For generations, mental illness was somewhat of a taboo topic of discussion. It wasn’t until recent years that mental disorders such as depression and anxiety began to be talked about more publicly. With open discussion of these topics, those that suffer from mental struggles can avoid feelings of isolation and now have more resources than ever available to them to help them cope.
Among various common mental disorders, anxiety is one of the most prevalent in the United States, according to NBC News. According to statistics determined by Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety in various forms.
Those that suffer from anxiety may occasionally experience panic attacks. These attacks can vary in frequency and severity, but are all extremely difficult to endure. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America explained that panic attacks can come about in times of anxiousness, or completely out of the blue.
The individual might not have any reason to expect them and be otherwise calm when they appear. Because the human body can only endure a short amount of time being in such an extreme state of fight or flight, these attacks typically only last for a few minutes in their full severity.
Millions of children across the U.S. are experiencing depression, anxiety and/or behavioral disorders, but there remains a scarcity of mental health resources in schools.#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth https://t.co/6mi5e9OkJc— NEA (@NEAToday) May 3, 2019
Adults that find they suffer from anxiety at work are encouraged to avoid co-workers that bring them stress, practice good time management when they are able, and take breaks when necessary to regain their sense of calm.
But it’s not just adults that experience anxiety in their day-to-day lives. Children also deal with anxiety, according to Healthline. Children that suffer with panic attacks may find them to be extra difficult because they are not yet able to fully explain how they are feeling. Parents that have children with anxiety are encouraged to pay attention to their child’s feelings and validate their concerns.
Eli Lebowitz Ph.D., of the Yale School of Medicine, explained that often parents will simply shoo away their child’s anxiety without actually addressing it.
“For a lot of children, it’s the first time that a parent will have validated what the child is feeling. Often, we don’t give that acceptance. A child will say they’re scared, and we’ll say, ‘No you’re not, it’s not scary.’ It doesn’t make sense to stop all those accommodations at once. No one could do that, and certainly no one could do it consistently. So, we pick one. And then we make very detailed plans of what the parent will do differently.”