What are the Symptoms and How to deal with it during this Covid-19 situation?
What is Anxiety and What are the Symptoms?
What Is Lockdown Anxiety?
“Anxiety is an output of feelings and emotional trigger with a stimulus of unknown and a state of internal vague discomfort and diffused feeling.” says Dr. Dhruv Thakkar, a Psychiatrist from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. (I have recently attended his webinar on “Anxiety and Stress management”, and his words evolved my views and remarks to these conditions.I am really grateful of him to be so kind and outspoken and sharing such a vast knowledge with us during these difficult time. I as a Physical Therapist feel obliged to share this piece of information I have collected and researched in and around this topic, past few days. If you need any help or want to consult, do contact. )
When we tag ourselves to worries and fear, we are dealing with something we already know. Fear is external and known to the knowns and where as worry, it is related to our own thoughts. But when you say that you are anxious or have hit with an anxiety attack, the trigger that you feel is related to emotional as well as physical level both.
For example: When you see a lion, your brains trigger danger, wild and thus you fear about it.
But when you feel anxious, following are the symptoms that is triggered either individual or all together.
- Normal phenomena: Feeling of anxious, compelled thoughts.
- Physical Reactions:
- Muscle tension
- Tachycardia i.e. Increased heart rate.
- Sweating, Shivering
- Feeling of extremely uneasiness
- Negative Thoughts- Worst possible outcomes
- Physical Visual Symptoms: Tensed eye Brows, Abdomen Muscle tightening, Sometimes thigh muscles too.
And now that we are stuck inside these walls from a longer period of time, we are likely to develop these feeling due to various internal and external factors. Thus, termed as “Lockdown Anxiety”.
When does this turns abnormal and you need to seek help?
WHEN IT STARTS HAMPERING YOUR DAILY LIVING!!!
A clinical psychologist Amatullah Lokhandwala said in one of her interviews that “During and after a pandemic, one should not lose sight of mental health. We are in unprecedented times, and it is natural to need help in coping with our situation. This is a time for action.” She volunteers with Wellbeing Volunteers United (WVU), an initiative started by Prakriti Poddar, Managing Trustee of the Poddar Foundation. With over 500 volunteers from all walks of life, WVU is a free distress line created during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, offering support in English and multiple regional languages. Its helpline number is 1800-121-0980.
Why Does It Happens?
When ever anything happens Bio-Psycho-Socially!
Anything from past personal experiences or trauma faced. Anything socially, e.g. Breakups, negligence from loved ones, the most common factor in young adults and teenagers, Bad weather, Bad traffic, etc. Anything that we receive from the world can leads to anxiety.
Along with it, Biological and psychological factors that causes the internal triggers like thought process, incidences from the childhood, loss of someone close, etc.
“MANN KI STITI / State of mind IS DIFFERENT IN DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS”
Thus, every situation affects individuals in a very tailor-made level of emotions.
“BRAIN IS THE HEADQUARTERS FOR ALL OUR EMOTION
SO, IF WE CAN CONTROL AND CHANNELIZE OUR MIND, WE CAN LEARN TO DEAL WITH OUR EMOTIONS.”
And the most important is our “CORE BELIEVE.”, which is an abstract work of our subconscious, preconscious and unconscious minds, thus every individual have a personalized response to every situation.
Example: We all are stuck in a prolonged and unmoving traffic and we need to reach to our respective places, say, school, colleges, offices or workplace or say to any particular destinations but all we can do is sit in our car and wait. The reaction that we feel in that situation is different from every individual present there. Some are calm. Some listen to music and relax. Some get anxious. Some get irritated and start yelling around. Some get furious even with the slightest trigger. Some fear and start worrying about the consequences while some deal with the thought that nothing can be done so why worry.
Thus, is how we each one of us work. We are unique because of our experiences and believes.
So, the first thing we can do it stop judging anyone and understand that everyone is facing life and this period of Lockdown in its own way.
HOW DO WE MANAGE THEN?
- SEEK MEDICAL HELP, IF YOU NOTICE THE EPISODES HAVE INCREASED IN TERMS OF INTENSITY, DURATION AND/OR FREQUENCY. CALL YOUR DOCTOR/ TALK TO A FRIEND OR SOMEONE WHO CAN REFER YOU TO ONE.
- Good Relationships prevents stress.
- Understand and note the triggering factors.
- Tell your family member or your neighbours when you have one.
- Avoid those situations if you cannot completely change it.
- Always move to a well-ventilated safe place as soon as the trigger starts.
How do we prevent it?
- Develop calmness to avoid triggers.
- Learn certain relaxation techniques, practise daily.
- Remember “Digital media is an escape route”- Avoid Unnecessary feeds to your mind.
- Exercise Daily for 45 minutes.
- Don’t lose sight of a routine: Stick to healthy eating and sleeping habits.
- Be mindful of each other: Living through a lockdown is a new experience for everyone.
- Minimise “corona time”: If you wish, spend 30-60 minutes in the morning or evening absorbing news and updates about the pandemic. “The rest of the time, dedicate to self and to relationships,” says Dr. Subramanyam.
- Social connectedness: Make phone and video calls on a daily basis to your loved ones. Staying in touch even if that is on call.
- Express yourself: The arts are a representation of the conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings that we carry around. Giving these an outlet, especially at this time, is important. “Anyone is capable of creating art, irrespective of their range of expression,” says Anshuma, a psychotherapist and drama and movement therapist.
- “Gyan mat do, Dhyan do”- do not unnecessarily keep motivating the one who seeks help, just listen. Sometimes, Motivation doesn’t really help. Capacity of thinking is varied thus focus on building and strenghtening your individual “CORE BELIEF SYSTEM.”
- Avoid Any kind of substance abuse.
- Ask more to know more. Don’t stay Quiet. Because if you feel you need help, YOU NEED HELP.
Take Away Message: REMEMBER: “If you won’t act to change, nothing will change!”
Hope this helped you in any way. Thank You for giving it a read. “Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.”
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