Managing anxiety around covid-19

Managing anxiety around covid-19

 

Steve Ramsey,PhD -Public Health MSc(hon) in Med Ultrasound

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Steve Ramsey,PhD -Public Health MSc(hon) in Med Ultrasound

Anxiety is the number one mental problem nowadays due to the covid-19 that caused millions to lose their jobs, houses, and loved one, for many others causing them to divorce and even give their pets to animal shelters. Having a nervous stomach can be a common occurrence in some people, especially in these days.

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 When the virus came from China it destroyed our economy, social fabric and our ways of living. We are feeling worried about our life and future, our jobs and how to pay the bills. Maybe you have butterflies in your stomach while waiting for the results of a medical test, a new job, or many other reasons to sustain your life.

In life, everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. This includes adults, children, and even pets. For most people, feelings of anxiety come and go, only lasting a short time. Some moments of anxiety are more brief than others, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.

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But for some people, these feelings of anxiety are more than just passing worries or a stressful day at work. Your anxiety may not go away for many weeks, months, or years. It can worsen over time, sometimes becoming so severe that it interferes with your daily life. When this happens, it’s said that you have an anxiety disorder or chronic anxiety.

While anxiety symptoms vary from person to person, in general the body reacts in a very specific way to anxiety. When you feel anxious, your body goes on high alert, looking for possible danger and activating your fight or flight responses. As a result, some common symptoms of anxiety include:

Nervousness, restlessness, or being tense, rapid heartbeats, Feelings of danger, panic, or dread, Rapid breathing, nervous stomach, sweating, muscle twitching, stomach butterflies, digestive problems, gas, constipation or diarrhea. Shaking or trembling, Weak, tired, and lethargy, Insomnia, difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing you’re worried about’

You start getting forgetful, short of breath, chest pain, Nausea, dizziness. Feeling hot or cold, numbness or tingling sensations.

Feeling detached from oneself or reality, known as depersonalization and derealization, worry about death or you are going crazy.

There are some symptoms of anxiety that can happen in conditions other than anxiety disorders. This is usually the case with panic attacks. The symptoms of panic attacks are similar to those of heart disease and thyroid problems

Some might have Agoraphobia and that is a fear of certain places or situations that make them feel trapped, powerless, or embarrassed. These feelings lead to panic attacks. People with agoraphobia may try to avoid these places and situations to prevent panic attacks, such as downtown, dark allies, or any other places like river or place that you think you might get the corona virus. The worry is greater than it should be given the reality of the situation. The worry causes physical symptoms in the body, such as headaches, stomach upset, or trouble sleeping.

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People will try to relieve their anxiety by performing certain rituals or behaviors. This may include hand washing over and over again, or become hypochondriac, counting, or checking on things such as whether or not they’ve locked their house.

Panic disorder causes sudden and repeated bouts of severe anxiety, fear, or terror that peak in a matter of minutes. This is known as a panic attack. Those experiencing a panic attack may experience: feelings of looming danger in death or shooting situation, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat that feels like fluttering or pounding (palpitations), in these days or covid 19 many people have phobias to go to Chinese stores.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or are performing suicidal behaviors (if so, seek immediate medical assistance by calling 911), or 811, speak to someone who can help, you are not alone, think of your kids and those who love you, then see your doctor ASAP.

While taking medication and talking with a therapist can help treat anxiety, coping with anxiety is a 24–7 task. Luckily there are many simple lifestyle changes you can make at home to help further alleviate your anxiety;

Get exercise. Setting up an exercise routine to follow most or all days of the week can help reduce your stress and anxiety.

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. Using alcohol or drugs can cause or increase your anxiety. If you have trouble quitting, see your doctor or look to a support group for help.

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Stop smoking and reduce or stop consuming caffeinated drinks. Nicotine in cigarettes and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks can make anxiety worse.

Try relaxation and stress management techniques. Taking meditation, repeating a mantra, practicing visualization techniques, and doing yoga can all promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can increase feelings of restlessness and anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, see your doctor for help.

Stick to a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein such as chicken and fish.

Be knowledgeable. Learn as much as you can about your condition and what treatments are available to you so you can make appropriate decisions about your treatment.

Be consistent. Follow the treatment plan your mental healthcare provider gives you, taking your medication as directed and attending all of your therapy appointments. This will help keep your anxiety disorder symptoms away.

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Know yourself. Figure out what triggers your anxiety and practice the coping strategies you created with your mental healthcare provider so you can best deal with your anxiety when it’s triggered.

Write it down. Keeping a journal of your feelings and experiences can help your mental healthcare provider determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

Get support. Consider joining a support group where you can share your experiences and hear from others who deal with anxiety disorders. Associations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America can help you find an appropriate support group near you.

Manage your time intelligently. This can help reduce your anxiety and help you make the most of your treatment.

Be social. Isolating yourself from friends and family can actually make your anxiety worse, especially now days with covid-19 , Make plans with people you like spending time with on line and social media, emails, face book, face time, simple phone calls etc.

Shake things up. Don’t let your anxiety take control of your life. If you feel overwhelmed, break up your day by taking a walk or doing something that will direct your mind away from your worries or fears, don’t listen to bad news or anything make your blood pressure way to the roof , avoid negative people .

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Having a nervous stomach could have to do with your emotional state or mental health, your digestive health, or even a mixture of both. Rarely, it may signal something more serious going on.

Nervous stomach can also just be how your digestive system works naturally during times of stress. As well, it could be just an isolated experience.

Common symptoms of a nervous stomach may include:

  • “butterflies” in the stomach
  • tightness, churning, cramping, knots in the stomach
  • feeling nervous or anxious
  • shaking, shivering, twitching of muscles
  • frequent flatulence
  • rapid fullness when eating
  • warmth, fluttering, or bloated feeling in pit of stomach

In rare cases, a nervous stomach may strongly affect the bowels. Frequent or uncontrolled urination or bowel movements and sometimes gagging or vomiting can be the result of an extreme nervous stomach, but not always.

Certain herbs can ease nervous stomach in some people as its happening. If you experience nausea or queasiness, ginger root may help. Chew a piece of root, drink ginger tea or eat ginger candy or sip some ginger ale with real ginger in it for benefit. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist for wide range of options.

Ultimately, find time and space for yourself to clear your head and take control of your nervousness, even if it must be total alone time. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself, even from an important event. If talking to a friend, family member, or loved one helps, do so during this time. Talking with someone you trust can help you overcome anxiety.

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Most likely, you’ll get a nervous stomach because you’re simply nervous. It can happen to anyone. The brain and gut are connected via the vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves in the body. This nerve sends signals from the brain to gut and vice versa, increasing digestive irritability and irregularity when stress and anxiety occurs.

If you have symptoms of a nervous stomach on a regular basis and especially if your symptoms are progressively getting worse, you may need to give more attention to your stress levels and digestive health.

A nervous stomach could mean that you’re simply in a nervous state. Are you undergoing a lot of stress lately? Do you have a big event, job interview, or nerve wracking experience coming up? You could just be nervous about it, and it will pass.

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If you’re dealing with chronic stressful experiences and a lot of nervous stomach symptoms every day, on the other hand, finding time and ways to manage that stress is essential. Your nervous stomach could then subside.

Try eating smaller meals instead of big ones. Your digestion may be impeded, which could be causing your nervous stomach. It helps to eat smaller, lighter meals with easy to-digest foods when dealing with stomach butterflies. Try probiotics can help.

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Steve Ramsey, PhD-Public Health, PgD -Natural medicine .

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