Anxiety is the feeling of worry for future events and/or fear of current events resulting in the activation of the stress response, which may cause stress to the body. Anxiety is a common and normal emotion that is an important part of everyday life. It’s the body’s response to a perceived threat that can be useful to maximise our chance of survival, but when the Anxiety occurs without apparent provocation or is excessive, it will be diagnosed as a disorder (disruption to normal functioning). This extreme Anxiety results in deterioration in performance, and emotional and physical discomfort.
Anxiety disorders are a heightened fear or tension that causes psychological and physical distress affecting the heart, nervous system, cognition and skin. These feelings may cause symptoms such as:
- Bodily – such as muscle tension, increased heart rate, chest pain, increased respiration rate, nausea, shortness of breath, and sleep problems.
- Cognition – such as fears of past, present and future dangers.
- Behaviours –Changing the way that may be classified as a typical reaction to a situation such as avoidance, moping and agoraphobia.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia with over 2 million Australians experiencing anxiety over a 12 month period. It affects 1 in 4 people (1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men). Anxiety disorders come in many forms which are distinguished from one another by characteristic clusters of symptoms.
Anxiety disorders include:
Generalised Anxiety Disorder – Excessive anxiety and worries that are intense, persistent and interfere with their normal lives, that the individual finds difficult to control. It involves some activities or events and causes physical symptoms that include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances. Signs and symptoms are present more days than not for a six month period.
Separation Anxiety Disorder – Excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from home or attachment figures. It is most common in infants and young children with symptoms ranging from anticipatory uneasiness to full-blown anxiety about segregation. Signs and symptoms are present for at least four weeks in children and six months in adults.
Selective Mutism – Lack of speech during social interaction, when otherwise speaks normally in their ‘safe’ environment. Often interferes with educational or occupational achievement. Signs and symptoms are present for at least one month (excluding the first month of school).
Specific Phobia – A marked, or intense, fear or anxiety of a particular object or situation such as flying, needles, blood or heights. The phobic object or situation almost always causes immediate fear or anxiety causing the individual to become avoidant. Signs and symptoms are lasting for six months or more.
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) – A marked, or intense, fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinised by others including social interaction, being observed and performing in front of others. Signs and symptoms are lasting for six months or more.
Panic Disorder – Recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or exceptional discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and include accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain, shaking, sweating and nausea or abdominal distress. At least one of the attacks have been followed by one month or more persistent concern about future attacks and maladaptive change in behaviour related to the attack.
Agoraphobia – marked, or intense fear or anxiety triggered by the real or anticipated exposure to a wide range of situations such as using public transport and being in a crowd. The individual exhibits avoidant behaviour that lasts for six months or longer.
Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder – Panic attacks or anxiety that developed during or soon after a substance intoxication or withdrawal or after exposure to medication. Signs and symptoms persist for a substantial period.
Anxiety Disorder due to another medical condition – Panic attacks or anxiety caused by the direct pathophysiological consequence of another medication.
Other Specified Anxiety Disorder – Significant distress or impairment of functioning that does not meet all of the criteria for any other anxiety disorders such as limited symptom attacks.
Unspecified Anxiety Disorder – Significant distress or impairment of functioning that does not meet any of the criteria of any other anxiety disorders. Often used when insufficient information is available to make a more specific diagnosis (e.g. in emergency room settings).
There is a broad range of treatment options available for the various anxiety disorders. It is important to consult a trained professional to be diagnosed with the correct disorder and advised of the appropriate treatment options. Psychological treatment will be the first line of treatment, while in more severe cases medication can also be effective.
Treatment where an individual talks to a psychologist who attempts to change your thinking patterns to control your anxiety symptoms better while reducing irrational worries. Treatment may include either one on one with a professional or in a group environment. Therapies may include:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – Cognitive behaviour therapy is an effective treatment approach for a range of mental and emotional health issues including anxiety.Cognitive behaviour therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviour that are behind people’s difficulties, and so modify the way they feel.
Cognitive behavioural therapy can be thought of as a combination of psychotherapy and behavioural therapy. Psychotherapy emphasises the importance of the personal meaning we place on things and how thinking patterns begin in childhood. Behavioural therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behaviour and our thoughts. Most psychotherapists who practice CBT personalise and customise the treatment to the specific needs and personality of each patient.
- Psychodynamic Therapy – Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on current behaviour. The healing and change process envisioned in long-term psychodynamic therapy typically requires at least two years of sessions. This is because the goal of therapy is often to change an aspect of one’s identity or personality or to integrate critical developmental learning missed while the client was stuck at an earlier stage of emotional development. The number of professionals who practice an exclusive form of psychodynamic therapy today is a small percentage of psychotherapists. Many psychotherapists use components of psychodynamic theories, however, in their formulation of a client’s issues, while employing other types of psychological techniques most often, cognitive-behavioural techniques to affect change in the individual.
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterise mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship with them.
How does JettProof Help?
The range of JettProof products are especially suited for those that suffer from anxiety disorders in several ways. The most important being the self-regulating effects they have on the body which helps the body to filter information more efficiently, calm the system and avoid the wearer becoming overwhelmed and having their anxiety triggered, therefore minimising panic attacks.
JettProof is manufactured from Calmtex, a special, breathable, fabric with moisture wicking properties and prevents the wearer from becoming overheated. JettProof can be easily worn discreetly under clothes, all day, every day to keep the wearer calm and reduce or eliminate their anxiety.
The most popular JettProof product for anxiety is the JettProof singlet www.JettProof.com.au/shop