One of the most common mental illness is social anxiety and anxiety.
Anxiety can be the normal fears and at other times it can be extreme. It is then we need to know how to deal these anxious feelings.
Some of the fear and anxiety we face can be good because it creates greater awareness. It teaches us when to act and how to act and when something is wrong.
According to the American Psychological Association “Anxiety is an emotion that comes with feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
“People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”
Also, the American Psychological Association defines “Social anxiety as the fear of social situations in which embarrassment may occur (e.g., making conversation, meeting strangers, dating) or there is a risk of being negatively evaluated by others (e.g., seen as stupid, weak, or anxious).”
Nigerians typically ignore mental health issues until it has become untreatable. A major issue in Nigeria is a hazy view of mental illness and little attempt at its treatment. In a study conducted published by the International Journal of Mental Health only 4.8 % of 277 teenagers recognized correctly the symptoms of mental disorders in Nigeria.
The entire Nigeria situation can trigger anxiety and depression but the fact remains that anxiety and depression cuts across people from different social strata and economy situations.
How do you know your anxiety is abnormal?
- It obstructs your day to day activities
- It continues for a very long time, spanning days, months and years
- You have panic attacks and physical symptoms where it feels like you cannot breathe or moved or you have digestive issues.
- The feeling of anxiety is deep and intense.
What thought constitute anxious thoughts?
How to deal with anxiety
- Breathing exercises
- Prepare for socially awkward situations
- See a therapist to get to the root of issues. I know how hard that is in Nigeria.
The Alternatives to seeing a therapist is reading up on your anxiety, having conversations with people with the same issues and listening to a podcasts.
- Be part of a community or group of people where you discuss mental health issues freely.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This involves challenging your fears, beliefs and thoughts.
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