Does it ever feel that you are out of breath or are sweating too much not because of physical activity but because of the multitude of thoughts running in your head? Do you feel that there is too much stress and it becoming hard to manage it? kya apko thori ghabrahat si ho rahi hai?
Anxiety which is also commonly known as “ghabrahat” is often misunderstood and mixed up with stress and panic. Stress, Panic and Anxiety are not the same. Although they are interconnected and have a lot of common signs, they are not the same. One of the common similarities between the three are digestive issues. Stress can be the trigger for anxiety and panic. Stress is a period of worry that is not extreme and can be both good (eustress) and bad (distress). Stress can be endured for a long time and is considered a part of daily life. According to Freudian approach stress is not an issue and is actually just a signal to some inner conflict that a person is trying to repress. Anxiety is more prolonged than panic which lasts for a short time.
We often tend to not only just confuse the three but we also tend to use the terms very loosely. Words like anxiety have become normalized in our day-to-day conversations and we continue to talk about it in a very loose manner without knowing much about it. Although it is understandable that because we grew up in an environment where it is used in a certain way, we tend to pick it up, it is better that we try to understand what it actually means and read up about it so that we do not discount the struggles of those who are actually undergoing and living with anxiety. Although there are various definitions and symptoms and treatment methods which are included in the Diagnostic Statical Manual of mental Disorders Fifth Edition or DSM 5 which is the official book that one refers to when dealing with disorders, its not always that the individual undergoing that particular disorder has only those issues and behaves in the way that is written down. All individuals are different and the disorder tends to manifest itself in different people differently. Although there are a few similarities and one must fit into certain criteria to be diagnosed with a certain disorder there are many variables that need to be considered as well.
There are different kinds of health disorder that one can be diagnosed with which include – anxiety disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Separation Anxiety Disorder among others. In social anxiety disorder, the individual is fearful or anxious about or avoidant of social interactions and situations that involve the possibility of being scrutinized. These include social interactions such as meeting unfamiliar people. Social anxiety was detected among multiple people after the pandemic hit as well since people had been away from the society at large for so long that it was hard for them to interact and socialize the way they once did. Separation Anxiety Disorder also was another type of anxiety that was very prevalent after the lockdown. Not only among people but also among pets a similar reaction was seen. Because during the lockdown we mostly stayed with a certain group of people and only interacted with them and had them in our immediate environment throughout the day for a very long period of time we tended to become extremely attached to them. Although not everyone underwent and showed signs of either social anxiety or separation anxiety disorder, many did.
The different diagnosis for the various types of anxiety disorder has different symptoms and treatment methods and they also have different kinds of differential disorders that are related to them and can be mixed up with. Among others there are also a lot of gender-related and culture-related issues that differentiate the various anxiety disorders. One must get themselves checked in order to be aware of which form of anxiety disorder they are undergoing inn order to be able to live with it without it interfering too much in your daily life. Only when you know what issue you have that you will be able to work on it.
A show that one can watch to understand and differentiate between stress, panic and anxiety is This is Us, a TV Series that does an amazing job at portraying what it looks like. The marvel Character Iron Man portrays a different form of Anxiety and so does the character of Elsa from Frozen and the character of Lisbeth Salaner from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.