This is Joseph.
His mind is constantly racing and it’s racing with negative thoughts.
He worries about everything –
from saying the wrong thing to a friend,
to wondering if he will lose his cellphone,
to questioning if he is eating healthy enough.
He also thinks about the bigger problems,
like if his daughter is safe at school,
or how to make sure she has a good future.
These may seem like typical worries that everyone has,
but for Joseph they consume his life
and he is living in constant anxiety and fear.
Caroline also worries quite frequently.
She is in a high-stress job that demands a lot of her time.
She is also a parent.
The worry and stress are natural,
but sometimes she becomes overwhelmed and breaks down,
becoming ill for a short period of time.
Joseph and Caroline both decide it is high
time to go and see a doctor.
They want to better understand and help to
put an end to these unwanted feelings.
The doctor tells Joseph he has been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder,
also known as G.A.D.
While Caroline was diagnosed with Panic Disorder.
Before the diagnosis, they never knew the difference between the two.
G.A.D and Panic Disorder are both Anxiety Disorders with unique differences.
G.A.D is a mental condition that is characterized
by excessive and uncontrollable worry
about everyday life events and the future.
Panic Disorder is characterized by panic attacks that can occur
for seemingly no reason at all.
They both can also happen during or directly after a traumatic event.
There is not one single cause for GAD.
It is believed to be caused by a complex interaction of genetics, brain chemistry,
personality factors and the environment in which the afflicted were raised.
Traumatic experiences and stressful life events can also trigger a person to develop GAD.
The symptoms for G.A.D are as follows:
Constant high levels of worry about everyday things,
or things that do not normally warrant anxiety.
Inability to let go of your worries even
if you know they are irrational or unrealistic.
Feeling restless, irritable or on edge.
Problems with sleep – either difficulty getting enough sleep or sleeping too much.
睡眠有问题 不是难以睡够 就是睡太多
Being easily frightened or startled.
People with GAD may also experience the following physical symptoms:
High levels of tension in your muscles.
Regular headaches and nausea.
Low levels of energy or constant fatigue.
Increased sweating, trembling or heart rate.
Panic Disorder is defined as having recurring and regular panic attacks,
often without any apparent cause.
Panic attacks bring about a sudden rush
of intense fear and panic,
whereas General Anxiety Disorder is a slowly increasing
and constant feeling of apprehension and unease about both the present and the future.
Signs of a panic attack are: Intense feelings of panic and stress.
Trembling and shaking.
Increased heart rate.
Numbness or tingling in hands and feet.
Feeling dizzy or light-headed.
Feeling unreal or detached from yourself.
Due to the terrifying nature of a panic attack and the feelings of pain in the chest area,
many people experiencing them for the first time think
that they are having a heart attack,
or that their life is in danger.
An attack can last from a few minutes to an hour,
and after it’s over,
some people recover quickly and never experience another.
Others may start to have them more regularly
and the experience can be so frightening
that they constantly worry about when the next one will occur.
The symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder
and Panic Disorder can successfully be reduced
or controlled using medication.
For GAD, therapy and counselling can be helpful
in becoming aware when your worries are unrealistic or exaggerated,
or exaggerated, along with instilling positive thoughts instead of negative ones.
For Panic Disorder, medication and therapy can help manage symptoms
so that you can calm yourself down when
you feel an attack is coming on.
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone, no matter how strong or successful.
Getting treatment for anxiety does not mean admitting weakness,
but means choosing to live life on your own terms,
without letting those worries hold you back.
If you know someone who struggles with anxiety,
telling them to stop worrying or to get over it will not help.
Often times, they know that they are overreacting and behaving irrationally.
However, the fear, panic, and feelings of anxiety are still very real.
然而害怕 恐慌 和焦虑的感觉仍然很真实
and let them know you are there to support them
without adding any additional pressure.
Simply spending time with them and showing that you value them
despite their anxiety will have a bigger effect than you can imagine.
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Thank you for watching.
This is Joseph.