Today, it seems like we’re told all over the media to protect our mental health. Take care of your body, eat your veggies, get enough sleep, and seek a counselor are all tips that are almost on repeat every day. As helpful as the intent is to spread this healthy message, I honestly feel that the media is pushing the topic of mental health so much to the point that it is becoming oversaturated. It’s in the news, the topic of many new Netflix shows, sang about in mainstream rap music, and depicted in several popular commercials as well. I’m not complaining, as the people who truly need help with improving their mental health and anxiety disorders need to feel encouraged.
However, to create a truly positive impact, what we need are specific recommendations for treatment, awareness, and prevention that don’t appear to box mental health problems as some sort of untouchable disease. Mental health shouldn’t be glamorized as some spiritual journey that brings life events that would make an entertaining TV show. It should be talked about in a relatable manner so the people who actually feel the shame and embarrassment that different types of anxiety brings can feel boosted to take action.
One area of anxiety disorders that is less talked about is the symptoms that victims go through. Since mental disorders are fairly invisible, to a stranger’s eye a person may look normal and completely healthy. Yet, on the inside, they could feel absolutely crushed and frantically searching for a viable answer to their physical and mental struggles. Knowing the warning signs of an oncoming anxiety attack, how to manage them is incredibly important so you can hopefully help yourself or someone you know in the future. Being educated about mental health is always a good thing and there’s never a time you don’t have to keep learning. Let’s dive in to some of the key red flags of anxiety disorders.
- If you have an anxiety attack, it can be triggered from anything that causes internal stress to the body. It could be from thinking about a negative memory, person, place, exercise that is too intense, dehydration, and sometimes nothing at all. A person could start sweating much more than usual, begin trembling from out of nowhere, have shortness of breath, and an extremely quick heart beat. They may start talking faster, or suddenly fall silent and freeze up depending on their personality. If someone around you appears to experience this, don’t be alarmed or bombard them with questions as it can likely lead to even more stress.
- Anxiety attacks can last anywhere from about ten minutes to a couple hours depending on the person. It leads to fatigue and emotional draining after the attack is over. You may feel like you’re going to lose your mind, faint and fall over, or even die. However, rest assured that there’s no way this will happen unless you happen to do something that truly puts you in harm’s way during the attack.
- You can cope with anxiety symptoms. If you start to feel some of the signs coming on, take a moment to stand up and stretch your body so you can tame a potential attack. Remember that you are in control, and your mind is a powerful tool to overcome what signals you are experiencing in the rest of your body. Focus on your breathing and inhale as deeply as possible so you can feel more relaxed. Another great tip from people with anxiety disorders to stay hydrated by drinking a glass of cold water. The icey temperature of the water can help reduce the rising body temperature that often comes with stress and anxiety. As you start to feel more at ease, make sure you type in your iPhone’s notes or write down the root of your anxiety attack. What were you doing at the time, where were you located, and what was running through your mind? These are all details that can point you to why you may feel anxiety symptoms from nowhere.
- Diagnosis is doable. In the past, it might have taken several months or years for someone to get a proper diagnosis on their anxiety disorders. Mental health now is set as a priority and you don’t have to be afraid to tell a doctor what you’re going through so frequently. You won’t appear stupid, weak, or dependent for reaching out. Instead, asking for health is a sign of being wise and strong enough to take charge of your personal health. If you don’t, you can risk suffering from your anxiety symptoms alone and in silence. You could start distancing yourself from friends, social events, and fall into a spiral of destructive thinking patterns of not being able to improve. My hope is that with enough education, people can feel empowered enough to discuss their anxiety symptoms with an expert who specializes in dealing with anxiety disorders. Remember, it’s never too late!
Face the Facts
You’re an amazing, powerful, and enduring human being who has the potential to grow every day. If you are struggling with anxiety symptoms or know someone who does, it’s time to face the reality of the effect it causes on your body. Gain as much information as you can on the symptoms you are dealing with and take an online anxiety quiz as well to get a better idea of your mental health. You hold the capability to sink deep into anxiety disorders, so there’s no reason you can’t pull yourself out of one and come out stronger than ever before.