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05/20/2024 “Anxiety Awareness Month” By Kaylee McGrath

Opening Statement:

Anxiety is the most common mental disorder affected by many individuals worldwide. While conducting my research I was surprised to have learned concerning this awareness, that the ancient Greeks and Romans suffered from anxiety often. Anxiety led to philosophers then suggesting treatments for it. Anxiety triggers are many things that every human experiences in a lifetime. For some, anxiety is temporary. For others, it happens repeatedly, even for minor reasons. Whichever it is, we have all been anxious about uncertain occurrences before and probably will in the future!

 

History Of Anxiety Awareness Month

·         Anxiety Awareness Month is celebrated together with Mental Health Awareness Month both of which fall in May. Anxiety is such a significant issue that a week of Mental Health Awareness Month is dedicated to discussing, raising awareness about, and providing guidance on how to best manage it. Since 1949, Mental Health America, an organization concerned with mental health in the U.S. has been observing May as mental health month. Part of their activities in the month is to inform and enlighten the public on various aspects of mental health, of which anxiety stands out.

·         Anxiety, and its extension, anxiety disorder, has been said to be an illness rarely known before the 19th century. In contrast, anxiety has been identified as a negative effect and disorder by Greco-Roman philosophers and physicians. For example, Plato recorded a case of acute anxiety in women in one of his books (or books attributed to him.) This makes anxiety a lingering problem right from antiquity. Further evidence lies in the fact that philosophers in the far past suggested treatments for the mental imbalance that are not too detached from the cognitive ones available today.

·         Although it has been known, anxiety was not considered a separate illness, but rather a symptom of melancholy a few centuries back. Robert Burton’s treatise, “The Anatomy of Melancholy” published in 1621 confirms this. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, however, anxiety began to be recognized as a distinct entity. Sigmund Freud for example, coined many of the terms used today for various anxiety disorders, a sign that the illness was being studied independently.

 

Interesting Facts About Anxiety

·         It Progresses to A Disorder If Persistent

Anxiety could turn into a disorder if it is so frequent one gets unusually perturbed about mundane things.

·         It Is Not Completely Curable

Cures for anxiety are never 100% effective as getting anxious is a natural part of life.

·         It Returns

Anxiety returns even when one has mastered overcoming it.

·         Sleeping Reduces It

Some medications for anxiety such as ‘benzodiazepines’ work by inducing deep, undisturbed sleep.

·         Special Diets Help Reduce It

Yogurt, green tea, salmon, and dark chocolates have been adjudged to reduce the feeling of anxiety.

 

Why Anxiety Awareness Month Is Important

·         It Enlightens Us

This day ensures that we are adequately informed about the factors and effects associated with anxiety in our lives. Learn all there is to know.

·         Mental Health Is Important

Nobody can be as fully productive as they could be if their mental health is affected. Good mental health leads to a happy life.

·         Optimism Is a Benefit

Anxiety can take a great toll on one's level of optimism about life. We love National Anxiety Month because we become inspired and reassured about the future.

Questions Regarding Anxiety

1.       When Should I Be Worried About Anxiety?

Every human feels anxious at least once in a lifetime, and anxiety is a natural phenomenon. However, if you continually and constantly feel anxious about everyday occurrences, then you should be worried.

2.       What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

If you are anxious, you become restless, your palms become sweaty, your throat dries up, and you start to sweat profusely. Other people can have other serious signs but generally, the above are present in most cases.

3.       How Can I Calm My Anxiety?

Different people employ different ways of calming themselves down when anxious. Therapists usually begin by asking patients to state what is making them anxious before proceeding to other measures. Generally, talking to someone, consoling yourself with some optimistic words, taking your mind off the cause of the anxiety, or for religious people, praying, may calm one’s anxiety.

 

How To Observe Anxiety Awareness Month

·         Reassure Yourself

Be confident. Be optimistic. Stay inspired and sweep out that feeling of anxiety from your system.

·         Ease Others' Anxiety About Future Uncertainties

Go out and inspire your loved ones. Encourage them by telling them that they are the best person to deal with future uncertainties.

·         Visit A Therapist

Tried to be less anxious about something but it's not working? Then visit that therapist and pour out your worries. We bet you won't leave them without being reassured.

 

Closing Statement:

Anxiety is nothing to be embarrassed about or even more importantly, to be overlooked. I have been managing my anxiety since middle school, and somedays it can be overwhelming to manage. FACT…It was over 150 years ago, that anxiety was singled out and became a key component in various diagnostic categories. In 1980, anxiety disorders were classified in the "Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III.” For those of you that are unsure if you have ever experienced or suffered from anxiety, it is a feeling of fear, dismay, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. All these things mentioned, can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. Be aware of your daily feelings and always consult your healthcare professional if you have been experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in the article.

 

Source of Information: Various Google Searches and Printed Publications

 

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

 

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