Anxiety is a natural feeling and we all experience sensations of worry, fear or even panic at times. In fact, anxiety can be a positive emotion as it motivates us to achieve and demonstrates that we care. However, it is when emotions such as panic, worry and fear start to take control that anxiety becomes an issue. As a carer, you may have experience of caring for someone who suffers from anxiety and you may in turn have feelings of anxiety which are related to your caring role.
“Anxiety is unique to the individual”
It is important to remember that anxiety comes in many different forms which are highly personal to each individual:
- The symptoms of anxiety can include many physical manifestations such as insomnia, low appetite and faintness.
- Some people experience extreme feelings of anxiety such as panic attacks.
- During a panic attack a person can have symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath and extreme sense of fear.
- A panic attack can be so intense that many people mistake them for a heart attack.
- It is crucial to remember that while a panic attack can feel terrible it will not cause you any serious harm. However, if you do experience feelings of chest pain or shortness of breath it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately in order to rule out other physical conditions first.
To understand what triggers anxiety in people it is a good idea to look at what thoughts or situations heighten particularly anxious feelings. There are many different types of anxiety and in order to identify what makes you or the person you care for anxious it may be important to consider what could be the root cause.
A few common forms of anxiety are:
Social Anxiety Disorder
A long-lasting and overwhelming fear of social situations
An anxiety disorder where a person experiences regular and sudden attacks of fear or panic, sometimes with no clear reason
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A condition which causes a person to feel anxious about a wide range of issues and situations
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
A person with OCD will experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour on a frequent basis
This is a type of anxiety disorder which is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of something
Through identifying what may lie at the core of anxiety it can make finding ways in which to combat and cope with symptoms easier.
If you would like advice and support on how best to cope with your caring role then please call our Adviceline on 01284 333 035.