure the doctor has got all your tests wrong or has missed something. 
  • Seeking reassurance from friends and family 
  • You search the internet for hours at a time looking at symptoms, articles, peoples stories and you eventually become terrified and think your dying. 
  • You cant watch anything medical. 
  • You act like your ill. 

Symptoms of social anxiety. 

  • Constant fear of embarrassing yourself 
  • Avoiding social situations 
  • Fear of being judged 
  • Sweating
  • Blushing
  • Trembling 
  • Scared to talk to strangers
  • During a social occasion, you become so anxious that you can barely breathe.
  • You obsess over how you acted in front of someone, or sometimes I can send a text message to someone and become terrified that I sounded stupid and can't bring myself to look at the response.
  • Thinking everybody is against you and they're talking and laughing behind your back. 
  • Feeling like your mind has gone blank 
  • Lightheaded
  • Palpitations 

So hopefully by now you have noticed your symptoms and feel a tiny bit better and taken comfort in the fact that it's normal to have these feelings when dealing with anxiety. Below I'm going to share some things which have caused me an intense amount of anxiety to the point where I've nearly passed out through fear. If you haven't got anxiety then some of these may seem ridiculous, but in my mind at the time they were enormous, and I had no idea how to calm myself down.

My sons birthday party. 

Last year we threw our son a 6th birthday party, once the day arrived, I woke up terrified but as I noticed my sons excited face I remembered why we were doing this. It was the constant worries of nobody turning up that upset me so much, and what if the children were bored? It would have been heartbreaking for him. However, that was not the worst bit It was when the guests began to arrive and luckily they all did show, so that was great, but it meant I was stuck in a room with sixteen children and around twenty parents it was terrifying. I had to welcome everyone, and I could feel my face burning up, I was sweating, and I could not stop shaking. I asked everyone if they wanted a tea or coffee so I went and made some with my partner's help, But I just froze, It was like I was stuck in the kitchen hiding from everyone too afraid to move. After an hour or so it was time for lunch, we managed to hand out everything, and they headed back to the party. I took several breaks throughout, mostly in the toilet where I tried to calm down and breathe slowly and said 'I can do this' to myself numerous times until I felt better. Our son had a fabulous time and was so grateful which made it all worth it. 

An office job interview. 

When I was seventeen I attended a job interview, and when I walked into the room, there were four intimidating businessmen asking me to sit down. By this point, I was shaking so much and started fidgeting with something in my pocket to calm my nerves. They asked me a dozen questions, and I ended up muttering the answers because I knew I sounded ridiculous. But the worst part was they handed me a test sheet with twenty maths questions on it I felt like I was at school all over again it was awful plus I was rubbish at maths so it all looked gibberish to me. I asked for a quick bathroom break they agreed and gave me five minutes well they must have waited a while because I bolted out of there, put my hand on a large tree and struggled to breathe for around two minutes. Afterward, I had so many phone calls, but I ignored them and ended up thinking about it for weeks after humiliated by the way I acted and it honestly put me off interviews for life. 

Texting a friend by mistake.

I become so freaked out when Im texting somebody in case I sound stupid and say the wrong things. Or in my case be texting somebody talking about my concerns for a friend and her relationship with a guy that was not great for her, but what stupid thing did I do instead.?  
That's right message that friend by mistake. She replied, hurling insults at me and we were having an all-out war through text message. I was terrified to speak my mind to her and couldn't bring myself to look at the replies, so I ended up drinking half a bottle of wine that evening for some courage to defend myself. Even then I cried so much because I didn't mean to be horrible I was just looking out for a friend.

These are just a few ways anxiety affects me, there are so many more instances but I don't want to bore you all. Anyway If you cannot relax, then I do have a lot of posts to try and calm anxiety, but If you want quick relief right this second then read on for some tips.

Just a quick heads up, I'm not a professional I write advice to manage anxiety, but if you're feeling really bad then it's best to visit a doctor and let him or her know how your feeling. Anyway, here are my top quick tips for when anxiety strikes, at the most inconvenient times.

  • Long deep breaths.
  • Use the grounding technique, Look for five things around you, feel four things around you, focus on three things you can hear, inhale two smells, acknowledge one thing you can taste. 
  • Place some lavender drops in your hands, rub them together and inhale, Lavender is very calming.
  • Always have a special object with you, mine is a keychain with one of my son's pictures in and when im feeling overwhelmed I hold onto it and tell myself that Im going to be okay. 
  • If you're out take your earphones and listen to some calming music. 
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal, Or if your outside and haven't got your journal with you, use the notes on your phone.
  • Accepting your anxiety can actually help because once you've managed to accept it you can quickly brush it aside and carry on. Rather than give it power.
  • Head to the bathroom and splash cold water your face this can help snap you out of it and allow you to think. 
  • Phone a family member or friend. 
  • Play a game on your phone. 
  • If your outside look at some old videos or pictures on your phone.
  • Hug your pets, Im constantly hugging my cat he makes me feel happy and calms me down. 
  • Hug your kids (if they will let you, I have to actually chase my son for a cuddle.)
  • If you're at home and need to do some washing up but can't face it, then put a nice film or tv show on your phone using Netflix or something and before you know it, you would be so focused on the film and the washing up will take less time. 
  • Some evenings my hands are shaking because im anxious about something so I try to do something like knitting, crocheting, practicing my makeup or trying new hairstyles. It makes me forget what I was anxious about, and give me something else to focus on. 

I hoped this helped you and gave you a little bit of comfort. I put how various situations affect me so you can see that you're not alone. Even though anxiety can leave you terrified, it's very common, and thousands of people go through it every day. Thanks for reading and I apologize that it was so long. Just remember I'm always here for a chat. x

What are some of your experiences with anxiety? 

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