Everyone experiences anxiety- an unpleasant feeling of apprehension, sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms such as headache, perspiration, palpitation, tightness in chest, stomach discomfort, restlessness, etc...
Excessive worry and fear can be debilitating. Sometimes it is difficult to determine that you are suffering from anxiety because you’ve been struggling for so long that it seems to be a normal part of life. Also, you may not even know that what you’re struggling with has a name and that it can be addressed. And you are not alone. There are many people who are getting treated for the same.
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Find yourself worrying about things that you feel other people just do not care about? Spend too much time worrying about your well being or the well being of others? Maybe you experience physical symptoms such as heart palpitations when there is no physical reason.
Anxiety produces confusion, it effects our thinking, how we perceive situations and how we attach meaning to our experiences. It obviously interferes with our memory and quality of life.
We will work towards breaking the circle of anxiety:
• Identify what triggers your anxiety and how to manage it.
• Understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
• Gain insight into this connection so we can improve the way you feel by altering your thoughts and behaviors.
Often, anxiety results from maladaptive thoughts. Anxious people are prone to a lot of thinking errors. Once we challenge these thoughts, you will be able to replace them with more adaptive ways of thinking, which will ultimately allow you to make use of your anxiety as an alerting signal and cope with the upcoming situations in your life. Gaining a sense of control over your anxiety will leave you with calmer, positive and clear.
“You don't have to live with anxiety anymore”
QUESTION / ANSWER
“Dear Madam, I am a 29 year old married woman. I live in a joint family. My father-in-law has expired recently. We used to see him regularly suffering with cancer through his terminally ill days. Now I am not able to get his face out off my mind, the images of his suffering keep coming back. Last one week, I have also lost my sleep due to constant disturbing thoughts and nightmares. Please advise what should I do? Thank you very much.”
Priya K., housewife, Chennai
“Dear Priya. I can feel that there has been a recent trauma in your surroundings which has shaken you and your beliefs. There are delusional beliefs most of us adhere to that life will go on and it’s a long life. Any kind of suffering that has been fatefully inflicted on others around you can make you personalise it to you or your loved ones. A fear of unknown or a fear of not having control over events as well a sense of loss sometimes after such events looms over us and at times accompanies real or imagined images. As it’s been only two days I would advise you to start with basics as it can be a short lived condition. Start with talking about your thoughts with people you trust so that your fears get shape, expression and are not repressed. Further to chalk out a structure for your day that you can look forward to with clear awake and bed times. It will help if you could do some breathing exercises before you go to bed. Maintaining consistency is important. Within a few days you will start feeling in control. In case the images still persist then you need to go for relaxation training along with counselling that challenges your fears by validating them and finding evidence against...”
Richa Khetawat, Family Counsellor, Masters in Clinical Psychology