“You Are Not Alone.” That’s the message during May’s National Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mental health conditions span from depression to conditions like bipolar disorder. Anxiety is also a mental health condition, and it’s one that is very common among family caregivers.
Anxiety Doesn’t Just Go Away
Some people think it comes and goes. While it may go away if you make some lifestyle changes, it can also build up and lead to full-blown anxiety attacks and panic disorder. It is treatable, but less than 37% of those dealing with anxiety disorders seek treatment.
If you’ve experienced a racing heart, chest pain, dizziness, tingling in the extremities, and difficulty catching your breath, you’ve already reached that point. You’ll feel better if you see a specialist for this disorder.
Learn the Three Most Common Anxiety Disorders
Phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder. They affect around 19 million adults. You’re probably familiar with phobias. Some people suffer from severe angst in crowded spaces and hate leaving their homes for that reason (claustrophobia). Others experience intense panic with heights (acrophobia).
Social anxiety disorder is the second most common type of anxiety. Around 15 million Americans have it, and it often starts around the age of 13. People usually go 10 years or more before talking to a doctor about it.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the third most common form of this disorder. It affects around eight million adults and is triggered by a traumatic event like an attack or abuse.
Medications Aren’t The Only Solution
People who suffer from anxiety may worry that prescription medications are the only answer. Medications can make you feel sluggish and tired as your brain and body adjust. That makes them unappealing to some family caregivers.
Medications are not the only solution. Support groups for caregivers, daily exercise, a healthy diet, and therapy sessions all help. Some people find meditation and exercise programs like Yoga that embrace meditation are the most helpful.
Make Sure You’re Supported
If you feel overwhelmed when caring for your parents, remember that you’re not alone. A study of family caregivers found that 23.5 percent qualified as having anxiety and another 10.5 percent were clinically depressed. Talk to your doctor to get referrals you need for mental health services.
At the same time, arrange to have senior care services like respite care. You need a break to focus on self-care, and senior care aides make it possible. Go out, do things you enjoy, and know your parents are safe with their caregiver.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Tigard, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care. Call today (503) 660-3755