Updated: Jan 5, 2020
Like most people, I am uneasy about speaking in public.
I am better now, but I still remember how badly my teeth used to chatter no matter how many times I told my brain to stop. I hated feeling so embarrassed, and I wanted to change so badly. Luckily for me, things started to turn around when I got to high school because that was when I began to force myself to be in vulnerable situations in various speaking clubs.
However, others are not so lucky, and change isn’t as easy for them.
The line between what is normal and what is abnormal can be hard to detect because everyone feels a bit anxious from time to time. But people who experience constant feelings of fear and worry may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. If feelings of anxiety start to interfere with the individual’s ability to live comfortably, treatment may be necessary.
Anxiety disorders can come in many forms. One example is a phobia, which is an intense and irrational fear of a situation or object that poses little to no real danger. There are many types of phobias in the world. Aviophobia is a fear of flying, and alliumphobia is a fear of garlic. Agoraphobia is another common type of phobia, and it refers to the fear of open, public spaces. People may feel a great deal of anxiety if they get in contact with a particular situation or object.
Some may suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD for short. These individuals experience constant worries, and they frequently feel like a bad event is just waiting around the corner for them. Unfortunately, people with generalized anxiety disorder often have trouble identifying the reason for the anxiety.
While GAD involves constant, low-level anxiety, panic disorder is the complete opposite. Without any preparation, people with panic disorder can experience panic attacks that are sudden, short, and highly intense. Individuals often feel scared about when their next panic attack will return, so they tend to look for safe spaces and restrict their daily activities as a result.
Despite these terrible symptoms, anxiety disorders are quite treatable. Health care professionals typically treat their patients with the use of drugs. These drugs correct the chemical imbalances in the brain and overall body, making people feel more relaxed and relieved. Some of these antianxiety drugs include Miltown, Xanax (which resembles the word "anxiety" because of the letter "x"), and Valium.
People with anxiety disorders should not be afraid to seek treatment, and there shouldn't be a stigma. Mental illnesses should never go unchecked, and it is important to understand what they are because anybody can have them.
Note: According to the DSM-5, OCD is no longer classified as an anxiety disorder.