Mental Health Awareness Week. On the theme of 'anxiety', this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is from 15 to 21 May.
Anxiety is a feeling that everyone experiences from time to time, but for some individuals, it can become a severe and chronic issue that affects their everyday life. According to the NHS, anxiety is defined as a feeling of stress, panic, or fear that can have physical and psychological impacts on an individual's well-being.
Some general symptoms of anxiety include:
- Unrealistic and excessive worry or fear
- Distress in social situations
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty making decisions.
- Repetitive Compulsive Disorder
- Mind racing or going blank, a decreased concentration and memory.
- Heart palpitations or rapid heart beat
- Shortness of breath
However, the good news is that there are several ways to manage and reduce anxiety levels.
Types of Anxiety Disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD experience overwhelming anxiety and worry over a long period of time. They may have difficulty controlling their worry and may worry about a variety of different things, such as work, school, health, and finances.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by sudden and intense fear, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and shortness of breath. People with panic disorder may also have a fear of having a panic attack in public, which can lead them to avoid certain situations.
- Phobias: A phobia is an intense fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. Common phobias include fear of spiders, heights, flying, and enclosed spaces. People with phobias may go to great lengths to avoid the object of their fear, which can interfere with daily life.
- Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): ASD and PTSD can develop after a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, war, or physical or sexual assault. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of reminders of the event, and difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD experience obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours that they feel compelled to perform to relieve anxiety. Common obsessions include fear of contamination, fear of harm to oneself or others, and a need for symmetry or order. Common compulsions include repetitive checking, cleaning, and counting.
- Mixed Anxiety and Depression: Some people who suffer from anxiety problems don’t fit into a particular type of anxiety disorder and have features of several. High levels of anxiety over a long period of time can lead to depression, and long periods of depression can also cause symptoms of anxiety.
It’s important to note that anxiety disorders are not always neatly categorised, and some people may experience symptoms that do not fit neatly into any one category. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a qualified healthcare provider who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.
At Inspired Villages, we offer a range of activities and sessions to help individuals manage their anxiety levels. These activities include talking to friends, family, or health professionals, taking part in calming breathing exercises, exercising, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and enjoying the company of other residents.
Our villages have several resources available to help individuals manage their anxiety, including in-person meditation and breathing exercise classes, state-of-the-art gyms, swimming pools, and organised walks. Our trained sleep talkers can provide advice on improving sleep, and our Wellbeing Navigators can provide guidance on nutrition and diet.
It is essential to take care of your mental and physical health, and our villages offer an ideal setting to do so. Taking part in activities and socialising with other residents can be an excellent way to reduce anxiety levels and improve overall well-being.
In conclusion, anxiety is a natural response to stress and fear, but it can become chronic and severe, affecting an individual's daily life. However, by taking care of your mental and physical health, you can reduce anxiety levels and improve your well-being. At Inspired Villages, we offer a range of activities and resources to help individuals manage anxiety levels, and we encourage our residents to take advantage of them.
If you require additional mental health support, the following resources may be useful:
Samaritans – 116 123 – Lines open 24/7
Mind Infoline – 0300 123 393 – Lines open Monday – Friday 9am - 6pm
The Silver Line – 0800 4708 090 – Lines open 24/7
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