Sunday, November 25, 2012

Types of Anxiety Disorders

So, I've been really, really busy.
There's been school work, work work, writing work.
And a little thing called NaNoWrimo.

But  I have been writing shorter things to share, mainly in creative writing class.
I am particularly fond of this one, and hopefully everyone else finds something comforting, recignizable, or at the very least, funny in it.

The assignment was to take a "non-literary form"(like cook books, brochures, math problems, etc) and add literary elements to it.
What I tried to do was take a standard "Anxiety Disorder" explination form and pick out and exploit the parts that always bugged me whenever I read them when I was trying to find out what was "wrong" with me. Mainly the fact that while most of the information on anxiety breaks down the basic symptoms, they never explain exactly what a panic attack is. And of course, there's a lot more to it. This was one of the rare times I wrote something and knew I was going to like it once it was done.
A lot of me is in this one, so maybe that's why I like it. I hope you do too. : )

Types Of Anxiety Disorders.
 1. Panic Disorder: Fear of having panic attacks is mostly what Panic Disorder is. Many times the person does not know why they are having an attack. Sometimes, it seems to come from “out of the blue”, but more often, it comes from your mother asking you what’s wrong every five seconds, your classmates believing that there is something wrong with you, and a general fear of every little thing around you.

A panic attack is usually accompanied by shortness of breath, people yelling things like, “breathe” at you, dizziness or faintness (because you tried to breathe), increased heart rate (because breathing didn’t work), trembling (because you are going to die), hot or cold flashes (from the life slipping in and out of you), and a sense of detachment because in the ten minutes it takes someone to have a panic attack, their life passes before their eyes and they begin to accept their inevitable demise, and living after you know for sure you are going to die really messes with your head. Other symptoms include fear of “going crazy”, and the fear of “losing control”. These fears are irrational because you are crazy and you have lost control.

2. Agoraphobia
: The fear of having panic attacks in public places (because this is the only place you will ever have them).

It is anxiety-causing not to know when your next panic attack might occur because it will happen when you are at your grandmother’s birthday party eating cake, in the dark of a movie theater with your boyfriend, or when you’re especially lucky, in the middle of a really good dream as you sleep.
As the panic attacks occur more frequently and in different locations, the person begins to fear going anywhere as “unsafe”, which is anywhere that is not the bathroom of their home, where they can curl up in a ball on the cold linoleum without anyone telling them that “everything’s okay”.

3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
: Excessive worries about more than one thing characterize this disorder. Many times the worries are unrealistic, such as “What if I have a panic attack at school and everyone stares?” or “What if I marry a man just like my father and he divorces me and leaves me with three kids and no money and they grow up to hate me and I hate my life because everyone I loved hates me and my anxiety and depression get worse because I have no one?”  All of us think about things like this, but people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder fixate on them and can’t get them out of their mind.  

Symptoms include (but there are a shit-ton more): body tenseness (what if I have to pee and get up in the middle of class and everyone stares at me), lump in the throat (what if I have to throw up in the middle of the restaurant and everyone stares at me), trouble falling asleep (what if I sleep in and am late and everyone stares at me), and difficulty in concentrating (everyone is staring at me).

Some people with Generalized Anxiety may have experienced panic attacks in the past (whatifwhatifwhatif) or become Agoraphobic (couldn’t go to school anymore because of the fear of everyone staring at them, making fun of them, and  they hate people in general anyway so the school nurse did them a favor in suggesting they go on home bound). Without treatment, they continue to remain restricted in their lives and fear going too far away from home (where the bathroom is).

4. Social Anxiety Disorder
: The constant fear of being criticized or evaluated by other people (because you always will be). Simply attending a business meeting, trying to find a job, or looking for their keys in a supermarket because they lose everything and can’t remember the simplest of things because their brain is too full of thoughts, can be highly nerve-wracking.  Although people (everyone except you) with Social Anxiety want to be social and fit in with everyone else, their anxiety keeps a tight hold of them at all times like a clingy toddler. They freeze up when they meet new people (or people they have already met, especially if they try to hug or comfort them).

They are particularly afraid that other people will notice that they are anxious (or not notice)—and this fear causes the anxiety to get worse.

Most socially-anxious people remember being called “shy” as a child and can name experiences from their past that correlate with the Social Anxiety they now have. (Like when their Mother made them join girl scouts and they never earned any merit badges because none of the other girls wanted to be in a group with them because they were that weird kid that always freaked out over nothing.
Things that contribute to this disorder include: your father leaving, your cat dying, your step-father dying, your goldfish dying, your mom getting cancer, your mom surviving cancer, your other cat dying, your father becoming a monster, your father living, and living, and living, and the fear that you will die.

Most anxiety disorders come from traumatic life events like rape, abuse, or wartime experiences. Of course, none of those things ever happened to you, so you’re fine.

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