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Coping with Anxiety

Written by Isabella Jones


In today’s world, especially impacted by COVID-19, people may encounter more anxiety type of symptoms. While normal amounts of anxiety are okay, like being anxious about an upcoming test or when faced with common problems in one’s life, anxiety disorder is more complex. An anxiety disorder consumes the person with a constant state of worry or fear that never goes away or seems to get better. According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are several types of anxiety disorders that include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.


To begin with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) has symptoms that include:


· Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge


· 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.


People with anxiety might also experience panic disorder, this is when someone has reoccurring panic attacks that are characterized by intense fear that come on quickly. Panic

Disorder has similar symptoms as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but may also include feelings of impending doom, feelings of being out of control, and heart palpitations. There are also Phobia related disorders, one phobia-related disorder is called Agoraphobia.


Agoraphobia is when people have an intense fear of two or more situations such as using public transportation, being in open spaces, being in enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd, or being outside of the home alone. Typically, anxiety disorders are treated by using therapy and/or medication. Various types of therapy can be used in treatment such as psychotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).


With the world facing a pandemic in the 21st century, those who experience anxiety and related disorders may be having a more difficult time coping with the thought of COVID-19, hearing misleading information, and having a change in their regular schedule. It is completely normal to be concerned about COVID-19 and the unknown. However, if you are feeling like your anxiety, panic disorder, or phobia-disorder is causing your concern to heighten or cause you severe interruption in your day try using self-talk like “it is normal to be anxious about this, but I am doing everything I can to be safe.” Also, if you are home due to work and are experiencing anxiety from lack of schedule, try making your own schedule at home that keeps you on time. This schedule should include meal breaks and time outside to get fresh air in a safe way. This schedule can be useful for children in school and adults working from home.


Lastly, if you are experiencing anxiety due to COVID-19 reach out to a professional that can help you in your mental health needs. Overall, today’s world is overwhelming and can cause anxiety to flare with the uncertainties of COVID-19. Take steps to protect your mental health and your medical health. If your concern or need is urgent you should reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP it is open 24-hours-a-day.

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