Anxious Times

Manila Bulletin, October 23, 2011 | Go to article overview

Anxious Times


"Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up." - Proverbs 12:25; The Holy BibleMANILA, Philippines - Anxiety is the uncomfortable feeling or sensation that something, usually something terrible, is about to happen. There are no signs of impending disaster but the anxious person worries anyway. Anxiety is different from fear. Fear is what you feel looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at you. Fear was what was in Col. Khadafy's eyes when he was begging for his life. Anxiety is waiting for fear to happen. Anxiety is feeling that a stranger will poke a gun at you in a dark alley. When anxiety worsens to a point that the person is unable to go about her daily activities, it becomes an anxiety disorder. That person will need help.Forms of anxiety. GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is constant and exaggerated thoughts preventing the individual from functioning normally. When confronted, he is unable to pinpoint an identifiable cause for worry. Physically, the GAD-affected is jumpy - with muscle tension, headache, nausea, headache, or fatigue, even an upset stomach. In panic disorder, the person is suddenly struck down with an overpowering terror, usually irrational, causing physical paralysis. The heartbeat gallops, there may be chest pain and abdominal distress. There is shortness of breath and dizziness. It's like getting out of the roller coaster after friends dragged you in for the ride. The panic attack may last for about 10 minutes and can be triggered by a specific cause (too much caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine) or a situation such as being in large crowds or enclosed spaces like elevators and motels. In post-traumatic stress disorder, the person is immobilized by a personally catastrophic event such as rape, kidnapping, torture, etc. Whatever the trauma, the person is debilitated because the event is relived in recollections in the daytime or in nightmares. The obsessive-compulsive disorder is about being plagued by anxious thoughts and rituals. For example, the person may be obsessed with germs (like Howard Hughes) and will wash hands again and again until the skin becomes dry and scaly. …

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