Mental health is a topic that many shy away from talking about openly or are completely ignorant of. For the victims, the unwillingness to open up is probably for fear of stigmatization, while for those who consider themselves ‘normal’, it can be said that the reality is so distanced from them that they probably don’t see the need to address it. There is a certain air of stigmatization around mental health in general, with the affected bordering on being labelled a social pariah.

Either way, mental health is a growing concern that should raise alarm for the many facets it takes and for the effects it has on the normal life of an individual.

Awkward Situations
Let’s look at this: how did you feel the first day you were admitted at school? What about the time you first boarded a flight? And the first time in the labour ward? What of when you stood in class to address your classmates for the first time? And during your first date with a new friend?

Well, it is likely that a great surge of fear, worry or overexcitement, all that were unexplained engulfed you. Somehow, you were able to overcome and made it through. But the tension keeps coming back every often so often whenever you set out to do something that you’re not sure of the outcome or when it is the first time to do so. But one oft wonders why we get anxious even though we know and have been practising for a long time!

Getting nervous, worried or fearful abnormally is usually a mental disorder identified as anxiety. There are no definite causes of anxiety, however, if one is experiencing its symptoms, it is advisable that they see a specialist immediately.

Anxiety: The Many Forms
There are different types of anxieties. Such include panic attack or disorder. When one is panicking, the heart usually races abnormally and the person feels like they are choking. Tension builds up causing severe chest pains and emotions such that he or she may also cry.
There is the social anxiety disorder, the kind that strikes when one is about to go to a public setting especially for the first time, meeting new people or interacting with a crowd of people who they think may judge them. Hence, they become too self-conscious and uneasy to a point of getting overwhelmed, or getting frightened.

You have probably heard people, or happen to be one of them who say that they fear butterflies but are not afraid of birds. Others fear height such that they can’t bungee jump. This is fear of specific phenomena which may not be exactly explained as to why it is so. And the name given to it is specific phobias.

All the above are anxieties that people suffer from and which, if not given medical attention, may deteriorate and are likely to distort one’s normal body functioning.

Usually, anxiety is characterised by fear, chest pains, feeling overwhelmed and extreme self-consciousness.
When you observe such symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

To be continued.



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