Nowadays, many people think about the physical, economical and social perspectives of coronavirus; the psychological side of the pandemic has not been looked at enough. Actually, psychological impact of coronavirus could pose as the most serious one. Therefore, when people are faced with anxiety, depression or other psychological disorders, they are bound to become a target to even more severe physical disorders that weaken the immune system. For this reason, it is important to understand the psychological effects of this global health crisis and its precautions and treatments help enhance physical and psychological resistance.
For instance, feeling panic, anxiety, stress and anger during a stressful time, or whilst in the midst of an epidemic; or after a traumatic event such as traffic accidents are normal reactions and emotions. However, if these emotions continue without being treated properly, to the point that it poses as a threat, it means that the feelings are not managed well, making such cases become problematic. Signs of psychological problems could be seen if for example, a person who previously experienced a war is hyper-aroused when hearing the sound of a plane in a safety place; or when a person tends to wash their hands to the extreme until wounding their hands out of the fear of disease and hygiene obsession.
When people acknowledge what is normal and what is abnormal, and they behave to the extreme during a critical period, this means they can still control their stress and anxiety level. However, showing some any level of extremism under the name of precaution and the inability to control anxiety means there is a development of psychological disorders. Anxiety disorder can be seen especially today, amid the coronavirus pandemic. The skill to self-acknowledge of any symptom to these disorders is the first step to cope and heal. This article will discuss about anxiety disorders and the coping methods.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety is the state of feeling some presence of danger against one’s self, family, health, wealth, status, belief system, values and perceive them as threat. Accompanying this situation, people can feel panic, stress, worry and unrest. Children and adolescents can experience anxiety as well as adults. Anxiety effect people’s lives negatively and in extreme cases professional support is vital to treat the problem.
Types of Anxiety
Anxiety consists many subtypes such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
GAD refers to the feeling of intense and constant anxiety about anything.
- Panic Disorder
Panic Disorder refers to the experiencing of unexpected and repeated intense panic attacks.
- Acute Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder refers to the experiencing of intense fear, anxiety, hopelessness and terror after traumatic events in which it usually disappears within 30 days.
- Specific Phobias
Specific Phobias refers to the fear and avoidance from certain objects, people, situations and places.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
Social Phobia refers to the intense fear of people, thinking that other people will judge, discriminate or humiliate them and their performance.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD refers to the uncontrollable recurring thoughts called obsessions and behaviors called compulsions. OCD effects people negatively. People who suffer from OCD appear to make certain actions to relax but they actually feed the problem by repeating these actions.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD refers to the disease, which occurs after traumatic events and people might show signs such as hyper-arousal, avoidance and flash backs as symptoms of PTSD. It is a serious disorder and should be treated professionally.
- Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder refers to a disorder that occurs following the usage of alcohol, drugs and other substances.
- Other Specified Anxiety Disorders and Unspecified Anxiety Disorders
Other Specified Anxiety Disorders and Unspecified Anxiety Disorders refer to a situation when a person may not fully meet the diagnostic criteria of any particular types of anxiety disorder.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder refers to the intense fear and stress when a person is separated from a caregiver.
- Illness Anxiety Disorder
Illness Anxiety Disorder refers to the extreme worry about a person’s health and illness. Even when they are healthy, they would think they are ill or they can exaggerate minor symptoms as a severe illness.
- Selective Mutism in Children
Selective Mutism refers to children experiencing the inability to speak in certain social places such as school.
Agoraphobia refers to the fear of a repetition of panic attacks when a person is alone; due to this fear they cannot go outside alone, or tend to avoid situations and places which can cause fear and panic.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety
Feeling stress and anxiety is normal while facing stressful situations but if these symptoms continue and progress then it can be problematic. People might show different symptoms of anxiety but when they feel anxious they generally show the following general symptoms:
- Nervousness, restlessness, or being tense
- Feeling of being in danger, under threat, panicking
- Rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, or hyperventilation
- Shaking, heavy sweating
- Digestive or gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Sleeping problems such as insomnia
- Eating problem
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- The need to stay away from anxious and stressful situations
- Problems with social relationships
- Showing specific behaviors over and over again
Causes of Anxiety
Many researches show that;
- Type of characteristics
- Genetic factors
- Childhood traumas
- Stress and
- Learning styles
play a role in the development of anxiety.
As it is seen, anxiety effects people’s emotions, thoughts and actions negatively and if it is not treated, all of the social, occupational and interpersonal relations will be effected negatively too. Therefore, seeking treatment and professional support is important in order to achieve healthy and quality life.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Clinical psychologist and psychiatrist are professionals who are trained to treat psychological disorders.
- Medical treatment
- Cooperation of client
are necessary to treat anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy in particular helps to turn patient’s negative thoughts into positive and correct cognitive distortion. In addition;
- Breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation techniques
- Emotion regulation
- Systematic desensitization and
are very effective treatment methods to do in reducing stress level and coping with anxiety.
In this process, training patient’s family members and the society in general about the problems to get them to participate in the treatment in order to give social support to the patient are very important and supportive techniques to provide permanent changes and welfare for the patient. Furthermore,
- Balanced nutrition
- Stress management
- Quality sleep and
- Belief system
are other useful techniques to treat anxiety.