All of us experience anxiety to some degree, whether it is short-lived and intense over a specific incident, or more long-term and complex in nature. The reality is that modern life can be extremely stressful, and in South Africa this is exacerbated by a society that lives increasingly on the edge, with an alarming increase in the incidence of anxiety-related disorders, ranging from panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, to social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Although it is not always easy to tell the difference between ‘normal’ feelings of anxiousness and an anxiety disorder, if is worth seeking professional help if anxiety is disrupting you or your loved one’s ability to function on a daily basis.
Symptoms of anxiety that are not within the ‘normal’ range include a rapid heartbeat, chest pain or heart palpitations; shortness of breath, hyperventilation or difficulty breathing; a feeling of suffocation or choking; blurred vision, light-headedness or spinning sensations; constant headaches or pressure around the eyes; numbness, tingling or even a feeling of temporary paralysis; trembling, spasms, cramps, muscle tension, stiffness or unexplained aches and pains; excessive sweating; stomach-related problems such as constipation, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); sensations of being disconnected from reality or trapped in a situation beyond control; constant fatigue and decreased ability to concentrate; and uncontrollable negative thought patterns.
Akeso’s general psychiatry units place a great deal of emphasis on helping patients cope with the stresses of modern life, and are specifically focused on helping you and your loved ones manage anxiety, not only providing a place of tranquillity and safety to promote the healing process, but also providing you with practical tools to help you cope going forward.