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Feeling anxious?

Calm body, mind in a chaotic world

by Julie Estlick

"There are people who had underlying anxiety prior to the pandemic and saw it rise to the surface, 大流行给那些以前没有患过焦虑症的人带来了新的焦虑." ~ Andrea Holt, Health District behavioral health providerAmericans are feeling anxious. At least 40 percent of U.S. 自冠状病毒爆发的早期阶段以来,成年人至少经历过一次高度的心理困扰, according to the Pew Research Center. 这场大流行揭示了在病毒带来大量新的担忧之前,有多少人生活在某种程度的焦虑中.

Anxiety—feeling dread, tension, 焦躁不安会严重损害我们的身心健康, 因此,了解症状并找到应对方法对我们的健康至关重要, experts say.

“There were a lot of unknowns with the pandemic, and unknowns are not good for a human’s stress level,” says Jen Head, 为卫生区成人心理健康和药物使用项目提供行为健康服务. “这种孤立也威胁到我们想要联系的内部系统——我们天生就是社会生物. 有些人意识到他们过去经历过焦虑,但不知道该怎么称呼它. Now they feel freer to discuss it.”

这在一定程度上是由于在疫情期间,人们对心理健康的耻辱感有所减少, 当谈论“不好”变得更被社会所接受时, and celebrities, pro athletes, 甚至日常生活中的人们也开始公开分享他们的挣扎.

What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion. It is more than just fear, 当我们的健康受到特定威胁时,我们身体的自然反应是什么. Fear helps keep us safe and protected in the moment. Anxiety, on the other hand, “当我们开始担心那些并不是真正威胁的事情时?, 或者它与实际的威胁不成比例——这只是大脑如何解释我们正在经历的事情,” Head says.

Unlike fear, anxiety persists with no real resolution. 患者将其描述为对过去发生的事情或对未来的痛苦不断循环的消极想法.

Symptoms of anxiety include your mind racing, or feeling overwhelmed and your mind goes blank, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, feeling restless or “off,” sleep disturbances, 甚至行为上的改变,比如避免人群或社交场合,都是对焦虑的反应.

还有一些身体上的焦虑迹象,比如心跳加速, nausea, dry mouth, stomach pain (sometimes with vomiting), muscle tension in the neck or back, hyperventilating, and shortness of breath. Even dizziness and headaches may be caused by anxiety.

Children are also experiencing high rates of anxiety, 但症状和诊断通常与成人不同.  

So, what’s making us so anxious? Experts point to factors including poor sleep habits, overuse of social media, worries over the economy, social and political divisions, 对生病的恐惧——由于一场迄今已造成6人以上死亡的全球流行病而变得更加严重.根据世界卫生组织的数据,全球有800万人.

越来越多的人被诊断出患有焦虑症, when anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. 美国国家心理健康研究所报告称,19%的美国人患有精神疾病.S. 成年人被告知患有焦虑症, most commonly panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

在当地,卫生区三年一度的社区健康调查证实了这一点. 在2016年至2022年期间,报告从心理健康专家那里得到焦虑诊断的受访者增加了9个百分点, 而那些说自己“目前正感到焦虑”的人则上升了13个百分点, depression, or other mental health problem” in the past six years.  

“我们确实看到了焦虑患者的增加,” says the Health District’s Andrea Holt, uhealth家庭医学中心(FMC)的行为健康提供者. “有些人在大流行之前就有潜在的焦虑,并看到它浮出水面, 大流行给那些以前没有患过焦虑症的人带来了新的焦虑.”

霍尔特管理着卫生区的综合护理项目, 它将心理健康和药物使用专家与FMC和柯林斯堡Salud的医生配对,以帮助患者,而不必等待预约或前往不同的地点.

Tools to manage anxiety: physical activity, breathing techniques/meditation, journaling, limit caffeine intake, avoid using substances to cope  - provided by Andrea Holt, certified addictions specialistCoping and treatment

If you have an anxiety disorder, it is highly treatable with therapy, medications, and skills you can learn to manage symptoms. 霍尔特建议与训练有素的心理健康治疗师交谈,找出你焦虑的潜在问题, and what’s contributing to it, so you can address it holistically.

无论你的焦虑程度如何,你都可以采取一些措施来控制它. “五感技术”帮助海德的客户立足于当下.  

方法如下:停下来,大声说出(或在脑海中)你能在你周围看到的五件事——而且要具体(我看到一个女孩头发上扎着蓝丝带)。. Next, identify four things you feel (the chair underneath me, my soft sweater), then three things you can hear (talking, keyboard clatter), two things you can smell around you, and one thing you can taste or, if that’s a challenge, one thing you know to be true. (I am safe. I am loved. This moment will pass.)

她解释说:“这项技术提供了一种与我们的身体联系并放慢速度的方法。. 手机上的冥想应用程序也可以吸引我们对呼吸的注意, calming ourselves physically and mentally.

One trap to avoid is using alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs to cope with anxiety, because that can make things worse. 海德说:“有些人使用药物来麻痹感觉或焦虑的强度。. “这可能在短期内有所帮助,但可能会导致长期问题. 药物无助于解决问题的根源, 并且经常妨碍学习和使用其他工具.”

Where to find help
Mental Health and Substance Use Connections

为有行为健康问题的成年人提供评估、推荐和支持. 970-221-5551
sbpcn.net/services/connections-adult-services

儿童、青少年和青年成人联系(CAYAC)队

早期发现和治疗影响青年人的精神健康和物质使用障碍. 970-221-3308
sbpcn.net/cayac

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis

SummitStone健康合作伙伴提供24/7的危机热线 970-494-4200以及一个无预约的行为健康紧急护理中心,为所有年龄段的人提供服务 1217 Riverside Ave., Fort Collins, open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to midnight. Or text “Talk” to 38255 for Colorado Crisis Services.

photo of man in therapy session