Are You Ready to Bounce Back? Adapt and Show Grit

We are going through a tough time. In the last of March, An ABC News/Washington Post survey found that 77 percent of people were experiencing stress as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak, and it still is experienced globally. And now the world watches us as we enter another pandemic, a social one. 

Can you imagine living every day with a sense of uncertainty and apprehension? A feeling of having to live your life at only 40% instead of 100%. Living with anxiety feels like this. Living your life in slow motion. Never knowing when the next attack will surface. For many sufferers, this sense of unknown makes life with this illness even more painful.

Imagine walking alone at night on a dark, cold winter evening. The wind blows, and the cold chill makes your cheeks flush. As you continue along the empty road. Your stomach performs somersaults and your heart rate beats faster. This anxious feeling results from a perceived threat.  This is a normal reaction to the situation.

But the anxiety I want to focus on is the unwanted effects you receive that stem from everyday situations most people take for granted.  For example:

*Going to work
*Going to school

*Changing jobs

*Moving house
*Sitting exams

*Managing illness

*Attending social functions

*Getting into elevators

*Dealing with financial hardships

*Travelling on public transport

*Going grocery shopping

*And on and on

These everyday situations can cause someone to experience moderate-to-severe anxiety attacks.  Making it extremely difficult to carry out these daily tasks.  The official terminology for anxiety is:

“An attack related to something perceived as stressful or threatening. A feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s coming”.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US. Affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older or 18.1% of the population every year. These disorders are treatable, yet only 36% of those suffering receive treatment. It is not uncommon for someone with anxiety to suffer from depression.

For some time now, anxiety has faced humorous connotations. For example, you often hear people speaking on the phone or with friends saying:

I’m having a nightmare,”

I’m freaking out right now,”

I’m having a panic attack as we speak,”

These statements along with the exaggerated hand fanning. To circulate air around their hot, flustered faces are all part of the comedy routine. This comedy like performance gets laughs and reassurances from everyone.  Everybody thinks everything will be all right shortly.

But for the genuine anxiety sufferer, everything is far from all right. The anxiety sufferer does not talk through their experiences out loud.  Let alone explain what they are experiencing at that moment.  If you know someone who deals with anxiety attacks. You understand their symptoms come on gradually. Escalate rapidly and can be very difficult to manage. The feelings can stay around for longer, never reaching their peak. The sufferer feels a lack of control as their experiences range from:

  • Heart palpitations/Fast heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the throat or feeling like choking
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Chills or hot flushes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness
  • Nausea, abdominal pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Feeling faint or dizzy

The level of severity of the above symptoms varies greatly. From individual to individual. The person’s ability to cope with stress plays an important role in the way symptoms manifest. Not everyone experiences all the above feelings. It depends on the initial trigger factor. When the hazard or perceived danger passes the symptoms die down and disappear.

We encourage everyone who deals with anxiety issues. To seek guidance on both prevention and treatment. Having a treatment plan and sticking to it is paramount in helping to manage anxiety on a long-term basis. The following are a few treatments available to help manage the condition:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • And the one treatment that leaves you with no side effects but does help you with the side effects from the first two – Hypnotherapy