Over the years working as a pharmacist, I have met and helped many patients seek treatment for anxiety disorders.
About 25 per cent of people seek treatment for anxiety at some time throughout their lives.
Within the Huon Valley, I have noticed many men are reluctant to seek treatment for anything mental health related thinking that they’ll ‘just get over it’ or that it is a sign of weakness.
As a fellow sufferer of anxiety, it does seem harder to seek help than to just suffer the symptoms of anxiety.
This mindset needs to change for all of our benefits as anxiety disorders can have profound effects on our mental and physical health and our relationships with our family and community.
Suffering anxiety in its mild, short-term form can actually help you solve problems, focus on something that is bothering you or get you out of a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
This short-term type of anxiety is normal and helpful.
The problems begin when you experience excessive and irrational anxiety and worries that become ongoing and distressing.
It is at this point that it becomes classified as an anxiety disorder.
This type of anxiety may not appear to have an apparent cause or a logical explanation.
The main symptoms of anxiety disorders are fears or thoughts that are constant and distressing that interfere with daily living.
You may also suffer additional symptoms such as panic attacks, physical reactions such as trembling, sweating, faintness, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing or nausea and change your behaviour to avoid situations that you think may bring on an anxiety attack.
The effects that arise from an anxiety disorder, if left untreated, may lead to social isolation, clinical depression, impair your ability to work, study or do routine activities.
It may also hurt relationships with friends, family and colleagues.
Overall, an anxiety disorder can affect your entire life.
The good news is that there are a number of treatments available including cognitive behavioural therapy, anxiety management and relaxation techniques and medications.
Your most obvious first step would be to make an appointment to see your local GP who will diagnose and initiate appropriate treatments and help you see better days.