Fear is a normal, protective emotion that warns us of danger or threat. It may be external, an armed thief, or internal, thinking about a future event such as waiting for an oral examination. That unpleasant feeling usually ends when the event that generated it ends.
It is different when we “live” with fear. Emotion becomes a psychological disorder, a mental disorder that can affect the course of thought, perception, and behavior of the person in their daily life. As their ability to emit adaptive responses has diminished.
Among the psychological disturbances with the most significant negative impact on quality of life and social performance are:
- Generalized Anxiety
- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia
These disorders associated with a dysfunctional learning history. They are characterized by an irrational fear that prevents the calm and generates a weakness to respond related to the work, family and social environment.
1. Generalized Anxiety!
It is a chronic and persistent concern for almost every aspect of life. It is a continuous pattern of avoidant behaviors during the day that tends to aggravate tension, and at night generate sleep disorders.
What are the symptoms?
- Feeling of restlessness and constant worry
- Lack of concentration
- Negative and catastrophic thoughts about everyday life events
- Tension and muscle pain
- Trouble getting to sleep
For an adequate diagnosis, the person must have presented in the last six months, at least 4 of the described symptoms!
2. Panic attack!
A panic attack is the physical and exacerbated manifestation of the basic emotion of fear. It begins with a sudden and irrational fear of facts that are not in real danger. There may be a crisis of fear, intense and swift, in which the person is confident that he is about to die.
What are the symptoms?
- Extensive sweating
- Rise in heartbeats that we can hear
- Difficulty breathing, as if the air did not reach the lungs
- Choking sensation
- Nausea or pain in the pit of the stomach
- Pain in the chest, it is believed to have a heart attack
- Trembling or tingling in the hands and legs
- Feeling faint
- Chills or intense heat
- Feeling of unreality
It is an episode, usually brief, lasting a few minutes and rarely prolonged. The key to diagnosing the panic attack is to have had at least five of the symptoms described.
If after the panic attack, about two weeks later, you still have the constant worry that the panic attack will recur at any time, and you avoid returning to your routine, you are probably developing a panic disorder, and a specialist must treat you.
3. Social Phobia!
How to recognize it? That refers to an excessive and irrational concern that is negatively evaluated by others, regardless of whether or not we interact with them. Some people feel intense fear of particular situations. For example, speaking in public, starting conversations, going to a party, taking an oral exam, buying something.
The person experiences fear of ridicule and adverse judgment of others, and this unreasonable fear prevents him from developing correctly. An interesting fact is that almost all people experience this kind of fear to a greater or lesser degree of being judged negatively.
What to do with these disorders?
Becoming aware of dysfunctional behaviors is the first step to change. It is not a question of not being afraid because this is a protective emotion that leads us to the anticipation of dangerous events, it is to evaluate to what extent the threat is real or if it is the outcome of our mental creation. The recommendation for these cases is, to begin with, successive estimates until you overcome irrational fear! Find a person who supports you, a good friend, who appreciates you for who you are and reinforce your value.
If you need specific support, seek professional help. A correct diagnosis gives a name to the problem; it is a guide to understand that which both bothers us and distresses. However, it is vital to get aware of your suffering. Experiencing a condition, saying I have an anxiety disorder is different from stating I am anxious.
Today, you can choose to change behaviors and thoughts that do not favor you. You have an opportunity to open yourself to change, to the effort and to the constant work to be your best version. Someone with autonomy, conscious of their limitations, but also of their abilities, in search of a purpose and meaning for their life.